|Ironing my Rachel Ashwell Aprons|
There is no glory to be had in anything you do if the house is a mess and the children are hungry.
Whenever I get busy with work my ironing basket menaces me. The busier I am then the more it seems to grow until I get to the point where I have to have an empty basket and I tackle it in one mammoth ironing session, usually late into the night.
The thing is this.. I really resent ironing. It makes me mad that in this age of equality that I have to iron for 5 people, as well as all the other things I do. The odd thing is that given the time I weirdly enjoy it. Listening to Woman’s Hour and ironing when I have the time is really rather relaxing.
It’s a task that falls to me. My husband wouldn’t even know where to find the iron (don’t get me started!) and to be fair I do have some domestic help .. but with a very limited budget it is not enough to get the laundry done. Even having occasional domestic help actually causes more ironing. If ever the task of the children’s bedrooms comes up my help’s answer is to throw all the children’s clothes into the wash. Of course that is an instant tidy option and it looks like she has done an amazing job. In reality it is a whole heap more work for me and yes … I know I should tidy up much more before the odd occasion that my cleaner comes - but I don’t always have time and managing a cleaner efficiently is a whole other blog post!
1 So, aside from buying a really seriously good iron with super turbo steam, I’ve been researching into efficient and effective ways of reducing my ironing and here is what I have come up with so far....
2 I’ve stopped cramming too much washing in the machine, as clothes need room to spin around. It seems that the closer the clothes are compacted during the washing cycle, the more they are likely to come out creased, squashed and needing more ironing.
3 I’m washing heavy items like jeans and blankets separately - heavy items seem to press onto the light ones and crease them.
4 Over dry clothes are a nightmare to iron. There are many less wrinkles by not over-drying my clothes I stop the dryer cycle a little earlier than necessary and or bring clothes in from outside while they are still slightly damp and there is also a reduced ironing option on my dryer and washing machine .. although I am not convinced they work!
|I love the Lakeland Airer|
5 Drying outside seems to knock out allot of wrinkles .. but only if you peg things in the right place. By not overloading my dryer, and leaving it about 1/3 to 1/4 empty it results in evenly dried clothing, as well as less wrinkling. I discovered a brilliant invention courtesly of Lakeland called a Dry soon 3 tier heated tower Airer. If I fold things up and leave things to dry on it then flat items can be put away dry the next day, and with a running cost of only 5p a day I think it's a brilliant bit of kit for reducing ironing.
6 I do find being disciplined and folding clothes as soon as the drying cycle ends helps not end. While the clothes are still warm massively reduces the time spent ironing and the creases are softer.
7 Giving the clothes a good shake first to remove water means that the wrinkles drop out and reduces the need for a thorough iron should you still have to iron the item.
8 There are also some things that really do not need to be ironed unless you're a fanatic. .. I suppose because my mother is a crease free fanatic I have inherited this attitude .. but if I think of which things I don't really mind un-ironed there are lots
9 Buying wrinkle-free clothes helps. Particularly my non ironing husbands shirts .. M& S do a range of easy iron shirts.
10 The children are going to have to learn about self-responsibility and they soon learn how to lessen the load .. so I am going to get the kids to put there own things away .. although supervising this is actually harder then putting it all away myself !
11 Doing the ironing in the bedroom means that the bed is used to sort my laundry, and hangers and wardrobes are close a hand, and whilst ironing I do try and progress from articles or garments needing the lowest temperature to those requiring the highest, and I always iron collars, cuffs, and hems from puckering, on the wrong side first. More ironing tips here.
12 I read that a budget quick spray starch can be made at home by slowly adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 2 cups water. Stir until the starch is dissolved, and pour the blend into a clean spray bottle. Spray fabrics lightly when ironing. .. I’ve yet to try it .. !
If you have any tips on reducing ironing even more please share!