I love it when "old fashioned" things become hip again. The clothesline is definitely on it's way back and I'm gettin' down with it. I grew up watching my mom (and eventually helping her) hang laundry on our clothesline in the backyard. In fact, she gives her clothesline credit for her dryer to last for 20+ years. Talk about a worthwhile investment!
When we moved into our new place, I saw the perfect opportunity between two trees and starting gathering my supplies. I picked up 100 feet of clothesline for $8 and 150 clothespins for $6. I have enough line leftover to put one up in the basement for the winter & rainy days, as well.
To supplement the clothesline, I bought a drying rack from Ikea. It holds all of our underwear, socks & smaller items like my tank tops. It also prevents the neighbors from having to look at our unmentionables. Scandalous! Not that we have anything to be ashamed of, but you know, modesty never hurt anyone.
Since the average family spends $200 per year to run their dryer, I've already saved $166 in the first year (if I never use my dryer). I'm sure there will be days when it's pouring rain and I need to dry something quickly, but I'm really trying to avoid it and use mother nature's natural dryer as much as possible... the good old, trusty sun.
Some other sweet advantages to using a clotheslines are:
- More time spent outside, less time spent in my basement
- Everything gets that fresh, outdoorsy smell that could never be replicated by a dryer sheet
- You rarely have to even buy dryer sheets
- Dryers wreck clothes. The proof is in your lint trap.
- No more shrinking your husband's favorite t-shirt... my bad, Tim!
- The sun naturally bleaches out stains
- Exercise (bend & hang, bend & hang)
- You're being green (if you care) by using less electricity
Downsides of/Misconceptions about line drying:
It takes longer
If it's a cloudy day, it might take longer. That's just a sacrafice you'll have to make. Go out and run some errands... no one's going to steal your bath towels. If the sun is out and there is a breeze going, it's just as quick as a dryer.
Bugs in your clothes
This hasn't happened to me yet. I give everything a good shake before I toss it in the laundry basket.
What will the neighbors think?
Seriously? If you care what they think of your laundry routine, your priorities are out of whack. If they have the balls to complain, tell them they should be ashamed for wasting our earth's precious resources and polluting. You're trying to create a cleaner world for your children. No one can argue with that. Then "accidentally" let your purple bra be swept into their yard by the wind. Ha!
My homeowners association won't allow it
That's a legitmate problem, but not a dealbreaker. You could always get a group of clothesline-loving friends together to petition them with the same information you gave your snotty neighbor. It's green, it's lowering your carbon footprint, don't you want our community to be progressive? If they still don't budge, you can always hang one inside or use a drying rack on your deck or patio. Hopefully the gestapo don't have hidden cameras in your basement. That would just be creepy.