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On laundry and other musings

There are many reasons to line dry laundry and saving money is only one of them. Learn how line drying clothes can actually simplify your life. I have a confession to make….I’ve not been line drying our clothes lately. There are so many reason why, but they all boil down to this spring I let my life spiral a bit out of control and I’ve just been surviving. I mentioned a little bit in my potato dilemma post about how I’m struggling to learn to live long term in this house.

Little by little over the summer I went through every room (except my children’s because they are big and can do that themselves) and spent time organizing and getting rid of stuff. That whole journey is a really different post that may or may not get written but one thing I have learned about myself through this process is that stuff and clutter can make life feel more chaotic than it really is. Which makes me feel like I have less time.

Throwing our clothes in the drier instead of hanging them, represents a state of chaos in our home for me. For me, to feel like I don’t have 10 minutes to go outside and hang a load of clothes means that I’ve bought into the “not enough time” myth. {Please know that I don’t think this is true of everyone, just me.} Because I can easily find 10 minutes to schedule a few posts to our facebook page, or pin a few things to our Pinterest boards, so why can’t I find 10 minutes to hang a load of laundry? If I do have time to do all the things that are important to me, and I’m not doing this, then maybe hanging laundry isn’t really important to me like it used to be? These are the kinds of things I’ve been contemplating these past few weeks.

This is certainly a First World problem, and quite honestly, might only be an American problem as most of the world does not use dryers. As I’ve contemplated this issue, I’ve come to realize that I think hanging our clothes is important for our family and there are several reasons why.

There are many reasons to line dry laundry and saving money is only one of them. Learn how line drying clothes can actually simplify your life.

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1. It saves energy. We have an electric dryer (just a plain Jane, non-computerized dryer) and according to this calculator it costs us about $330 a year to run it. OUCH! That’s enough to fly Josiah to New York and back. That is groceries for 4 weeks or our meat and dairy orders for 2 months. That is two months of our winter electric bills. That is a lot of money! There are 6 of us and we do about 12 loads of laundry a week, that’s clothes, towels, sheets, etc, obviously if there were fewer of us, the savings wouldn’t be as great. 

2. It’s easier on the clothes. You know all that lint in the lint trap? It’s fibers from your clothes. The heat and tumbling weakens the fibers, they break and get trapped in the lint trap. You know  those little balls of lint that attached to your cotton shirts? It’s called pilling and it doesn’t really happen when you line dry your clothes. Not only will our clothes last longer, I don’t have to spend time “shaving” our shirts.

3. I do less laundry when I line dry laundry. When I’m line drying clothes I’m pickier about only washing things that actually need to be washed. When I’m just throwing things into the washer and then the drier, I’m not as picky and things get thrown in that don’t really need to be washed. This also contributes to our clothes wearing out sooner. 


4. I can find stains before they get baked into the clothes when I line dry. Sometimes I miss treating a stain before washing a garment. I will usually catch it when I hang our clothes. But when I’m tossing everything into the dryer I don’t catch it until I’m folding clothes. Stains are way harder to get out after they’ve been heat set into the clothes.

5. We use less chemicals. When we line dry our clothes, there is no need for dryer sheets since there is not static in the clothes and the line dried smell is wonderful. Also, the sun will bleach out the whites to I don’t need to regularly whiten them. I try to hang our whites in the heat of the day and our colored clothes either in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the bleaching affect.

6. It’s therapeutic. Honestly, this is THE reason that hanging clothes is important to me. It’s hot here; we have our curtains drawn and shades down trying to keep our home cool during the summer. I can easily find myself at the end of the day having not gone outside all day. And I really need to go outside and see the sun each day for my emotional well being. 

There are many reasons to line dry laundry and saving money is only one of them. Learn how line drying clothes can actually simplify your life.

This spring we had a LOT of rain and I think that helped me get out of the habit of hanging our clothes. So, I was really happy when Ohuhu sent me a Heavy Duty Gullwing Drying Rack. Carl’s mom and I had been talking about getting one on a recent trip to her home and how convenient it would be to use when we got back from the beach. When we came home from our trip, a box was on our porch and inside was this drying rack. Now, I can line dry laundry even when it’s rainy outside.

Since then I’ve used it in our garage to dry mine and Phoebe’s cotton shirts, delicates and the girls’ dance stuff. I’m really liking it. It’s stainless steel so it won’t rust or mildew. It folds up and is only a few inches wide, which means I can slip it in between the dryer and the wall for storing. The arms can be adjusted for flat drying or hanging clothes. We can also take it when we go visit Carl’s parents and are going to the beach. I do wish it were a little wider (it’s only 18″ wide) to hang beach towels or large bath towels without folding them, maybe they will make one in the future that is wider.

It measures about 50″ across when fully set up, so it’s not something I would leave up all the time as I don’t have a permanent space for it, but its super easy to set up and then take down when we’re done with it. I don’t do laundry every day so I wouldn’t need it up all the time.

{In case you missed it, I received the drying rack free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are mine.}There are many reasons to line dry laundry and saving money is only one of them. Learn how line drying clothes can actually simplify your life.

So tell me, do you line dry your laundry? Have any tips you want to share? 

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Tuesday 8th of September 2015

I've been in a similar rut, and have increasingly felt guilty about using our dryer....with every load. So true that I also find the time for less important things to do. Feeling pressed for time and avoiding dealing with some of the cluttered parts of life ends up meaning that I use the dryer and the microwave. Refocussing on the things that are more important to me and my family (as far as laundry is concerned) after this enlightening post. Sadly, some of our brightest clothes have faded drastically in a short amount of time this summer. That doesn't tend to happen so quickly when I line dry.

Angi Schneider

Thursday 10th of September 2015

Isn't it interesting that many things we do when we feel stressed that actually make it worse instead of better? I've been really contemplating how do I make my home a place of peace and relaxation even when we're super busy.


Monday 7th of September 2015

I put everything into the dryer for 5 minutes to get the wrinkles out. Then I either hang on hangers or on the drying racks I own. They are wooden and I love them. This is the way I learned to do laundry from my mom and we also hung our clothes outside in the summer. Winter in the basement on many lines....( In Michigan).

Angi Schneider

Thursday 10th of September 2015

I love the idea of using the dryer to get the wrinkles out. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm a total self taught laundress, so I love hearing how people who were taught by their moms or grandmas do things.


Monday 7th of September 2015

I line dry most of my clothes most of the time. I have a gas dryer which is really quite efficient and there is only me in the household but I still line dry. Now technically it is illegal in my subdivision but I use a drying rack on my deck and don't do laundry on weekends. No one has complained. :-). Sheets smell SO good when dried in the sunshine. And yes it is therapeutic to hang clothes. Downside - a little more ironing.

Angi Schneider

Thursday 10th of September 2015

Love how you get around the legalities of it all! And yeah, the sheet so smell so very good when they've been dried outside.

Nancy @ Little Homestead in Boise

Monday 7th of September 2015

Great ideas, sadly with our allergies we can't do it here. Wet clothes are like a pollen magnet :(

Angi Schneider

Monday 7th of September 2015

What a bummer! We don't have seasonal allergies but have friends who do and they can't hang their clothes either.