Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Line Drying for Dummies

A wondering from the EcoWonder...
By dummy, I don't mean you. I mean me. Last year I started rack drying about half of my laundry. That's a lot when you're talking about clothing, bedding and miscellaneous coats and such for six people. We rack dry because we have been having a little struggle with HOAs and township code issues, so permanent fixtures are out. The rack method works well, but when we get backed up on laundry, our high efficiency machines take over.

This spring I have been trying to go from racking drying one-half of my laundry to three-quarters of the clothes and bedding. That said, here comes the dummy part.

Rule #1 - Remember you are outdoors, because that serene quiet Green Bean likened to yoga in her post yesterday? Sometimes you get a little too comfortable quietly shaking and hanging clothing and when a neighbor unexpectedly shouts "Helloooo neighbor, haven't seen you outside in awhile", you might screech like a school girl and jump a little. Or a lot.

Rule #2 - Dogs have NO idea you are drying clothing outside. Really, they have no idea that since the weather is nice, you might just have a rack of damp clothing sitting on the walkway. When you open the side door and a dalmatian bolts past your legs, careens out the door, down the steps and shuttles through the rack dragging your favorite pajama pants down the hill? You can't be mad at him, it's not his fault. He's just happy its warm outside too.

Rule #3 - Pretty undies are much prettier when dried indoors hanging over bathroom hooks. Pretty undies are pretty embarrassing when your neighbor retrieves them from behind his parked car.

Rule #4 - Crunchy towels + sunburn = OUCH.

Rule #5 - Bring your laundry in well before dark. Beautiful butterflies that think it's safe to take a snooze inside your teenage son's favorite t-shirt can make him screech like a school girl too. Actually, it's sort of funny, but not great for the butterflies, so trust me on this one.

Rule #6 - Another reason to bring your laundry in before dark. Darkness + concrete steps + laundry basket = bandaids.

Rule #7 - It's not admitting defeat when you decide to throw slightly damp clothing into the dryer for 15 minutes to finish them up. Just think of the 45 minutes of dryer time you DIDN'T need to use.

Rule #8 - When you live on a lake and you decide that your patio umbrellas make a great place to hang clothing from hangers to dry, remember boaters might find it funny to cruise by and hoot and holler at your bras and pantyhose. Consider saving that space for t-shirts and bathing suits, it's less embarrassing.

Rule #9 - Folded up drying racks sitting by the side door also make great train tracks / race tracks/ bus roads, so remove said vehicles at your own risk. The wrath of a 4-year old that was planning "Ah WACE, Momma, I was havin' Ah WACE!" (read: a race) can be pretty intense. It might even make you consider buying a second rack so the race can go on.

Rule #10 - For some reason drying clothing outdoors does not eliminate "the missing sock syndrome". Now, instead of being certain the dryer ate the sock, we are certain the wind blew it away.

Line / rack dry at your own risk people, it's a jungle out there!

17 comments:

JessTrev said...

Love this! Especially the fact that the socks still get eaten...by the world! And the crunchy towel + sunburn line. I am still in the indoor rack phase myself - with not much space to pull it off, so this is most amusing and helpful inspiration for me!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Is there a conspiracy by the GPB gals to get me to line dry? Huh?

Ulrike said...

A fellow washing line obsessive. Ahhh

JAM said...

I loved this post - especially about not feeling guilty if you have to throw stuff in the dryer to finish it off - I always feel like I ought to rehang indoors but I never want to! I'm frantically waiting for my washer to beep so I can get my load out on the line before I have to leave for an appt - no zen hanging today, that's for sure!

Green Bean said...

Ha! Love this. I told you there was much more to write about line-drying. Much more.

And, Abbie, yes.

Green Resolutions said...

Hilarious!! Esp. all the screeching :)

Theresa said...

How fun!

I am going to ramp up my line drying when Spring finally arrives, and I will be sure to take these things into consideration!

Electronic Goose said...

LMAO!

scifichick said...

This is too funny! We dry indoors, or at least try to do some drying. I have a clothesline above the bathtub. We don't have clothes racks though, mainly because of space constrains. And with 3 cats we'll have fur all over the newly washed clothing in no time. I would like them to stay clean for at least 5 minutes :)

Kelsie said...

Pretty butterflies? I only wish! I was lucky enough to find a hornet in one of my line-dried shirts!!

And as for bringing your laundry in after dark....I have to bring mine in, or it will be stolen (that's right). I don't have a fence (though I long terribly for one) and people use my yard as a personal highway. I fear for my vegetables, too. :/

EcoLabel Fundraising said...

#10 was my favorite. This seems to be a constant struggle for me. I just wear them mismatched - what else can I do...

Brenna said...

That was too funny! We're still in the rainy, rainy season here so no outside line drying for us! I can just picture the crunchy towel on the sunburn and the teenage boy vs. the butterfly. :)

Anita Kaiser said...

I miss my line rack alot - the process of taking the l;aundry from the dryer to the porch and then hanging each piece is something that I find so soothing! I really must convince the hubby that we can save megga bucks and therefore he must install one at the new house! First time here at your blog and I will be back for sure! Came via the twitter! Cheers!

greeen sheeep said...

Loved this!

I have to add...
Rule #11 - For those line drying near the woods, check for ticks! Apparently beautiful butterflies are not the only things that like to hide in line dried laundry. I found this out the hard way after a trip to the hospital to get a wood-tick head removed from my side. It had stowed away in my PJs and then found a much warmer place to reside while I was innocently slumbering. Left a scar as a nice reminder. ICK!

Lisa Sharp said...

I just don't know what to do about allergens. Oklahoma seems to always have high allergy counts and hubby and I both have bad allergies...

Chile said...

LOL! Too funny. I'm still using a cheap $2 retractable twine clothesline I picked up at a thrift store a couple of years ago. The plastic case rotted away but my sweetie made a new wood one for it. I always hang the undies on the inside two lines so neighbors can't peer over the wall and see how many holes are in them.

Mary Q Contrarie said...

What a fun post. I dry all my laundry for the last couple years on a clothes drying rack. Saves me money and my kids have found all sorts of uses for it to. Making a playhouse under a sheet is one of their favorites.

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