I would always remember when my nanay was here for a visit and my husband went out of the house with a creased short pants and she admonished: 'Hey, I am sure the iron would be running after you.' Oh, that made me and my husband laugh; but that made me think, too. 'Am I remiss in doing my wifey duties?' Ouch. That started my love-hate relationship with my iron and ironing board.
I learned something and I want to share them. I am not dishing out an expert guide here. With the principle of using the good and ignoring the bad - here goes:
1. Try to follow a regular laundry schedule, thus, follows, a regular schedule in ironing, too. I do my laundry at least 2-3 times a week. And the ironing, once every fortnight. ( I dont follow the common principle of doing the laundry and then ironing right after, sorry!)
2. If possible, use an ironing board pad that is silicone coated, it makes clothes easier to iron. I have an easy glider that really fits my ironing board.
3. Although I have a steam iron, I havent learned how to use it right. I still use the reliable spray bottle instead. So, good for you if you have mastered the steam iron :-)
4. Before starting, make sure everything that you need are within your reach: the items to be pressed, the iron, ironing board (already adjusted according to your specification), a press cloth to use for lacework or to protect sensitive fabrics, the spray bottle and enough water (or distilled water) on the side.
5. Sort the items to be ironed according to their required temperature. This would depend on the fabric of the article you are ironing. Most of the irons come with the instructions printed on the temperature switch. Otherwise, you may need to acquaint yourself with the 'how to' pamphlet of your iron.
5. Check if the iron soleplate is clean. And make sure that all the clothes to be pressed are free of dirt and are not soiled or else you would be left with a permanent stain. And never touch the iron's plate to check if it is hot, try to press the iron on the ironing board instead, then you would know.
6. I iron shirts from the collar area, into the cuffs and sleeves, the button hole area and then pressing the rest. With pants, I go from the waistband down, then placing them lenghtwise in the ironing board, smoothing both legs together and ironing them by lifting one leg to reach the crotch. Turn on the other side of the leg, and do the same thing.
7. Carefully fold or place the ironed clothes in hangers to avoid creases.
8. Avoid doing your ironing when the kids are running around, too dangerous.
9. Never leave your iron plugged or hot and unattended.
But do you know what I consider to be the real 'ironing made easy' thing is'? By buying wrinkle free clothes. You might need to shake them into shape right after being laundered and have them in hangers, but hey, that keeps me free from the iron board. The wrinkled fabric is good, too -- just dont forget to bunch them up after washing to keep them wrinkled.
Happy ironing - if I am allowed to say that :-)