Hung out to dry

Clothesline in action

Clothesline in action

While we may be looking a bit countrified, a bit Ma and Pa Kettle in this photo, it actually shows that we’ve made some real progress. If you look past the dormant lawn/weeds that have turned into exposed dirt thanks to the regrading needed for the greenhouse, if you look past the broken, “decorative” windmill, and if you look past the pile of construction debris, you’ll see that we now have a real, working clothesline and that it is actually in use. In fact, I used it to dry three of our five loads of laundry this weekend. Hopefully, this will bring down our weekend energy spikes. With such warm weather, the clothes dried very quickly.  And I’ve found that I can get rid of that crunchy clothesline feeling if I throw them in the dryer for five minutes for fluffing. The nice, dried-outside smell remained.

Weather in our area can be quite changeable.  In fact, after our hot weather today, we had a light rain this evening.  This got me thinking about how we could get the benefit of a clothesline even after the weather turns wet again. has some interesting indoor hanging racks that I’ve looked at, but we don’t have a lot of space in our laundry room.  And I don’t really like the idea of setting up a drying rack in our everyday living space, so a big inside-the-house drying rack system isn’t my first choice.  Thinking about different options, it occurred to me that the greenhouse could also be a good place to put a drying rack.  The greenhouse is covered, so no rain, and it is hot (and will be warm even during winter months).  There will be good air circulation from the fan system. And it’s big — certainly big enough for a drying rack, maybe something like this from Ikea (note: Ikea has a number of different drying rack options and they are all less expensive than what you would find on UrbanClotheslines). Once the weather turns wet, I’ll give this a try.  Again, even if I dry just a few loads a week this way, it will help bring our electricity usage down.

Speaking of our electricity usage, I received our latest utility bill.  We actually used a bit more electricity in the last month than we did the previous month — this, after installing about a gazillion new compact fluorescent bulbs.  I was really surprised our usage went up and will be using the tools on the Puget Sound Energy site this week to figure out what happened.  I do have a theory related to the greenhouse build and all the power tools that were drawing electricity . . . .

More on the greenhouse soon. It’s really truly 95% done and should, crossing our fingers, be complete early this week.


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5 Responses to Hung out to dry

  1. Jessica Graybill says:

    Coincidentally, I read this on ParentHacks today and it seems like the kind of tip that might be right up your alley!
    I have a 4 year old daughter who LOVES to try all of her clean clothes on… EVERY DAY! To minimize the mess I have begun rolling her clothes and using ponytail holders to keep them together. This way, even as she rummages through her drawers, the clothes stay together.

    Also, we have a special basket in her room for clothes that have been ‘tried on’ but are not dirty. The combination of these two have cut my laundry almost in half!

  2. 10yearchallenge says:

    Thanks Jessica! I love the clean basket idea and will give it a try.


  3. P~ says:

    Good looking clothes line. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
    Thanks for the link, I’ll be checking back with you. Good luck on your journey.

  4. Nancy says:

    I’m a wimp…I give the clothes line a pass…*; ) We do use the compact fluorescent bulbs though…also because I’m a wimp and they don’t have to be changed much…so far in three years…never.

  5. sinfonian2 says:

    Love your clothes line, and I’m so jealous of your chickens, it’s cool! Thanks for sharing.

    Anyway, I had to post on the drying rack idea. If you’ve got a laundry room, even a small one, and don’t care how it looks, you can do what we did. Here is a link to our tiny laundry room drying rack. We line-dry (inside) all our shirts and a good amount of the rest. And until recently, we saved money with a natural gas dryer, but those rates are going through the roof if PSE goes private.

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