Airing Out the Laundry

If you read my June Financial Update post, you know that my husband and I recently installed new clothesline on the 50 year old posts in our back yard!  For the last couple of months, I’ve used the clothesline as our main source of drying clothes and I’ve loved it!

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Why on earth would you go back to a clothesline in the heat of summer when you have a perfectly good dryer you could use instead?!  Believe me, I can imagine the look on your face because my neighbor gives me the same one when she stands in the doorway of her back porch watching me hang my clothes.  Or maybe not, because if you’re reading this post you’re probably at least a little curious about it.  I had my reasons for wanting to do it and my husband obliged.

  1. It’s free!  I wanted to save on our summer electric bill and let’s be honest, the summer Kentucky heat doesn’t cost a dime.  I did have to invest around $20 for the clothesline itself, which you can find here on Amazon! Since installing them, it’s saved us $30 a month on energy costs!
  2. The scent of line dried laundry is what detergent companies have tried to replicate and simply can’t.  My mom used clotheslines when I was little, and I always loved the way my sheets smelled when they’d hung out in the sunshine all day.  Pure. Bliss.

It  felt like I had more motivation than that as to why I wanted to set myself back decades, but there really are a lot of perks to doing it this way.

  • The sun naturally bleaches my whites.  When Ellie was still in cloth diapers, I remembered reading that if any of them got stained, I could line dry them in the sun and it would not only bleach them, but sanitize them.  It prevents our towels from ever smelling mildewed and keeps them all bright white!
  • You can organize your laundry on the line to save time on folding and putting away.  Ellie’s laundry for example: all of her big girl undies are on the same line, pjs, shirts, shorts, outfits, and tiny socks.  It’s a clean sweep through when I’m taking them down to fold them and takes less time to put them away because everything is grouped accordingly.
  • Vitamin D!  I work an office job and I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors because of it.  Let me paint a picture for you:  it’s early in the morning, I’ve just had my coffee and I’m ready to get my day started.  I put on my clothespin apron and head outside with a laundry basket full of clean, wet clothes.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and I have my Jesus music playing on my phone tucked in the apron.  If you have to do housework, would you want to do it any other way?
  • Clothes don’t shrink on the line like they do in a dryer.  I’ve actually had a couple of older t-shirts have new life breathed into them because of line drying.
  • I don’t have a mountain of unfolded laundry on my love seat anymore!  They’re all folded neatly in my basket before I even step through the door with them.
  • Ellie (our toddler) can run around freely in the backyard while I’m doing all of this and I don’t have to worry about her undoing any of my work. Win!
  • Last but certainly not least, if you’ve never experienced freshly shaved legs against line dried sheets, you are not living!

If you plan on trying a clothesline yourself, there are some tips you should take into consideration:
– Hang the heavier items closer to the posts to minimize sagging of the line
– Be mindful of where you place the  clothespins so that you don’t have weird indentations in a noticeable place
– If you dislike the stiffness of your clothes after they’ve been line dried, you can always fluff them for a few minutes in the dryer and it’ll still save on energy costs!
– Invest in a clothespin apron so that your pins aren’t left to weather outside.

Something about doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way really appeals to me.  Anyone else?

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