If you read one of my recent posts about my green goals for summer, you know that I have (overambitiously) vowed to line dry all my clothes this summer. I’ve been working on line drying for a couple of years now, so I have a few of the tricks of the trade figured out. Which isn’t to say that I’m using them consistently–hence the goal.
The first trick is accessibility: Before you get started give some thought to where you are going to dry your clothes and what kind of system you are going to use: How close or far is your chosen spot from your washing machine? Will you string a clothes line? Use drying racks? Will you have a permanent system or one you have to set up and take down each time you use it? The bottom line is that if your line or rack is much harder to use than your dryer you probably won’t use it. And unfortunately many of us live in homes that were designed (or have been redesigned) for dryers but not for line drying. Which isn’t to say it isn’t doable. You just may have to get creative.
For me, outside drying is easy: my laundry area is in my mudroom, a mere 5 steps away from the clothesline strung out my back door, which remains strung all year long. Inside drying is a different story. I use racks when I dry indoors but there isn’t really enough space for them: my mudroom is too narrow and small to adequately accommodate the racks. Which means that we don’t hang our clothes to dry much in the winter.
The second most important trick to successful line drying is planning. I have found that in order to line dry all of my clothes I need to wash and dry a load of laundry almost every day (there are 4 in my family, not counting the dog who thankfully doesn’t wear clothes). Lack of planning and daily washing is currently the biggest barrier to my achieving my laundry goal. If I don’t wash every day we get backed up and inevitably end up relying on our dryer.
Which brings me back to my goal: the warmer months are my best opportunity to establish a solid line drying habit. And who knows, come late fall, it may be so ingrained that I’m inspired to come up with a creative solution to my indoor space constraints…
Do you line dry your clothes? If so, what tricks and techniques have you found to be most helpful? If you don’t, what do you feel are your biggest obstacles?