Ironing is one of those households chores that few of us love and many people will put it off to the last possible moment, ironing their clothes on a Monday morning while rushing to get ready for work.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Put simply, most of us don't really have a clue what we're doing when we start ironing and that's why it's such an onerous task.

Read on for some tips and advice on how to lighten your ironing workload.

Prepare properly

First of all, it almost goes without saying that you can only iron clothes that are clean. If you try to iron a shirt with a stain in it then you are risking ironing the stain further into the fabric and ruining it forever. So make sure everything is clean before you fire up your steam iron.

Next, you need to set up in the right way. It's not enough to throw up your ironing board and get to work. Make sure you have plenty of room and some clear surfaces nearby to place your folded clothes on. Ideally, you'll want to do your ironing near someone you can hang up pressed items.

You also need to organise your clothes in order by checking the instructions on their tags. Start with the ones that need ironing at the coolest temperatures and end with those that need ironing at the hottest, working your way through the pile slowly and methodically.

Once you've done all this - which might sound like a lot but really only takes a few minutes once you get into the routine - then you're ready to get cracking.

Ironing techniques

Some items of clothing might be harder to iron than others - shirts, we mean you - but you can use the same technique for pretty much everything.

Never iron your garments in a circular motion as this can damage the fabric. Instead, iron the clothes lengthways and if you have some stubborn creases you're finding it hard to get rid of, try blasting them with the steam from your iron to get them out.

Shirts are famously tricky to iron, but if you start with the sleeves - lay them out, ironing along the lengths, starting with the cuffs - before doing the collar and then the body, you'll find them pretty straightforward to get just right.

It's really important to make sure you hang up or fold items as you go, as if you don't do this you're not going to get the benefit of ironing the clothes in the first place and you may as well not have bothered going to the trouble.

Final tips

One great piece of advice is to keep a spray bottle of water nearby when you start ironing. If you make a mistake and accidentally iron a fresh wrinkle or two into a garment, simply give the affected area a quick spray, leave it a minute then iron it again to start afresh.

Finally, it's vital you take your time when ironing. Rushing is like to lead to causing damage to clothes and if you get your ironing area set up properly it shouldn't take long at all. Why not blast out some music in the background to take your mind off it?

Happy ironing!

© Axonn 2015