OPINION: If you're still ironing in 2024, that tells me one thing about you.

Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came across a post by The Imperfect Mum: "I'm so glad that as a generation we’ve all agreed to stop ironing our clothes."

Interesting? Well, 140,000 people apparently thought so. 

"I'm a converted granny. Can’t remember the last thing I ironed, and I used to iron socks."

"My ironing basket used to get me down. So now I don’t iron, and I never have an ironing pile. It’s bliss!"

"I'm celebrating my one-year anniversary of 100 per cent un-ironed clothes. I don’t remember where the iron is, and I wonder what I used to iron."

Watch: Mamamia reviews non-family-friendly fashion. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

It seems the number of people who iron regularly has plummeted in just one short generational span. Ironing was a thing, and now suddenly, it isn’t. When did the ironing stop? 

For me, it was 2014. I'd ironed throughout my son’s baby years. There was something so cute about a freshly ironed onesie! 


Then I had my daughter and all of a sudden, it was just All Too Much. It became a choice between ironing my children’s clothes and spending time with said children. 

As such, my kids have little reference to ironing. I took them to a department store, and when they saw ironing boards stacked against the wall, they innocently asked what they were. There’s a wealth of similar stories in response to the post.

"When my boys were small, they found an iron deep in a cupboard and didn’t know what it was. It was a proud moment."

"I literally only use the iron for Hama beads. My kids think that’s its sole purpose."

My mum has ironed most days for pretty much her entire life. 

When she comes to stay, I’ll air and neatly fold her clothes and she gets them out of the cupboard, sets the iron to full steam, and gets to work. 

When I point out they look EXACTLY THE SAME, she rolls her eyes to indicate she’s long ago given up expecting me to understand.

I think what’s really going on is that if she were to stop now, what sort of a mockery would that make of her life so far?

To admit it’s a colossal waste of time would mean a part of her very essence would be cancelled, like a tasteless joke or an unacceptable stance on equal rights.

As one poster said: "My mum once said she doesn't remember the '80s because she spent the entire decade ironing."


And another: "My mum irons sheets. My grandma used to iron undies. I am a generational disappointment."

There are people out there who’ve never ironed a thing. Let’s call them young people. 

Those of us born in the 1970s have had to straddle the great divide and adapt. Just like landlines and encyclopaedias, ironing was something we accepted as a fact of life, only to have the rug pulled out from under us in our 30s. 

Of course, it’s been more than a matter of rebellion. Modern fabrics and tumble dryers have made a giant contribution.

Heck, even linen is supposed to be worn fatigued.

Ironing has fallen by the wayside, along with CDs, smoking and licking stamps.

That’s not to say the comments below this piece won’t be full of contradiction. 

There are people who still iron. There will always be those who think that you’re not properly dressed if your jeans don’t have a crease. But with the spiralling cost of electricity, even they might be starting to reconsider.

Feature Image: Getty.

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