Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DOES ANYONE LINE DRY THEIR CLOTHES ANYMORE??


Since I can remember, my mother would dry our clothes on the line. Even during the winter she'd hang them out on the porch and once they froze over she'd bring them in to thaw so we'd be able to wear them the next day.

We weren't fortunate enough to have a dryer in the 70's and 80's so hanging our clothes on the line was natural. My mother would remind us that it wasn't only great for the clothes (the warm sun bleaching our white shirts or the fresh scent of the fabric that came from a gentle breeze), it was also great for our home during the long winter. Anyone who lives in the midwest knows how drying the winter months can be. If you aren't continuously hydrating yourself you end up with parched lips and alligator skin. Wet clothing hanging in the house brings moisture into the air. Who needs a humidifier when your pants are hanging in the kitchen.

Well now more than ever, hanging clothing on the line is a must. Aside from the benefits to the home and to your clothing it is also beneficial to your pocket book. With global warming among us and the cost of gas going up, think of all the $$ a person can save not using the dryer but instead hanging the clothes outside. Here is my list of why clothes should be hung outside:

1. Exercise. You move your body more when you pile up the wet laundry, carry it out to the line, then hang & clip - hang & clip. Go back out to the line, unclip and fold - unclip and fold.

2. Save $$. You use less energy and save more money when you say bye bye to the dryer.

3. Avoid chemicals. You don't need to use bleach in your wash if your hanging whites on the line. For anyone who hasn't tried this, trust me. The sun is definitely a natural bleach.

The problem is... numerous communities around the nation have made it illegal to hang clothes on the line. The last city I lived in forbid having the T crossed clothes line,(their way of getting people to stop hanging clothes outside) so I compromised. I purchased a clothes line and tied one end to our fence and the other to a tree. Hey, it worked like a charm. Besides, our fence was high enough that our neighbors couldn't see to complain about it. Unfortunately, without the privacy fence you won't be able to get away with making your own line. Trust me, I live in "that" neighborhood now. So what's a girl to do? I hang mine in a closet dedicated to wet laundry. It works ok to save energy but the clothes don't smell that great and my whites aren't getting any whiter. Soooooo, I've decided to write to our city and find out EXACTLY what are the laws regarding hanging clothes outside. My neighbors turn their noses up at it but does that mean it is illegal?

If your in a community that frowns at hanging your clothes outside to dry, first and foremost, call your city to find out for sure so when your neighbors come a nocking you can tell them the facts. If it turns out it is illegal in your neck of the woods then join PROJECT LAUNDRY LIST and fight for your rights. You can also sign the RIGHT TO DRY petition going to President Obama urging him to have a clothes line on the White House lawn so the nation as a whole gets the idea that hanging clothes out to dry is a good thing!

11 comments:

Sherrie said...

AMEN! Line drying clothes is one of my favourite pastimes, and I'm not kidding. I think I might wither up and die without my line. :)

Anonymous said...

Illegal to hang clothes outside?? Wow. :(

We had 2 clothes lines going because it's so great to hang clothes out (although I have to watch out for bird poop). They both broke (strong winds, heavy bed sheets...bad combination), so now I have to buy some new ones. It's been too cold to hang anything out yet, but I have drying racks indoors too.

Hope you'll get to have your clothesline!!

Suds to Love said...

I wish that I could hang dry my clothes, but unfortunately, allergies are my problem not clothes line restrictions.

cindy said...

We can't have the T line for drying clothes, but we can have the umbrella type. Unfortunately we live on the flight path of every goose and duck within 100 miles of Clear Lake. I still like to dry my clothes that way though and try to do it in the middle of the day so the birds are where they want to be.

Mandi said...

I really appreciate this post. My husband and I recently bought our first home and I've been planning to put up a clothes line (thankfully we have a privacy fence so no one should complain). I think the idea to have a clothesline on the white house lawn is FANTASTIC. There's something nostalgic, wonderful, and beautiful about seeing a neighborhood with everyone's clothes out on the lines -- it's sad some people think that's "unsightly"

dongdong said...

I don't hang my clothes outside (no clothes line) but I like to put my sheets/comforter set out on my deck under the sun. You know, in China, people do it all the time, but it's an eye sore when people hang their underwear.

Anyway, I love to the natural way of doing it. Just not sure if I could do them all. :) I love your pictures. Reminds me of the old days. Nostalgic.

Amy W said...

I grew up with my mom hanging all our clothes outside. Of course, that was one of my chores when I became tall enough. :) The only thing I HATED, was having stiff towels.

Mary Q Contrarie said...

For those with alergies and bird dropping problems there is a solution. We use a clothes drying rack that we can simply move around the house.

Michelle said...

Thank you for the link Marie. I like the clothes drying rack. Nice and compact.

Natalie said...

wow ...
of course, I line dry any day the weather allows it. I just prefer it. Especially sheets and blankets!! mmmmmmm
They smell so good to snuggle into!

Carrie Garvin said...

I'm a clothes hanger! I love to put clothes on a line at our beach house.

Crazy when I hear communities don't allow it---bah!