A few minutes ago I finished ironing 15 shirts. They are all of the button-up variety and an assortment of patterns. This is the fourth time I've ironed 15 shirts in one sitting, and I'm looking forward to the fifth time.
My wardrobe is mostly button-up shirts, neutral colored chinos, sneakers, and the occasional pair of jeans. I like this combo because it's me and the neutral pant colors open up a range of daring shoe colors. As for clothing care: I wash all of my shirts after one use and air dry them; so I need 7 shirts to get through a week. Drying them this way prevents shrinking, but it results in a very wrinkly shirt once air drying is complete. Until recently, I would pick a shirt and pant combo each day and quickly iron the shirt (~ 3-4 minutes). This ironing and outfit choosing would take place after a 60-90 minute work out and a quick shower. As my workout routine became longer (~120 minutes), this 3 minutes went from feeling like not much time to a real hassle. I often picked the least wrinkly shirt and ran my travel size steam machine over it to avoid the process of warming the iron and pulling out the ironing board. I always hated steaming because it didn't look as good as ironing and took only slightly less time for one shirt.
One day earlier this year, I came home late from work, and my wife said she had a surprise for me. She walked me to the closet, and all of my shirts (~30) were ironed. I was shocked because I knew it took a lot of effort, but I was so grateful I thanked her every day for several days after. As the 30 days went by I found it effortless to get ready in the morning and I found myself wearing clothes I wouldn't normally wear because of the ironing effort required. As I got down to two or three remaining shirts, I thought about how I could continue this momentum. I realized 30 shirts were way too much to iron in one sitting, but could I do half that many? One quiet Saturday, my family was gone, and I put on a podcast and started to iron. Once I was done, I realized it wasn't that bad, and now I had 14 days until I had to do it again. I could enjoy my mornings and wear different combinations of clothes.
Outside of the pragmatic reasons, there are some other benefits I get from ironing so many shirts at once like this (I can't say I got this the first time I did it). While ironing, I stand in my bedroom with an ironing board, a spray bottle, and an iron toiling away at my shirts. The rhythm of it all makes my hands go in autopilot. The feeling of autopilot sends my mind elsewhere. I think about blogs I want to write, projects I want to start, projects I want to finish, places I want to go, or even, where I want to be long term. In this mundane but crucial task, I find a great deal of peace every 2 weeks, and I look forward to doing it again.