Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clothesline Talk

Some of my favorite memories of my childhood are of going to my grandmothers. My mother and grandmother would hang their clothes on the line and I loved watching the clothes sway back in forth in the wind. Years went by and one day I decided to put up my own line to hang our clothing on. Problem was it was a rental and had no back yard. But we had a back porch covering with post and to me it was a challenge. I installed a line with screw eye holes and wire I found in my husband's garage. Little did I know it was speaker wire that was super expensive...oops! Sorry honey! My line was about 4 ft wide only but I put it to good use. I was able to dry lots of clothing outside. It really did not save us much money but I was so happy. I have been improving my lines ever since.
Now that I own my own home, I take advantage of all the outside space I can. I simply bought some clothing line from my local Dollar Store and scrounged up some nails from our garage. Luckily there were some screw eye's already attached to the side of my home (were holding tree's up with string I think) so I simply attached the clothesline to it. I hammered a nail on my fence and then bent it so I could hook the clothesline on it. Then I measured how much I needed and cut the string. I then tied a knot at the end of my string and made a loop. This made it easy for me to hang up my line and hide it when it was not in use. I did this in 3 area's of my back yard.  I found 3 area's where the wind was strongest or the sun was all day.
I also own 2 drying racks that I keep inside my home. My girls are in soccer and most of their clothes are made of polyester(uurrr) so they can be laid flat to dry.  Shin guards cannot be put in the dryer so they are put on as well. My laundry room is very small and I cannot put the racks in there due to the back door also being located in there. My husband really doesn't like the look of them so I only use them at night when we sleep.  One rack I purchased at Target years ago when they were selling items for dorm rooms. Its  a combination of wood and paper rolls wrapped with plastic. I think I paid maybe $5 for it. The other I just purchased at Costco for $21 and its my favorite. It's metal, folds up super slim which makes it easy for me to put in between my washer and dryer, and folds out to hold everything from shoe's to sweaters. They still have them so go look for them!

Now anytime its not raining, my clothes are outside on the line. Not only am I saving money on our energy bill but also cutting back on wear and tear on our clothing. The dryer is so hard on our clothing and that is why you see so much lint in the lint catcher. Also my whites are so much whiter when I line dry them.

Up for this challenge? Get crafty and find a way to line dry your clothing. While your at it, stop using dryer sheets or liquid softeners.  They are basically just chemicals and actually cause your static electricity. Plus the chemicals build up on your clothing causing dirt to stick to your clothing more making your garments dingy.  I found dryer balls at my local Rite Aid dollar section for $3. They work amazing and my clothes dry super fast and have no static electricity anymore. Here are some alternatives for you.
Amazon has them for as low as $4.99
Baby's R Us has them for $14.99 if you want to skip shipping cost.
Target  has them for $12.99 online. Call to see if your local store has them in their store.

Dont want to buy them? Want to try your hand at making them? Try these out!
Make your own wool dryer balls and Goodmama shows you how.
I hear you can use tennis balls but have yet to test it. I think that the rubber would make my clothes smell, dont you? Something worth trying.

Have in convinced you to try this out?   Here are a few online vendors that sell drying racks, clotheslines and accessories:
Vermont Country Store
Breeze Dryer
Urban Clotheslines


The NEW Mommiez Blend said...

I use tennis balls and my clothes don't smell rubbery. I do not use fabric softener or scented/colored detergents either. I do have some eco friendly softener and dryer sheets, but rarely use them. I was outside hanging out my laundry with my winter coat on today lol. It couldn't have been more than 35 degrees. I even hang towels out and then just get rid of the crunch by popping them in the dryer for a couple of minutes. I heart line drying. I also own the little drying racks too. :) Have you checked out Project Laundry List? I'd say stop on by my blog and say hi, but it's having issues right now and isn't up and running.

Nick said...

Nice article! Getting stuff set up to air dry clothes can be a challenge at time. A clothesline does need to handle quite a bit of weight.

Here is another drying rack source to add to your list: Best Clothes Drying Rack