Why bother ironing?

YOU are not alone. Most mums do not enjoy sulking the whole afternoon behind the ironing board. I do my best to get out of most of it. In my quest to pretty much never iron I have come across some practical tips to help you never have to iron again or, at the very least, drastically reduce the number of items that you iron...and without the wrinkles on your face. Think of all the better things you could be doing.

1. The magic powers of the dryer

I know using the dryer isn't usually part of the routine (or budget) for some people, but here is a great way to use the dryer to your advantage to reduce your ironing.

Using the dryer to "finish off" almost-dry clothes will leave them looking pretty much ironed. Make sure you get to them as soon as the dryer beeps, or at least while they are still warm, and fold or hang them straight away.

Leaving them sitting in the dryer for hours or just transferring them to a basket or couch means the weight of the clothing will encourage wrinkles to form.

And where there are wrinkles there will be the need for ironing. My husband also shares my aversion to ironing, and in his bachelor days his strategy involved throwing dry wrinkled clothing into the dryer with a damp washer. Odd, yes, but it does work.

2. Allow room to hang

When hanging clothing in the wardrobe, ensure items have enough space to hang. Don't jam them all in, as the overcrowding will produce wrinkles that weren't even there before, and you might just need to iron them again. Oops…

3. Look for 'no iron' clothing

Some fabrics are more prone to wrinkles than others, especially linen. Let's face it - even if you iron linen clothes, they still look rumpled just minutes after putting them on.

Cotton, although lovely, is also prone to premature wrinkles, so look for a polyester blend to cut down on ironing. There are also clothing fabrics that are wrinkle-free.

4. Let the shower do your ironing

Hang the item near the shower, but not so close that it will get wet. While you are enjoying a steam bath under the shower, the garment can absorb the steam, and by the time you've washed your hair the wrinkles should be nearly all gone.

This can be a great time saver, magically ironing your clothing without ironing.

Do you have any crafty tips to reduce ironing clothes?

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: www.stayat

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