My Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Clothesline
As a child, I have fond memories of running between the lines of clothes drying on my Grandmothers clothesline. She was a homemaker and lived on a busy street, so we often were confined to the side yard while my mother visited with her in the kitchen that overlooked the yard. To this day when I drive past the place where her house once stood, I still have vivid memories of her clothes poles and playing hide-n-seek between her sheets.
As I got older wash day became a chore, and my memories switch to a wringer washer and clothes baskets full of wet clothes waiting to be hung. I remember thinking how badly I wished my parents would buy one of those fancy automatic washer and dryers like I saw at my friend’s house. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that my mother finally got a shiny new washing machine.
It amazes me how sixty years ago it wasn’t uncommon to see clothes line-drying in every backyard, but since 1940 when clothes dryers became available that nostalgia symbol has slowly died. Today many subdivisions and communities prohibit the use of clotheslines. The organization Laundry List is lobbying for the “Right to Dry” with the hope that no matter where you live you can line dry your clothes if you choose. Those of us that are able to use clotheslines are opting to conserve energy by bringing this old-fashion household chore back outside.
As the old-fashioned clothesline revolution makes a comeback, people are now connecting that household chore to simpler times. I look forward to the few minutes I get to connect with nature and breathe in the smell of freshly laundered clothes while taking in the sounds of the nature around me. I look at line drying as my way of helping the environment while it keeps me connected to a simpler way of life.
I’ve been line drying clothes for years, and have gone through many different styles of clothespins. From plastic to peg, to cheaply made China pins, and no matter which ones I bought, I never could find any heavy duty clothespins that would hold up to the wind we get here on the farm. My clothes would always end up on the ground. Since I was introduced to these hand-made heavy duty clothes pins I don’t have to worry about anything ending up on the ground!
I was surprised to read that most households clothes dryers account for 5% of their energy cost and if they’d switch to line drying clothes and washing in cold water the savings could be remarkable. Do you want to see how much you can save by line drying your clothes? Check out laundrylist.org. I’m saving almost $500 a year by line drying and washing in cold water.
How much can you save?
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