A Clothesline Rant

by Katy on September 7, 2012 · 135 comments

For many Americans, the sight of an outdoor clothesline is a sure sign that the neighborhood is going downhill.

Because, you know, only poor people line dry their clothing.


Non-Americans are understandably stymied by this attitude, as clothes dryers are often not even in foreign homes, (such as the technologically advanced countries of Australia and Japan.) It seems like using the sun rather than electricity to evaporate water from wet clothing should be a no brainer, but somehow it isn’t.

Project Laundry List posted the above photo on their Facebook page this morning, along with this quote:

“Here is something baffling. The scarcity of clotheslines in the US has created a vacuum now filled with laundry as art. How do board members of Home Owners Assoc. not understand that clotheslines are part of the ‘picturesque’ of a vacation. Hey HOA . . . here’s Venice doing it right.”

For those not in the know, HOA = Home Owner Association, those helpful organizations that tell you what color to paint your house, how high your grass can grow and how to dry your laundry.

The sad thing is that a simple clothesline is one of the easiest and cheapest earth friendly choices available. Unlike a pimped out shiny new Prius or a space age array of solar panels, you don’t have to be financially set to make it happen.

I live in Portland, Oregon, a city mocked for its damp climate, and still I’m able to use air dry my clothing 90% of the time. I have a couple of drying racks for wet weather that I set up over the heat registers, and whatayaknow, clothing dries overnight. Bam! And in summer, my backyard clothesline easily meets my needs.

It’s eco-friendly, it’s free and it helps your clothing last longer. And for those who fear the stiff scratchy towel? (A phenomenon known as “Sandtowelpaperophobia.”) Think of it as a spa-style loofah treatment. 

Oh, the luxury!

Okay, I’ll simmer down now. After all, I need to get the laundry going.

Do you air dry your clothing? And if you don’t, why not?!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary September 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

I line dry all my clothes and love that they last much longer, don’t fade as fast and I don’t have to squish myself into my jeans when they’re straight out of the dryer.


Karen September 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

I do not air-dry the laundry outdoors for health reasons. I live in a dry climate that is subject to dust storms. We also have various airborne polllens about that I am allergic to. Whatever electricity savings I might reap would be spent on medical care.

I do air-dry in the house, with a rack over the bathtub. This is primarily for washable sweaters.


EcoCatLady September 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I feel your pain. Allergies and forest fires made it really hard to dry outside here in Denver this summer. I keep thinking I should just use my clothes racks and dry things inside… problem is my new washer is HUGE – so I need over 100 feet of line just to dry one load! Hmmmm…


Heather September 8, 2012 at 4:38 am

My husband and I are both allergic to pollen so he created a clothesline system that hooks in rings from one window to another. I get my laundry hung in little time in the morning and have it all put away before dinner. I unclip and tuck behind curtains out of site which appeals to my minimalist style. The clothesline hangs above and around the kitchen table and when the kids are home due to a school break they love eating inside the tent of clothes. 🙂


Sue September 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

As a Brit of course I line dry. I am absolutely gobsmacked (really shocked) that line drying is regarded as something undesirable in the US. I don’t have a dryer and in wet or very cold weather I hang laundry on three parallel poles my husband fixed about 6 inches below the ceiling at the non-cooking end of our kitchen. Small items get slung over radiators when they are on and I also have a couple of collapsible clothes horses.


Katy September 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

I ♥ the word “Gobsmacked.” Always have, always will. Unfortunately, it sounds pretentious and precious coming out of my American mouth.

Such is my cross to bear.



Jo@simplybeingmum September 8, 2012 at 1:24 am

Line drying is very common in the UK, which is really interesting because, boy do we have some cold/damp (aka torrential rain for most of this summer) weather over here. I actually think line-drying is an inbuilt cultural challenge over here in the UK. It’ s almost seat of your pants stuff… you put it out trying to beat the black clouds, knowing rain is on the way. Small victories result in great pleasure when you get back ‘just in time’ from the school-run, you rip the washing of the line still leaving the pegs in place as you desperately try and beat the downpour. The amount of conversations you casually overhear about ‘I put my washing out, and just look at the weather, wish I hadn’t bothered’ or ‘I wish I’d put my washing out, it’d be dry now’…. a little smile crosses the Mom’s face who did indeed put hers out and mother nature was kind to her! We’ve had almost a week of dry weather, and everyone is talking about how their washing baskets are empty! But as Brits – we love to talk about the weather, and what better way to build your part than add in the extra dimension of line-drying…


