Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My clothesline

And now for my long-awaited clothesline post! 

Here it is, in all its glory, my beloved clothesline. This summer, I have managed to discipline myself enough to use my clothesline full time. I only use my dryer to dry diaper inserts and to fluff my towels before taking them to the line. My electric bill is $30 lower this month than the same month last year, so I think my diligence is paying off. 

I love hanging clothes out on the line. I love the way they smell, I love being out in the fresh air, I love saving money! I wish I had more outside clothesline space, but I have a postage-stamp for a backyard, so this little line will have to do. Why don't you have a clothesline? Let me guess... you don't like that it makes your clothes "crunchy," you do too much laundry, you have no space outside, and you don't have the time, right? Ha! Wrong! Read on, spendthrift!

The clothesline makes my clothes too crunchy and stiff
There a few ways around this. Shake your clothes *vigorously* before you put them on the line, and hang on a windy day. Take them down as soon as they're dry, if it's not a humid day. Honestly, the stiffness is something you don't even notice after about a week. The one exception is towels - for towels, I fluff them in the dryer for 10 minutes, then they go on the line to finish. They come out just fine. You may have to experiment a bit to see what works best for you. I actually prefer line-dried jeans. 

I do too much laundry to line-dry
Puh-leez! I have four children. Four, SMALL, children. (read: I wash lots of clothes.)  I can dry four loads a day on my little line. And if I run out of space, then I just use hangers and hang clothes from the tree! 

I have no space outside
Then put a line or two inside. You don't hang out in every room of your house all day, right? How often do you hang out in your bedroom during the day? Put a retractible line in there! I have three lines in my basement for rainy days and winter. (Having a winter line helps humidify the dry indoor air, too. Bonus!) 

I don't have time to hang up laundry
Did I mention I have four small children? Having a line means that I don't have to be a slave to the dryer. You know how it goes: you're knee-deep in some task that can't be interrupted when the darn dryer buzzer goes off. You know that if you don't get to that laundry soon, it's going to be a wrinkled mess. No such problems with the clothesline. It can hang there, dry, all day. Who cares? I'm not listening for the dryer all day. Freeeeeeedooooommmm!!! 

There are, of course, other benefits to having a clothesline. A lower electric bill, from not running the dryer. (Not to mention the dryer isn't generating heat, counteracting the a/c.) It's easier on your clothes, since the heat of the dryer destroys fibers. Less garbage - I don't have to empty the lint trap on my clothesline! And my favorite - it's so much better for the environment! I really, truly like hanging clothes out on the line. It gives me time to think, to pray. It gets me outside, which makes me slow down, and it reminds me to get the boys outside to play. Hanging the clothes creates order. And it looks pretty. It's one of my very favorite things. 

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