We’re back to the grind, the weather is bat-shit crazy and the children are coming in wet and sodden. As the laundry mounts, how do you stay on top of it? Is it possible to keep up with domestic drudgery without losing your mind?
Ironing. That can be bitch, can’t it? But my advice is this: if an item looks like a pain to iron, then leave it in the shop. It is not deserving of a place in your wardrobe or a place in your life. Same goes for an item with ‘special washing instructions.’ Items such as this can GET IN THE BIN. A professional organiser once advised to clear your home of any objects which give you work; need your time or make your feel bad. There are things aplenty in this life to fulfil all these roles. Clothes shouldn’t be one. It’s #SecondHandSeptember so if any of the above applies to something you own, then this is an ideal time to drop off to our nearest charity shop.
Thankfully, ironing pile in our house is greatly reduced these days, but this didn’t just happen by accident. I try to treat our recently laundered clothes with respect, i.e., I don’t adopt LSB’s approach which is to pluck the stuff off the line or out of the tumble drier and chuck them all crumpled into a basket. I’ve taken @tidydad’s advice, and started to enlist all the family’s help with laundry, sorting into piles and folding pronto before sending them off to put away. Doing laundry is lonely! Nobody should be sifting through a basket of socks, fruitlessly looking for a match. I now pull the basket out when we’re watching an episode of Modern Family and set to it.
I also don’t tend to iron much of LSB’s stuff anymore. Often he works from home and just wears a tee-short. Also, to my absolute delight, in his present job he doesn’t have to go to London and look smart while he talks to a lot of pretentious pricks. It’s taken a load off.
My mother-in-law ironed EVERYTHING. Pants. Towels. Socks. Sheets. No, no, no and HELL NO. The Mothership used to stand and iron fifteen shorts on a Sunday night for the week ahead, so my dad, my brother and I had a clean shirt everyday. I must admit that I will never reach this level of domestic prowess.
Occasionally though, I might need to iron something. Say a dress I really love, or if the kids have left their uniform in a heap and a quick fix is needed to take the bad look off it. My mantra is this, ‘never perfect, always better.’ Same goes for all the housework chores. But say, like on we ta day like this and I’m not teaching, I might say, iron a few things. This is the ideal opportunity to embrace ‘luxury ironing.’ This is where you make a cup of tea, or pour a glass of wine should it be later in the day. Say 11am. (JOKING). Then I pop on a podcast such as The Uncanny* on Radio 4. Honestly, sometimes I get so engrossed I start looking for things to run the iron over. Who doesn’t love a spooky story with no rationale explanation?
This is how I deal with the monotony of household chores if no one is around to help. Earphones in with spoken word radio or a decent podcast so I feel my brain isn’t turning to mush. (‘Everyday’s a school day with you,’ says LSB.) But it works a treat and makes it all that bit easier. And should you be stressed out as the chores accumulate and need some sensible tips delivered by someone with a compassionate but no-nonsense air, then I recommend listening to KC Davis’s audiobook, How to Keep House while Drowning.
*Show in The Grand Opera House coming to Belfast in November. Keep an eye out!