Jo@simplybeingmum September 8, 2012 at 1:28 am

p.s – just read some more comments… I’ve never overheard (or been privy to…) a conversation in the UK where anyone has complained about a neighbours clothes line outside…


sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring September 8, 2012 at 2:15 am

Like Sue and Freya, below, I’m a dryer-free Brit too. How I laughed at Jo’s observations – they’re spot on. I’ve spent entire days running in and out of the house every half hour to get a load of washing dry between showery spells and oh, the satisfaction when it works out! And of course there’s also the challenge of seeing just how much wet laundry you can fit on one clothes horse. I consider myself lucky to have neighbours that will rescue my washing if it starts raining and we’re out.

Sue September 8, 2012 at 7:26 am

That is exactly how it is! So well put Jo. For me a successful day is one in which I manage to get all my washing dry.


Joanna September 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

Minimalist Mom just did a post about this: http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2012/08/simplifyfall2012d1/

She said that before she moved to the Isle of Man, none of her washing machines had spun out the water so well (obv not one of those horrendous washer/dryer combos). Apparently the spin cycle is much more powerful on European model washers? Probably because of the scarcity of tumble dryers?

Kelli September 7, 2012 at 8:53 am

Yes, I do line dry my clothes. I grew up helping my mom hang up clothes on the clothes line so I never questioned it. When we bought our first house I was thrilled it had a clothes line. I hang out EVERYTHING which means sometimes my boys get embarrassed when they see their undies outside, so I have to be careful to hang up a towel to strategically conceal the batman underwear!!!


Jacci September 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I do the same thing for my kids (and myself too)!!


Giselle September 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’ve found that a scratchy, cardboard-stiff, line-dried towels (washed without fabric softener!) will do a far better job of drying me off than any fluffy tumble-dried towel.


pat September 8, 2012 at 1:09 am

I LOVE scratchy line-dried towels! Thought I was the only one who thinks they dry better.


Sue September 8, 2012 at 7:27 am

Me too. Good for exfoliating the skin as well.


Jennifer Nash September 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

I wish I could line dry my clothes. But not only do we not have a really good space for a clothes line (I live in a townhome), but I’m sure my lovely, ever-so-helpful HOA would disapprove. I’ve thought about rigging a clothesline up over my porch, but that would make my porch unusable while things are drying… and we don’t get much sun back there so clothes take forever to dry. I do air-dry some things inside the house, but it’s just so annoying to have wet clothes all over the place! My husband and I are determined that our next home will not have an HOA attached to it – they’re a pain in more ways than just this.


Giselle September 7, 2012 at 9:12 am

Oh, tell me about it. We live in a town home with a postage-stamp sized back yard. We’re in the back of the community, too, but not only can we not put up clothes lines, we can’t have a vegetable garden either, nor can we put up solar panels or anything else.

Even worse, there are now two factions vying for control of the HOA, to the point that my father in law is putting the homeowner’s fees in an escrow account until the dispute is settled legally.

Meanwhile, all I can do is try to grow a few grape tomatoes out on the porch… rather unsuccessfully.


EcoCatLady September 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

All reasons I will NEVER own a home with a HOA. Here in Denver, where we’re having one of the worst droughts in recorded history – seriously, there hasn’t been any measurable rainfall in months – anyhow, there was a story on the news about how a HOA was fining a woman $200 because her lawn had a brown spot. They interviewed this poor woman who kept saying that she’d tried to re-seed but it was too hot and nothing germinated, and she would try again in the fall. I just couldn’t believe it!


