Hanging It Out to Dry

One day, I hope to have a 5 string clothesline, secured to solid poles. I’ll have a bench to set my basket on, and a flat brick patio with corsican mint creeping underneath. Perhaps I’ll even use the poles as a trellis, and have scarlet runner beans or morning glories spiraling up to the sky.

One day…but for now, I have my interim clothesline strung from an eye hook on the back door frame, through the plum tree, and over the blackberries where the other end is tied to the walnut tree. I also have one more line stretching though the blackberries over to the next walnut tree. Not ideal, but it works.

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I just love to line dry my clothes. I get to spend time in the sun and listen to birds, all while doing housework. And after recently seeing the screening of a great documentary, “Drying for Freedom“, I feel honored and a bit rebellious to hang my clothes. Did you know that IT’S AGAINST THE LAW to hang your clothes to dry in many neighborhoods? Not even drape a wet towel over a porch railing! Lots of housing areas and developments won’t allow drying outside, claiming its “unsightly” and “lowers property values”. These types of communities think that hanging your clothes to dry is a sign of poverty. After all, why would you hang your clothes to dry when you can afford the electricity to run your dryer?!?

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Luckily, I don’t live in such a community; not being in an HOA was the first requirement on my “must have” housing list. So as long as its sunny, I’ll hang my clothes to dry. Line drying makes your clothes last longer (every think about what the dryer lint is?), the sun acts as a natural sanitizer, and a bit of wind blows out the wrinkles.

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This webpage has a great list of the best ways to hang different types of items, such as pants from the waistband or full skirts from the hem.

This morning I made a clothespin apron, which makes it easy to grab the pins instead of having them in a bag.

clothespin apron

When I’m not putting up or taking down the clothes, I’ll store it on top of the dryer.

clothes pin apron collage

Do you line dry your clothes? How do you feel about it?

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A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)

A clothesline was a news forecast, to neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always knew 
If company had stopped on by to spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the “fancy” sheets and towels upon the line.
You’d see the “company tablecloth” with intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth, from folks who lived inside
As brand-new infant clothes were hung, so carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could so readily by known;
By watching how the sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown!
It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too haphazardly were strung.
It also said, “Gone on vacation now,” when lines hung limp and bare. 
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon, if wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, and looked the other way…
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life – it was a friendly sign;
When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.

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4 thoughts on “Hanging It Out to Dry

  1. Haha! Awesome post. Great pictures. Very New Wave in front of the clothes line! I’ve begged my wife to hang out laundry, going so far as to put up a line when we first moved in eight years ago. As miserly (wonderfully miserly, that is) as she is with money, she used it once. Sad. I miss the smell of clothes dried on the line. Great post!

    1. Thanks Mike! It did take some extra effort to get out there, but once I got in then hang of it, I felt guilty using the dryer!

  2. I ❤ your apron! Super cute. I do have a birthday coming up in July… Though I hardly pin my clothes, I just drape them on my rack. Some day I'll move to a land of freedom, where I can dry my clothes outside if I want to!
    Your first picture with your fushia, plum, and raspberry colored clothing is beautiful!

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