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How to Make Using a Clothesline Easier

I love using my clothesline to dry my laundry. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly works for me. I dry as much laundry as possible on there, at least part of the way. It’s hard to say how much energy I’m saving, but it’s probably pretty significant.

These are some of the things that make it easier for me:

1. State of Mind

It would be harder to use my clothesline if I really hated it. That’s pretty much obvious, I’d say.

A part of what I do is look at it as a chance to get a bit of exercise, which can otherwise be hard to get with 3 young children in the house. There’s a lot of lifting, and holding wet laundry to the line to clip it, then repeating over and over certainly gives the arms a bit of a workout. It’s not as much fun as lifting my baby of course.

2. Know How Long to Leave Clothes on the Line

My husband hates the feel of towels and jeans dried completely on the line. I do too. But what he doesn’t realize is that I dry all laundry at least part of the way on the line when the weather is nice. Jeans, towels and anything else that will feel kind of crunchy after I take down before they’re dry and toss into the dryer. Just doing the last little bit of drying by machine takes the crunch out.

3. Recognize the Benefits

I love knowing that I’m saving money drying my laundry this way. I also enjoy seeing how much better white items look after drying in the sun. It’s most obvious with my baby’s cloth diaper inserts, which often still have some yellow to them after washing. By the time they’re dried by the sun, the yellow is gone. The dryer can’t do that.

4. Have Enough Clothesline Available

I still need my husband to hang a second line for me. I may end up doing it myself if he doesn’t get to it soon. It’s not that hard, but I’d need a time when the baby doesn’t need me. On the plus side, it would do my son good to see that Mommy can do that kind of work too. Same for my older daughter, but I think I would probably try it while she was at school. Just the time of day I’m most likely to do these things.

Not having enough space for more than a load at the time makes using a clothesline harder on days that aren’t hot enough to dry everything quickly. That especially goes for if I’m doing general laundry and cloth diapers on the same day. Those inserts can take forever to dry! They are absorbent, after all.

5. Plenty of Clothespins

You can save on clothespins and clothesline space if you clip two pieces of clothes together, side by side, but that only goes so far. Running out of clothespins just before you run out of laundry in a load can be quite frustrating.

6. Hat and Sunglasses

One of my peeves with a clothesline is looking into the sun as I try to hang the clothes. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can really help. I don’t feel so blinded.

What tips do you have for drying clothes on a clothesline?

5 Responses to How to Make Using a Clothesline Easier

  1. If you have an empty plastic gallon jug sitting around, mine are usually vinegar jugs, you can make a nice clothespin caddy. Cut a one inch section out of the bottom end of the handle and a hole out of the top front large enough to easily get your hand in and out of. Then put the clothespins inside and hook the handle over the clothesline. You can slide your clothespin caddy down the line as you move along.

    I don’t have a clothesline at the moment, since we just moved into our house, but I we used to dry our clothes outside all the time when I was a kid. They always smelled so nice! I’m looking forward to having that again. Another plus to the clothesline, if you can’t fold the clothes immediately when the dryer gets done, they get wrinkled, but if you forget them on the clothesline for a bit longer, they are just fine.

    Diana

  2. That’s a great idea, thanks! Vinegar jugs I certainly have. I’ve mostly been leaving them on the line, which has its good and bad points. Being outside all the time does get them pretty weathered.

  3. I love my clothesline and yes running out of clothespins just before you finish is annoying. The only time I use 2 clothespins on something are the towels because the wind has a tendency to pull them off the line on really windy days.

  4. I don’t have a clothesline now but my mom & I were talking about our fond memories of hanging out the clothes. Mom mentioned something I hadn’t remembered….wooden props. When laundry was hung on a long line they would use long boards with a notch cut in one end to hold up the line at intervals keeping cloths up higher.

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