Jacci September 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

That is one strict HOA! We have one, but our yard backs up to a drainage area with a different neighborhood behind us. Our clothesline can’t be seen from the street, but is visible to our neighbors. Thankfully no one cares. We also have a gardens. Last year we turned our front bed into a herb/veggie garden. Half of it is perennial herbs, so it never looks too bare. We just put in fall bush beans and will take out basil and put onions in its place and lettuce makes a beautiful border. I am betting that most people don’t even realize it is edible, so don’t complain.


pat September 8, 2012 at 1:12 am

Our previous home was like that. So, I planted a few vegetables plant among my flowerbeds. Managed to get quite a few jalepenos and tomatoes out of it and no one was the wiser. One year I even put in squash and got lots of compliments on the foliage (I don’t think anyone knew what it was).


Shannon September 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

That rocks! No one knew what it was! You’ve given me a giggle on a Saturday morning!


Mr. Everyday Dollar September 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

Living in a condo I don’t have the luxury of a clothes line. So I bought one of those cheap fold-able drying racks that I use all the time. I either dry my clothes indoors or if it’s nice outside I throw the rack on my balcony. I LOVE it.

The only thing I don’t dry on my rack is towels because if I do they turn out pretty crunchy.

I don’t understand why people pay money to shoot hot air through their clothes!


Giselle September 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

It would be a lot easier – and cheaper! – to take our clothes down to the Capitol building to dry…


Linda in Indiana September 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

Tehee! Good One!


AFS September 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I’m a lottle slow but now I’m LOL


Sheryl September 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

My teenaged daughter’s BFF told me this morning that she’s started hanging her laundry, inspired by our family. YAY!!

We don’t have anywhere suitable for hanging clothing outdoors, but we do have a great area in the unfinished part of our basement that has clothesline. We can get about 3 loads of clothing hung in that area (we put things on hangers that will be hung in the closet anyway–great timesaver.)

I really love crunchy towels, and really wish I had a place to hang them in the sun to get that extra-crunchy feel!


Anne September 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

I have never understood the problem with HOAs. I live with one but I hang my clothes up in the garage. No problems.

Drill a couple of holes in the ceiling, put in hooks, use wire hangers to get to the proper height and then put really cheap poles, or old broomsticks through the hanger loops.

All of my clothes are on hangers so they actually take up little room. I move the cars out to hang the clothes, but I bring the cars back in at night and still no problem.

I do bathmats and sheets on a separate day because there isn’t enough room for everything at once.


Anne September 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

I forgot to add that there is no fear of fading from the sun this way also.


Katy September 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

My towels are white, and I make sure to leave them out as long as possible to keep them bright. So it works both ways!



dusty September 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

that’s right katy and c’mon what’s better than sheets dried on the line!!


Katy September 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

Word. 😉


Sue September 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

I hung my daughter’s white tshirt outside yesterday noticing the tomato sauce had not washed out. Three hours later the sun had bleached it away.


Jo@simplybeingmum September 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm

That explains it! I hung a white top out last week noticing there was still a slight hint of pasta sauce on it… when I took it in, I could no longer see the stain!

Sunny September 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

I would love to have our clothes line dried (and we live near you too) but my husband is the stay-at-home and he doesn’t see the reasons to do it. It’s not relaxing to him like it is me. However, I do line dry the outer part of our cloth diapers, my clothes out of synthetic materials that dry quicker by line and don’t get the static on a line that’s directly behind our washer and dryer in the hallway. And, if I happen to do the laundry, the towels get put up there. Others may find them scratchy but I think they absorb more water and last longer. Knock on wood, I have towels that are 13 years old and going strong 🙂 I don’t want others. I like the colors and the quality!


dusty September 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

I live in florida where you can use a clothesline practically year round and you would be surprised how many people don’t. I live out in the country and see very few clotheslines. That’s the first thing I say to people when they complain about their power bill, STOP USING THE DRYER!!


Tracey Hand September 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

Livning in Portugal, where we get sun for almost 90% of the year, it astounds me that line drying is something to be frowned upon!
Even when we lived in the UK (up to approx 2 years ago) we rack dried indoors but now we have wall-mounted folding racks on our balconies and collapsible racks inside for days (or nights) when it’s not so warm.
The thought of using an electric drier, when there isn’t need to, makes me squirm!


