From Dan Harding on June 29, 2009 in Tools and Tips
My family knows that nine times out of 10 when they see me whiz by on the stairs I’m on my way to wash, dry, or fold a load of laundry - sometimes all three. It’s the never-ending, always thankless chore, especially for parents.
Little by little, I’ve been setting my dryer to fewer minutes per load or reducing the temperature to save energy, but the fact is that I could probably do without the dryer completely if I just had a clothesline outside. To be fair, I actually DO have a clothesline, but it’s neatly coiled in its packaging, having never been opened since my husband bought it for me a year ago. Guess he thought I’d be so thrilled to have it that I would figure out how (and where) to install it. He thought wrong.
I guess my holdback is that I don’t really want a big line permanently strung from one point in my yard to another out in plain sight and putting it between two trees in the wooded part of our property kind of defeats the purpose of hanging your clothes in the sun.
A little research, though, and there are some great ideas floating around out there for putting up laundry lines in a more creative way.
One woman figured out that the baby gate she no longer needed but never parted with made an excellent hanging rack. She secured it to the roof over her deck with a couple of bungee cords so that it hung flat overhead. When she has a load of laundry to dry, she puts the items on hangers and hooks the hangers onto the grid of the gate. What I love about this is that when there’s no laundry on the line, you can easily take the entire system down in seconds flat.
Another clever mom used the support beams holding up her deck to hold up her laundry line. She screwed some cleats into the beams and tied the lines to them and now hangs her laundry on the lines hanging under her deck. Luckily her deck is high enough off the ground that the underside still gets plenty of sun during the day.
Both of these solutions are very creative but they also solve another laundry line problem—bad weather days. By having the lines hung under the deck or under the roof, you can still hang clothes out to dry when it rains - it may still take a little longer than normal, but at least your load won’t be getting wetter instead of dryer.
Lastly, just a thought on my part and this is a win/win for both mom and dad. Get dad to buy a netted hammock and have him find a nice partially sunny/partially shady place to hang it (encourage him to hang it a little higher than normal). Then when he’s not using it, you can hook hangers of wet laundry to the under side of the netting.