Category Archives: Laundry

Ironing Will Never be Fun, but it Doesn’t Have to be a Struggle

ironingLike so many other children, I wanted nothing more than to grow up so I could do what I wanted when I wanted. It took about five minutes of living alone to realize that I had been foolish. Being a grown up does mean you can mostly do what you want when you want, but it also means that there is no one else around to do what needs to be done. Household chores become solely your responsibility, and they aren’t any more enjoyable as an adult.

Ironing is one chore that I avoided successfully for 28 years. If something was wrinkled, I wore something else. If I had no other options, I would sometimes throw it in the dryer hoping for the best. But most of the time, I would just put it on anyway and hope that by the time I got to where I was going the wrinkles would fall out on their own.

I was perfectly happy with this arrangement. However, when I started quilting I discovered that ironing, and more specifically pressing, was going to be necessary. My mother gave me an iron and for a while I borrowed an ironing board; but I knew that eventually I would need my own.

I also knew I would have to find something that would fit my needs. I probably had a more few requirements than the average person buying an ironing board. I wanted to be able to use it standing or sitting, I wanted to be able to put it away independently, and I wanted it to be big enough to work with my larger quilts. This over the door ironing board turned out to be just the right fit. When open, it is a good height for sitting or standing, folds up against the wall for easy storage and is 14 inches wide by 42 inches long.

I have been using this board for a few years now and it works well. The ironing board can bare a lot of weight, which is especially good since I tend to lean on things while I work; so for added stability I put a wedge under my door to minimize shifting. I will caution that because this board only attaches to the top of the door it will slide an inch or two if leaned into, This slight shifting has not caused me to fall or loose my balance, and if not an issue at all when I am sitting because I don’t lean into the board.

I still hate ironing and pressing. In fact, it is my least favorite part of quilting. I have by no means gotten any better at ironing my clothing either, but this board makes this dreaded chore a little bit less of a burden.

Thinking Outside the Basket

As I was cleaning the house yesterday, I started thinking about the small changes in my life since I’ve become an amputee. Without really thinking about it, my amputation has influenced most of the decisions I’ve made. I tend to adapt and accommodate naturally, making my reliance upon a prosthetic as inconsequential as possible.

My ability to adapt has been gradual. For the first few years after my amputation I was wary of stairs, particularly carrying items up and down the steps.  Since my laundry room is downstairs, this apprehension was particularly inconvenient.

Holding a heavy basket in front of me with two hands while maneuvering down two flights of steps made me nervous. I was worried about missing a step and falling.  Instead of trying to come up with a solution, I enlisted the assistance from my husband with each load.

Needless to say, I grew tired of being reliant upon my husband to help with the laundry, and I knew that I needed to come up with a solution. Not only was waiting for him to carry the basket inconvenient, I detested being dependent upon somebody else. I knew that there had to be a way for me to achieve laundry independence. Walking through a box store one afternoon, I saw a product and had a Eureka moment. I was tackling my laundry basket woes from the wrong angle. I needed to ditch the basket altogether.

I found a pop-up fabric hamper which featured a zipper top. Instead of trying to carry the heavy and cumbersome basket up and down the stairs, I could fill the hamper, secure the top and toss it over the landing. When descending the steps, my hands were free to hold onto the handrail, allowing me to remain both safe and comfortable. Of course, I must stress the importance of remembering to zip the top of the bag before tossing it down the stairs. One time (or two if you are a busy Mom like me) of having to pick up all of the dirty laundry scattered at the bottom of the stairs will confirm this importance step.

In order to carry the laundry hamper up the stairs, I simply zip the cover and drag it behind me. Since it is a soft fabric, I don’t worry about the floors being scuffed or damaged. Problem easily solved, and my laundry independence was regained!

All of the traditional laundry baskets have been replaced with fabric hampers. The nominal investment has allowed me to be completely independent in terms of laundry. Of course, if I could come up with a solution to help fold it and put it away I would be elated!

Resuming my daily activities, no matter how mundane, has been liberating. I am delighted that my laundry woes were solved with such a simple product. I did not need to find a high priced specialty basket to help; I just needed to find the right product. I have discovered that many times the best solution is the simplest, and I look forward to tackling more of the everyday issues in the coming blogs!

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