Sister X September 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

I do. In Alaska. In a rental. I just do it inside. On hangers over the bathtub, on hangers in a spare closet…I’ve even had friends come over when my underwear was hanging over assorted doorknobs (like that to the bathroom) to dry. Whoops! Besides the eco benefit, there’s also the “being a good neighbor” aspect for me. The washer and dryer belong to our upstairs neighbors and they pay for all of the electricity. They kindly let us use their appliances so I’m doing my best not to run up their electric bill.


Karen September 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

I don’t do it outside, because of allergies and damp Oregon weather.

I’m all for it though. I think people should be able to hang clothes outside if they want.


Mary September 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

We don’t hang clothes outside because there are so many birds and I have this fear that the clothes will be covered in bird poo, just like our deck.

So I hang most cothes to dry in our basement. I like the energy savings as well as the environmental savings, but most of all, I like that it keeps our clothes from shrinking.

As far as towels go, we dry them in the dryer because they take too long to hang dry in the basement and would start to stink.

I figure it’s a good compromise 🙂


Susan September 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

I did hang my clothes out to dry at my old house, the garden was secluded and free of trees…however, living here when I did hang out my laundry, it got pebble-dashed with bird poo as my back garden has so many trees and birds that I hardly ever have any natural light. I won’t even begin to tell you the state of my decking. Also, I have neighbours that have questionable friends and things go missing frequently…so for me, sadly, it is out of the question to dry things outdoors. Occassionally things get dried on the racks that attach to my radiators for that very purpose.


Katy September 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

Despite the location of my clothesline under a big tree, it’s only been poo’ed on once.

And your neighbors steal your clothes?! That totally sucks.



Ani Mia September 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

I grew up in a house where you weren’t allowed to turn on the dryer until it was below freezing. While I’m not that hardcore, I hang the majority of my clothes inside on racks. This is especially true for my kids clothes-saves so much shrinkage, work clothes and jeans. I would like an outdoor line like we had when I was growing up, but need to figure out where to hang it.
My upbringing did help though, when I studied abroad in Italy I taught other kids how to hang up laundry on a clothes line!


Susan Sawatzky September 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

Last night I saw the neatest indoor drying arrangement in a documentary about Irish women. The rack was suspended from the kitchen ceiling, which was quite high, and could be raised and lowered using a pulley system attached to the doorway. Very cool and looked quite useful.


Sue September 7, 2012 at 11:39 am

Those things are really common in the UK, and presumably Ireland.
My mum has one.


deana September 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

You could easily make a frame like you would a quilt frame. Just hand your cloths around the frame and when not in use pull it towards the ceiling and anchor the cord to the side wall.


Karen September 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I know a woman who has one of those, and I really like it. Unfortunately we don’t have a ceiling high enough to accomodate it and my husband at the same time. I do have an umbrella clothesline outside that I use spring, summer and fall, then I use racks in the family room in front of the fireplace in winter. I don’t consider it “winter enough” until it takes all day outside to dry, or the clothes freeze. I do have a dryer, but I use it for storage.


Jo@simplybeingmum September 8, 2012 at 4:59 am

They are still seen in some UK houses (our relatives have one), particularly over range cookers/Aga’s that are on permanently as the heat helps the clothes to dry. They are also used to hang pots and pans in some homes…


Megyn @MinimalistMommi September 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

Ok, I’ll be the one to admit that I LOVE our dryer! And this from someone who lives in the hottest state in the country with the most sunny days. My mom did have a clothesline when I was little, which I remember being fun to hang off of. In college, we had to air dry as we only had a hookup for a washer. I loathed wearing the clothes that were line dried! The dryer is my BFF for the fact that it shrinks my clothes back to their original size! So many pieces of clothing, including jeans just stay loose if air dried, but popping them into the drier allows me to wear clothes that actually fit v. falling off. If the sun had the power to shrink my clothes back, I’d be back to line drying in a heart beat! Until then, I’ll keep my precious dryer 😉


Carla September 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

While I do dry a number of things on racks inside (jeans, my husband’s woven shirts), I want my knit shirts to go through the dryer because they are HUGE if I don’t do that. Somehow over the years they seem to grow and grow. I wear my things a long time so I will repeatedly sew up side seams to take them in but they still need the dryer to actually fit. I don’t wear them snug at all but they become enormous without the dryer.


