For those of us who live in small houses or who try to avoid unnecessary items taking up room our homes, owning an ironing board can seem like a waste of space.

The most well-organized among us plan an ironing day and then fold up and tuck away their ironing board until the next week. If you’re not the type to do all of your ironing in one day but still want your clothes to be tidy and wrinkle free, you have other options. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to de-wrinkle your clothing without having to lug around an ironing board.

Quick fixes

If you don’t want to go out and buy anything new to iron your clothes, you’re in luck. Many thrifty homeowners have discovered ways to de-wrinkle their clothes quickly or on-the-go. Some of the most effective:

  • Steamy bathroom. If you’re getting ready for work in the morning but notice your clothes are wrinkled before you hop in the shower you can use the steam from your shower to de-wrinkle them. Don’t turn on the fan or open any windows and make sure the water is hot enough to create a lot of steam. Hang up your clothes on the shower rod or on a coat hanger that’s hanging on the rod. Make sure they’re not near the water because you don’t want your clothes actually getting wet. The steam will take 10-15 minutes to fully de-wrinkle your clothes.
  • Hair dryer. If you only have a few wrinkles on your shirt that you need to get out the hair dryer method is a great quick fix. Lay the piece of clothing down on a clean surface, and use the hair dryer on the hottest setting for a few seconds, moving it up and down the wrinkled area. Don’t use this method excessively because you can easily damage some fabrics. For a stubborn wrinkle, try dabbing it with a wet towel before hair drying it.
  • Moist towel. If you have an hour or so before you need to leave the house but need to de-wrinkle your clothes, the wet towel method is a good solution. Dampen a towel with hot water and lay it out over the wrinkled article of clothing. Make sure the clothes doesn’t have any folds or creases. Remove it after a few minutes and hang up your clothes for at least 20 minutes to dry them out.

Ironing board alternatives

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to your wrinkle problem, these methods have you covered.

  • Wrinkle remover spray. Many stores sell a wrinkle-releasing spray that you can use on your clothes. Alternatively, you can mix your own by using a water-vinegar solution.
  • Dryer to hanger. The best way to avoid wrinkles is to take your clothes out of the dry immediately when the cycle finishes and hang them up. For t-shirts and pants, neatly rolling them and storing them in your drawers will keep them from getting wrinkled.
  • Invest in an ironing pad. If your main objection to ironing is the board itself, many stores sell small, roll-up pads that you can put on top of most surfaces to do your ironing.
  • Garment steamer. The steam method has been perfected and mass-produced in the form of garment steamers. Simply hang up your clothes and run the steamer over them to release wrinkles.
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800px-Bougainvillea_FlowerPresenting spectacular masses of brilliantly colored bracts, bougainvillea is an outstanding addition to most any home landscape. The ornamental plant is celebrated worldwide for its utility and beauty, adorning gardens in the subtropics and tropics. A hardy shrub tolerant of most any soil or climatic condition, bougainvillea is a useful background planting for along fencelines or walls.

If you live in United States Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 11, you will find a diverse array of bougainvillea varieties that will flourish in your locale. A common ornamental plant, bougainvillea is cultivated worldwide. You can let bougainvillea grow rampant and uncontrolled in a wild display of color, or trim and prune as a small tree or shrub. When bougainvillea is allowed to grow as it may, it will climb a tree or creep over a fence or rocky surface as a creeper or climber. Bougainvillea is easy to control, and it is no problem to direct growth over unsightly areas in the garden that you would prefer to hide such as a utility shed or rocky or barren patch of soil on a hillside. Bougainvillea plants are available for purchase online or from local home and garden supply stores and nurseries. Plants are available in shades of red, plum, pink, orange, burgundy, and purple.

Native to South America, bougainvillea was first discovered and introduced to Europe in 1880 by French botanist Commerson, who located the plant in Brazil. Commerson named the plant after Louis Antonine de Bougainvillea, a famous French navigator that Commerson accompanied on a voyage around the world with during 1766 through l769. Most garden bougainvillea cultivars have been derived from mutations and hybrids brought to Europe and North America from Central and South America.

Bougainvillea Cultivation

What’s not to love? Bougainvillea is disease free, easy to grow and propagate, presents a magnificent display of color for up to nine months out of the year, and can grow in poor soil subject to drought conditions. Bougainvillea can be pruned and trimmed into any shape or size, making it an ideal windbreak or patio screen as well as a cheerful foundation plant.

A fast growing shrub, bougainvillea varies in height and width dependent on the variety of species and cultivars. While there are single and multi-bracted bougainvilleas, garden experts prefer the single petal variety over the double for two main reasons. Single petled plants tend to be more prolific and dry, and dead flowers fall off the plant immediately. Doble petled plants retain the dead or dying flowers, presenting a less than a tidy appearance in the garden.

Although bougainvillea will survive in less than ideal growing conditions, it does best in a sunny location with nutrient-rich soil and good drainage. Bougainvillea does not like to have “wet feet” and has a tendency to decline if planted in an area subject to standing water. Like most other ornamental shrubs, bougainvillea will benefit from a twice yearly application of well-aged herbivore manure (sheep, goat, horse, cow). Work manure well into the top soil and water well. When a mass planting of one color of bougainvillea is established, it forms a perfect backdrop for special planting of smaller plants with flowers of a contrasting color. Try white day lilies showcased by a planting of scarlet bougainvillea or combine sunny yellow annuals such as marigold around the base of your bougainvillea shrubs.

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