How I Got a Whole New Wardrobe – Free!!

How I Got a Whole New Wardrobe - Free!!I may have mentioned before that household chores are not my thing. I wish I was one of those people who cleaned when stressed, but I don’t. I’m more likely to eat. Which results in more stuff to clean. And I consider shopping to be a household chore. Something I have to do because I like to eat. Which works as incentive for groceries, but not so much for clothes. I figure if God really wanted people to buy clothes in malls He wouldn’t have allowed the catalog to be invented!

So if I really, really need a new clothing item, I find it in one of the plethora of catalogs that arrive in my mailbox weekly (clearly my name has been circulated throughout the catalog industry). If the ordered item fits and flatters, I order three more in different colors. If it doesn’t, it gets repackaged to be sent back and left sitting and forgotten on some table until the day after the required “return by for full credit” date.

One rushed day I was hunting for something to wear to a meeting. While washing clothes is one of the chores I do regularly without whining (now that I don’t have to wash them on rocks in a stream anymore), I’m not as diligent about folding promptly. So on this fine day, all acceptable clothing were too wrinkled. And there wasn’t time to break open the clothes steamer from it’s original packaging (received for Christmas four months earlier because I’d let my husband know it was my heart’s desire) and learn how to use it. Desperate, I pawed through my husband’s side of the closet in case something he owned could morph into a passable outfit. It did not happen.

In a panic-driven burst of creativity, I remembered The Iron. Whether it was because as young child I distractedly ironed right up my arm instead of the shirt in front of me, the trauma of being required to do household chores at such a tender age, or the fact that I was better at ironing permanent wrinkles in than smoothing them out, I don’t know – what I do know is that I hate to iron.

I found The Iron buried in a laundry basket full of rumpled cotton and linen in the guest-room closet. It was right where my mother had left it after doing all my ironing on her last visit – three years prior. (Save your mother-abuse comments – believe it or not, my mother likes to iron.) I had added to its pile over the years, but not reduced it any.

I felt like I had discovered a new tropical island that was close enough to drive to on weekends! Clothes! A whole wardrobe of beautiful clothes! In colors and styles I knew looked good on me! And that fit well!

I picked an old favorite I had forgotten I owned, opened up the ironing board in spite of it’s unused metal legs’ screeching protest, and rediscovered the water hole on The Iron. Seven minutes later, basking in the heady light of having successfully smoothed out more wrinkles than I created, I was ready to go. But I looked forward to getting back home, eager toΒ  reacquaint myself with the discovered treasure.

I can’t promise I’ll keep up the relationship with the still-hated iron, but the clothes steamer is definitely coming out of its box. And I’m even going to read the instructions. Well . . . truthfully? That’s Plan B. Plan A is seeing if I can guilt my mother into coming back very soon – we’re way overdue for a visit!

16 comments

    1. Ironing sheets? You caused me to have a flashback, Jill! I remember putting pillowcases through the Ironrite – a contraption I graduated to after the big iron trauma. One would think that I would stop buying cotton, but I love the crisp fabric. And I tell myself I’ll take it right out of the dryer so it won’t wrinkle. And then I don’t keep my word to me. -El

  1. Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    Fatbottomfiftiesgetfierce with the ironing! I use my iron everyday because of sewing. It and it’s partner the ironing board are a permanent fixture in my house. I do still have a scar on my hand from ironing me dad’s handkerchiefs when I was eight. I would NEVER leave an eight-year-old alone with an iron! What was my mother thinking? ~Elle

  2. I had a clothes steamer – what a palaver! I gave it away and returned to my faithful iron. I iron my sheets and my tea towels and anything else that looks slightly crumpled – including myself apparently! I wouldn’t say I love ironing, but I do love the results of ironing – so I iron. I bet you knocked ’em out in your apparel!! πŸ™‚

  3. Your mother will be reading this one. I think your readers should know that arm thing got you out of ironing for all your tweens and teen years, and that your poor sister had to do all of it. Sister abuse? Just saying’. 😜

  4. I rarely buy things that need ironing because if they do, I’ll find something else to wear. I don’t want to spend the time ironing if I can get by otherwise.

    I do sew though, but never iron down my seams like they tech in home-ec class. I’ve done it that way for forty years and I guess i’m used to unironed seams. I’d rather get on with the sewing project – not have to stop and iron. I’ve made too many things this way to even add up – various clothes, curtains, pillows, purses, belts, quilts, bedspreads, etc.

  5. I loved this post. It is SO something I would do, but would hate to admit. πŸ˜‰
    The one and only time my mother put away clothing and forgot was when she boxed up her maternity clothes to donate to the mission, and then misplaced the boxes in the back of the walk-in linen closet.
    She found it 28 years later when I was pregnant with her grandchild!!!
    Ever fugal, she cute the maternity blouses into squares and bought sold fabrics to put with them, and she made a very cute baby quilt.

  6. Ah now. I don’t like ironing but I like creases even less. I iron everything and put it away neatly. A bit anal, I know but the trick is never to let the ironing pile mount up. Ten minutes a day does it – and the board goes up in my hallway so that I crack on with it without distraction. Job done πŸ˜‰

  7. In addition to the wet towel in the dryer, another great wrinkle remover trick is hang up the garment and spray it lightly with water. Yes, water. No need to buy wrinkle remover. Works great on knits of any kind.

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