Anne September 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Really had to laugh here. I keep my jeans fitting right off the clothesline………………………with chocolate consumption.

If I used the dryer I would have to cut back.


Marci Stewart September 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

Hi Katy…..
Hubs and I in semi-retirement, moved to a 500 sq. ft. loft apartment downsizing our lives so we could do more things. I did opt to buy a portable apartment washer that hooks up to the kitchen sink, but NO dryer! I prefer to line dry/drying rack hang my clothes…they are fresher smelling and the color lasts longer. We don’t need the added electric expense of drying clothes, when we can dry them naturally under the sun for free!


Linda in Indiana September 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

Most of the time I either hang clothes on the screened in porch. But, when the fall pollen comes with all its glory, I either dry on racks inside or occasionally use the dryer to partially dry and then hang up. Our climate is quite humid at times and it can be hard to dry the clothes inside without them “souring” first. So a ten or fifteen minutes in the dryer trumps a full cycle. And for the person who didn’t like the stiff feeling clothes off the line, a partial drying takes care of that…so maybe you would want to combine a partial dry along with finishing your drying on a line or a rack.


Kim P. September 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I line dry our clothes almost exclusively. I just can’t see paying good money to dry clothes when I have so much free sun and air just WAITING for something productive to do! 🙂 That said, I do have a dryer. I used it last night for the first time in months and jokingly reassured my husband that yes, my dryer does still work, so his load of socks needed ASAP would be ready soon!


Krystal September 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm


We found our little metal clothes drying rack at Ikea for under $10, and it has saved us so much more than that. Talk about ROI.

I despise the HOA life. Here in Seattle, we are pretty lucky, but the suburbs aren’t. We have two different types of wood in our fence, we have gardens, we let our lawn die of in the summer, we get to paint our house whatever we want, and we get to dry our clothes outside. FREEDOM!
On my recent trip to Europe, I noticed that everyone line dries their clothes. My friends in Belfast (not the sunniest) have a washer/dryer combo (simple, affordable, to save room), and they mentioned they have even used the dryer portion. They use the heaters in the winter, outdoor lines in the summer. It’s just a way of life, and it’s totally fine.

I must admit, I do use my dryer to fluff some things. A quick few minutes with no heat does just fine.


Katy September 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I have that same Ikea rack and IT ROCKS! 😎



Jen September 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Looooove clotheslines! I’m a clothes lining addict! My neigh may not care for it, but I don’t care for their late night parties either, so there!


Laure September 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I live in an upscale neighborhood in Chicago and line-drying is not frowned upon; I’d say it’s neutral. I was actually perplexed by your title…which is a good thing, right?! (that line-drying is so accepted here)? The only assumption I make (which could be totally false) when seeing clothes hung out is that likely a stay-at-home mom lives in the house to hang it out. I don’t have a yard or balcony or anything, but I use a drying rack and plastic hangers on the shower rod and against windows (this dries clothes fast in summer!) for pretty much all clothes except sheets and towels — just don’t have the space to hang sheets, and the towels get thrown in the same load.


Laure September 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

A follow up is that I learned that if you hang clothes on a drying rack placed in front of any open window (south-facing, that gets lots of sun), it will still get that delicious sun-drenched, outdoors smell!


Jacci September 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and looking back I can’t remember anyone who didn’t have a clothesline. Now I live in San Antonio and hardly anyone has them! HOA’s are much more prevalent down here it seems–I hadn’t even heard of HOA until we moved from Chicago to Houston as a teenager.


pat September 8, 2012 at 1:20 am

Not always a stay-at-home mom. I have a washer with a timer so I put in a load before bed, set the timer and it is ready to hang out first thing in the morning. I hang it on my line before leaving for work. It’s ready to come down when I get home. One load every couple of days and it never becomes overwhelming and takes me only minutes.


