The path to getting organized often goes right through the laundry room. Many people can feel organized everywhere, except when it comes to their piles of laundry. Anything that slows down the laundry process is bad news, like the extra step of ironing. I was just trying to remember the last time I picked up an iron. It’s been a loooooong time. I have six hot tips to say so long to your steamy friend (adversary?), your iron.
1. Shop carefully. This is the most important. I’ve passed over so many cute outfits because of those three dirty little words- Dry Clean Only. Dry clean items are high maintenance and often require ironing touch ups between professional cleanings. I can be seen in the stores doing the scrunch test, balling up the hem of a garment in my fist to see if it wrinkles. In some stores, it’s even easier; if I see wrinkles on the rack, I assume they’ll follow me home, and so I search on.
2. What about dry cleaning? It’s not so bad, since someone else is doing the pressing work, so to speak. But it does leave a little spot in my wallet where some cash used to be. So the few items I own that require cleaning get taken to a One Price cleaner in my town. I’ve used these services in different states for years. Usually for about $2, I can get most garments cleaned. My husband uses them to launder and press his dress shirts for just $1.25 each, which is well worth the money in my book! I know people who pay five to ten times what I pay because they have never looked past the corner cleaner. It pays to see if there is one in your neighborhood.
3. Don’t make your dryer work so hard. Use the “less dry” or “damp dry” setting. Many of my clothes, including my cloth napkins, can be removed at this stage and hand-smoothed and creased, taking just a few more minutes on a hanger to dry. I’m saving money and energy. My dryer also has a “wrinkle care” setting that keeps tumbling the clothes every few minutes until I can get to them.
4. Line drying isn’t a sign of poverty anymore; it’s hip and green! But did you know that in some municipalities, there are laws against clothes lines? I don’t have to worry, because my drying rack is set up in my basement, which happens to be on a different floor than my washer, but is the warmest and driest place in the house. The trick to line drying without wrinkles is laying them out or hanging them to minimize “hanger boobs” and lines. A few clothes pins on the bottom hems can help weight flimsy items. After drying, most items can be given a hearty shake to add softness they miss from skipping the dryer, or put them in the dryer on “fluff” for five minutes.
5. Shhhh…don’t tell, but my new best friend is Downy Wrinkle Releaser. It’s magic. A spritz spritz and a tug tug and my clothes are good to go. It’s even good on the baby clothes. While it does have a light scent, it doesn’t seem to stay on or build up on clothes, but I’ll do a little dance of joy if they ever come out with an unscented version.
6. There are still a few items that I like to de-crinkle, but I’ll pull out my steamer before the iron, maybe because I’m only dealing with an appliance rather than an appliance plus a heavy, creaky board. I’ve tried several steamers, but you know my favorite steamer. Yes, it works on floors and clothes, among other things.
By the way, if you are interested in how we tame the daily chore of laundry, read about my laundry magic here.
There you have it. Go and crease no more. Stop stressing about the laundry, and get out there and live your life.