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Just Hanging Out: Classic Laundry Management

Posted By Jessica Fisher On October 24, 2008 @ 2:06 pm In Budget Living,Going Green,Home Management,Homekeeping,Laundry | 17 Comments

When we moved from Kansas to California late last month, we were without a clothes dryer for several weeks. It’s a long, boring story why that is. But, the point is that while I could clean clothes, I couldn’t dry them with the push of a button. Not a good thing when you have up to ten loads of laundry a week.

Some folks would probably head to the laundromat once a week. But, people, I’m not hauling six kids and ten loads of laundry anywhere.

Since I’m a 1-2 loads/day kind of girl, I really did not want to let things pile up, either. So, in order to roll with the punches, I went back to my roots. I did my laundry – at least the drying part of it — the way my grandmothers did it. I hung it out on a clothes line.


(That’s the view from my back door. Cool, eh? Love the palm trees.)

Anyway, laundry on the line proved to be a challenge, initially. But, I did some internet research and learned quite a few things.

  1. Up to 10% of a home’s energy use is due to the clothes dryer. Reducing the usage (or not having it at all) was saving me a few bucks.
  2. Line drying is a very savvy, green thing to do. You’re cool if you dry your clothes this way.

So, to dry your clothes on the line can make you cool and richer. Who knew?

I also found some tips to make line drying easier:

  • wash the load at night or first thing in the morning so that it has enough daytime to dry. Clothes take longer to dry in cool weather.
  • shake out each article of clothing to help eliminate the wrinkles.
  • hang tshirts and socks upside down so that the marks from the clothes pins aren’t as noticeable.
  • hang shirts on hangers on the line. Takes just a few seconds to slip them on and makes collecting the dried clothes a snap. Putting them away is even easier.
  • sheets dry really quickly. Just fold them in half and then fold them over the line.
  • hang jeans by folding them over the line. Flip them halfway through to dry the other side.
  • don’t leave clothes out after dark as they can attract insects, such as bees and moths. (Ask me how I know.)
  • check the weather so you don’t have to rush out in a downpour, collect your clothes, and rewash them. (Ask me how I know.)

While we are back to having a running dryer, I have still left the clothes line up. Once I get over my bee/moth phobia, me and my clothes pins will be back in business.

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