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Minimise Your Ironing

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Life Skills (68)      Easy (26)      home (25)     

Washing line
Image courtesy of Pixabay

I donít know anyone who enjoys ironing. I do know people who iron for others as a way to make extra money but they donít enjoy the task one bit. I used to be one of those people who always had a huge ironing pile waiting for me to find the motivation to get to it. I would move it from the kitchen table to the couch to the bed and back again. But in an effort to simplify my life I went on a quest to eliminate the need for ironing all together.

The first step was to decide that any future clothing I bought would have to pass the Ďscrunchí test. I had several items of clothing that, although I really liked them, I hardly ever wore because they wrinkled so easily and needed so much ironing.

Washing line
Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

I found that the quicker I took the clothes from the washing machine to the clothesline the less they would wrinkle. I shake each item out before hanging and smooth them down once hung. Each item is pegged in a way that hides the peg marks as follows:

- All shirts, t-shirts and dresses are pegged under the arms.

- All pants are pegged inside the back of the waistband.

- Pillow cases are pegged by the inside flap (the bit that tucks in so you canít see the peg-marks.)

- All sheets, towels, t-towels, etc are hung exactly along the middle to make folding easy.

- If I know that the clothes will be hanging there for a while, Iíll turn the coloured ones inside-out to prevent fading.

Washing line
Image courtesy of pixabay

When removing the dry washing from the line I usually do it in this order:

- Dresses and shirts Ė I take them straight inside and either put them onto hangers or drape them over a chair until I can get to them.

Then into the basket go:

- Sheets.

- Towels, tea-towels, pillow cases, face cloths, etc.

- Socks and underwear Ė If I can pair up the socks on the spot, I do.

- Then with the remaining clothes I take off each family memberís in order, bottoms then tops, folding them as I go.

- I then carry the basket with me, transferring the items straight into the cupboards and drawers.

If an item needs to be ironed I will do it on the day I need to wear it. I havenít owned an ironing board for many years but instead use a large towel on a table or bench top. The good thing about ironing on demand is that because Iím basically lazy, I will often prefer to choose a non-iron option instead, which has led me to gradually eliminate most of my ironable clothes and stick with simpler items.

Washing line
Image courtesy of wikipedia

If you have work uniforms or shirts that you cannot get away without ironing, you can at least make the task easier by hanging them first then ironing on demand.

There is no need to have clothes sitting in a basket getting more and more wrinkled every time someone rummages through to find something they need. Hang them anyway and chances are most of the wrinkles will drop out over time. If your closet is too crowded and your clothes are crushed together, then itís probably time for a clean-out.

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I've owned an 'Elna Press', since August 1974. Do have 'back-up' Iron, as 'Elna' has had to go for very minor repairs twice, since then!
'She' sits atop Ironing Board, at exact height for my comfort!

I press my clothes 'on demand'.
I rarely use 'clothes line' nowadays, then it'll be only for sheets, or doona's.

Put all through Dryer, except those materials not recommended. They go on 'clothes' horses' in Laundry, & are dried by hot air ex-Dryer.
Take out, hang, or fold immediately cycle finished.
Most of the time, doing this, items don't even need Pressing.
I do still enjoy pressing, & starching, Teatowels, Pillowslips, Hankies, & Irish Linen Tablecloths my Mother bought after the War.

Don't EVER leave house in crumpled clothing. Total anathema to me!
Iíve always turned my colours inside out on the line, as my mother did, when I was a little girl.I have never pegged up, dresses, blouses or, t-shirts on the line, instead Iíve always hung them on plastic hangers, which I leave on the cloths line, when not in use. Iíve never ironed sheets or pillow cases, even though theyíre all pure cotton. I do iron cotton napkins for the table, as more will for in the drawer of the side table, if ironed firstly.
This is great, I have stopped ironing completely, since Graham retired from work, and no longer needs his pants and shirts nice and neat. I go for clothes that don't need ironing, and I still look tidy enough. My look is generally neat casual, with a little 'creative' twist, and that works well.

I'm gradually giviing away my clothes that don't meet my needs, and picking up more from Op Shops, always in matching colours, so that almost everything I have matches. I choose Autumn colours, which I love, and that I know suit me.
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