When You Fall Off The Wagon

by Katy on October 9, 2015 · 8 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

The Clothes Line by Helen Allingham

I am mostly a consistent and self-disciplined person. I’ve been with my husband since 1987 and in the same job since 1995. I have been doing The Compact (buy nothing new) since 2007 and hanging my clothes on a clothesline for over two years.

However, I’m far from perfect.

For example, my younger son leaves for a week long outdoor school tomorrow afternoon and the only way I could coordinate getting all his clothes clean, labeled and packed up in time was to crank up the ol’ electric dryer. I had worked the past two days, plus there was a torrential rain storm yesterday. This narrowed my clothesline option to an indoor line that requires a good two day’s time, and can only be properly used during daylight hours. (The room is unfinished and has no lighting.)

So Katy, the clothesline queen put three loads of laundry through the washer and dryer today.

Should I give up my hard won habit of hanging my clothes to dry? After all, It’s hardly worth the effort if I’m becoming inconsistent.

No way dude! Today was very much an electric dryer day, but that doesn’t mean I should give up. I am not perfect, nobody is. There is nothing to be gained by holding myself up to a level of expectation that is destined to fail.

Much of my Non-Consumer life is about doing my best, occasionally splurging on a dinner out, expensive birthday party or even the luxury of electrically dried clothing. But I don’t expect myself to live an austere and limited existance that does not allow for the unexpectedness of life.

I may have fallen off the wagon, but I’ll hoist myself right back up again tomorrow.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

erin@dfmidesigns October 9, 2015 at 11:23 am

You are so funny! I was expecting something way more dramatic! You can do your best and you do a great job of it. I don’t clothes line dry at all. But for our family, it’s just a way to collect more pollen for allergies, which we don’t need!


Katy October 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

Not enough drama? Hmm . . . let me stir the pot a bit. 😉


Kathy October 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

You are a in control gal, but not even you can control the weather. You could have called off work and wired the basement for electricity, but those choices do not support your non consumer ethic. I can only suggest that the next time you are out and about you double your change finding efforts to make up for your extravagent cloths drying binge. I love your posts, you are one of my heros.


Marieann October 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

We hang our clothes in the basement in the winter. But I use the dryer on occasion and I don’t think of it as falling of the wagon. I think of the times I use the clothes line as beating the system.
I always get annoyed at the mindset that you have to do everything the right way all the time….or none of it matters.
Add up all your thriftiness and you are ahead of the majority of the people.


Regina October 9, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Wow, I really needed that, today. I’ve been hard on myself because I keep falling off the healthy-eating-and-exercising bandwagon. No need to hate myself just because I’m not perfect.


marie October 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

very timely, I thought today was going to be my last outside drying day.
As the first load was being pulled from the washing machine, it started to rain.
So, off to the dryer they went! And I don’t feel guilty at all


Ruby October 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

Getting back on the wagon is what counts when stuff happens. We rarely line-dry outdoors because my husband has bird feeders up and the birds merrily poop all over the place, but the drying rack and pole in the laundry room get used a lot.


Rachel H October 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

I have health problems, and to conserve energy, and keep pain at a minimum, I just can’t always go the more frugal route. We have lots of rain and humidity, and my clothes line fell over, so drying in the dryer. Milk may be cheaper at Wal-Mart, but having to park near the highway and walk to the back of the store is no picnic, so a smaller more expensive store is best for me. I have to pick my battles.


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