Monday, August 16, 2010

Hanging Out: A Tribute to My Clothesline

All I wanted for Mother's Day this year was this retractable clothesline. I know, lame. But I couldn't have been happier when my boys gave it to me. I love it!

My mom hung out our clothes on the line growing up. We were the only people I knew who did that. Other than the stiff towels and jeans, I never thought twice about it. But I do remember being completely embarrassed whenever my great aunties from New Zealand visited and their giant panties were flapping in the wind for all the neighbors to see. {We lived on an acre of land and there were no fences to hide the line.}

Having a clothesline in sunny, dry Colorado is even more efficient than in hot, humid Texas where I grew up. Here my clothes dry within an hour or so and our sun is so bright that my cloth diapers have never been whiter.

In fact, cloth diapering is what really motivated me to get a clothesline. After over a year and a half of use, The Noodle's cloth diapers were starting to retain an odor despite all sorts of attempts to get rid of it. The first time I dried them on the line, the smell was totally gone.Another awesome benefit of line drying is the cost savings. We've noticed a considerable reduction in our electricity bill. We've only used the dryer a couple times all summer and what a difference that makes!

I'm sure some people would consider hanging their clothes out to be a time-consuming hassle. I've actually found that I'm more productive and on-top of my laundry chores than before. The kids want to be outside playing in the yard all of the time so it's easy to be out there with them hanging out clothes. And when the clothes are dry, I fold and sort them in the basket as I take them down. I had a tendency to let dry clothes sit in the dryer all day {or longer} waiting for me to fold them and put them away. Now I do it all at once.

The only disadvantages I've found so far are dealing with unexpected rain showers {though that very rarely happens here} and towels so stiff they could stand up on their own. The remedy for the towels is to throw them in the dryer for five minutes once you bring them in. No biggie.
I love the particular clothesline we got too. It's mounted to the side of our house and pulls out to clip onto a tree in our yard. When I'm not using it, I retract it. You wouldn't even know it's there when it's not pulled out. No big poles or lines to look at. It has 5 lines which is great for accommodating several large loads of laundry at a time.

As for pegs, my clever Hubby suggested I make a fanny pack type apron to hold the pegs in.

Please ignore my 9 months pregnant belly in this photo.

I made this one using two placemats I found on clearance at Target. Random but it does the job perfectly and the thicker placemat material makes it really durable. Although the boys initially had been offering to hold my bucket of pegs for me as I hung out the clothes, I'm sure their enthusiasm would have tapered after a few weeks. The dorky fanny pack was just what I needed.

So, do you have a clothesline? What are your thoughts on line drying?

If you want to read up more on the benefits of line drying, check out these articles:

I was not reimbursed for my opinion regarding the Sunline brand of clotheslines. I do not have any connection with the sites referenced above and may not support specific agendas promoted by them. I simply found the line-drying articles there to be helpful and informative.


Dirk & Christina Dunlap said...

My mom hung our laundry out too Em! We have a retractable line here in Singapore and I LOVE it, I never use my dryer!

Lea and Valerie Bailes said...

I was starting to think you might have used my modeling pics for this post :) No such luck! Hehe. This would be fun for me to try maybe when the humidity goes down here in MO town. I tried once and my diapers took 8-9 hours to dry, it has been crazy humid this year!

Samantha said...

We love to line dry! Our clothes don't shrink and they hold their color longer. As far as the stiff towels, somebody shared a secret with me that really works! During the rinse cycle, pour in a little white vinegar. It's unbelievable what a difference it makes! I just have to remember to actually do it! But try it and I bet you'll like it!!

Josh said...

Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

Blog Widget by LinkWithin