I know it’s been a while since I have blogged.  You can’t imagine the procrastination that set in when I said I would write more about…ironing.

Last time I wrote about the bliss of ironing.  Well, I stand by every word.  Today I am writing about hand-to-hand combat with the ironing basket.  Ironing must be tightly managed for bliss to happen.  Less is more in my book.   Here are five tips from my decades of experience in such matters:

Tip one.  Managing your ironing begins with managing the drying process.  Don’t just dump every wet item into the dryer.   Be choosy.  Hang some items right out of the washer.  Spread a damp sweater on a towel and block it back into shape.  In warm weather, hang a clothes line and you’ll love enjoy crisp cottons and fewer wrinkles.

Tip two.  Dry likes with likes and use shorter drying times.  Don’t dry sheets with towels or smaller items; they’ll just get wound up together like sausages.  And, don’t just put the stuff in the dryer and fuggetaboutit.  Best to start pulling items out before the dryer stops and everything collapses into a wrinkle disaster.

Tip three.  When you get behind and the ironing basket resembles a snow drift, bribe thyself.  Set a timer for five minutes and iron the five easiest things in the pile.  Then have a sip of wine.  Repeat.  Once this process gets going, you’ll find you’ve ironed way more than five items.  But take care not to spill!

Tip four.  Cotton sheets are the granddaddy of all ironing (unless you use banquet-sized tablecloths, in which case, I say send them out)!  Start by taking the sheets out of the dryer when still faintly damp.  Fold the flat (top) sheet in half and iron across the top casing (the most important part of the sheet) and then down the free edges.  Keep folding and lightly ironing until you have a nice square packet — for half the work.  For sanity’s sake, never iron fitted sheets – rather, smooth and fold them, tucking the elasticized corners under to form another square packet.

Tip five.  Teach your children to iron and pay them 25 cents a hankie, and $1.00 for a pillow case with escalation clauses, annual bonuses, etc.  And have another glass of wine.