Freya September 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Another Brit here. I dry indoors in winter (with the rack near the boiler) or outdoors in the summer (assuming the sun shines). About 12 years ago I bought the fabulousness that is the Leifheit Condor, like so: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leifheit-Pegasus-Condor-Tower-Deluxe/dp/B000VEFSAW (though I didn’t pay that much for mine) and it is a thing of beauty (folds down when not in use too). It takes a whole washload, and most things will dry overnight apart from very thick items like jeans and hoodies, which take a little longer. I hang them on the heated towel rail to hurry them along a bit.
I do not own a dryer, and don’t particularly feel the need for one. I don’t think I’m unusual in that, really. Like the other Brit posting here, the assumption that everyone needs a dryer leaves me baffled. Assuming your house is not dripping with moisture or kept at sub-zero temperatures, things will dry perfectly nicely when hung out in the normal, y’know, air.


Jill September 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Installing a clothesline was the first order of business after we bought our house. Before the majority of my boxes were unpacked I had a clothesline up in the backyard. Luckily, I live in a pretty hippy-dippy neighborhood where it’s pretty common and, truthfully, one of the reasons I wanted to move into the city rather than the suburbs was that I didn’t want to have to give up line drying my clothes.

I find it therapeutic, environmentally friendly and frugal. I live in Minnesota so year round line drying isn’t an option – but we dry a lot of our stuff on racks in the winter as well. Heavier things (jeans, towel, sheets, etc) will get tossed in the dryer until it’s possible to put them back outside.


Joanne September 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I live in a neighborhood with a VERY strong HOA, however due to a change in a state law here in Colorado, it is legal for me to have a clothes line now, which as a half-British child, makes me able to use my clothespin bag made out of left over fabric from my granny’s slip covers and brings the UK to me on a daily basis 🙂


Katy September 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yay, love it!



gretchen September 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Can only hope my half-Brit children will feel the same ecstasy!!!


dusty September 8, 2012 at 4:18 am

I love the clothespin bag out of granny’s leftover fabric, how wonderful!! and here I thought the old clorox bottle with the holes cut in it was a great idea.


Shar September 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Living in Wisconsin, I hang out whenever my clothes won’t freeze faster than they can dry. I have used dryer only twice in the last month!


Brooke September 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I live in one of “those” neighborhoods that have a pretty strict HOA, and outdoor clotheslines are strictly forbidden. How annoying. We aren’t allowed to have gardens, either, unless they are not able to be viewed by neighbors in any direction. Sigh. I digress. But I have found a way around my laundry woes. For a gift I asked my hubby to help me hang a loooong clothes closet bar across the width of our screened in porch (about 10 feet). Ta-da! It is long enough for me to hang all my clothes on hangers. For Christmas I’m going to ask for another one at the other end of the room so I can hang up even more!


Liz September 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

There’s a reason I never want to live in a sterile, perfectly coiffed and coordinated, NIMBY suburb. As much as I get annoyed by the noise and occasionally suspect activities of my “white-trash” neighborhood I do like the live-and-let-live-attitude that people here have. Essentially, nobody gives a rat’s ass. My veggie garden can be weedy, my (neutered) cats can roam, and I can hang my undies out without interference from snobs. Life is good in the hood. Perhaps you could become a member of your HOA and encourage them to relax and untie their knickers.


Anne September 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

Among the overwhelming amount of HOA bashing here, I do have to give them some defense.

In an adjoining neighborhood is a house completely painted to match the owner’s favorite football team’s colors with lots of fan signs just in case you didn’t get the point. A few more blocks over is a bright turquoise house and my brother in law lives with a huge skateboard ramp in a neighbors driveway which is the main view from his kitchen window.

Color me a freedom hater if you wish but I’ll take some HOA constraints if I don’t have to see homes like that every day.


Katy September 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

I think that sounds like fun! A break from the brown and beige-ness of life. 😉



Superdaisy September 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

As another Portlander, I don’t usually line dry because the climate is definitely too damp. Additionally, my current apartment really doesn’t have the setup for a line. However, I always remove the quicker-drying items from my laundry load–smartwool, poly-pro, etc–and hang them up in my shower. My only problem then is that sometimes my boyfriend leaves the hangers in place when he takes a shower, soaking everything again.


Ellen Buff September 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I live in CO (and may need to check with Joanne on the change in state law she mentioned) and we have a tough HOA (grrr). I do some rack-drying inside in the winter, but it’s so doggone dry here year-round I may pull out my rack and see if I can’t do more “green drying” inside on a regular basis! I miss the smell of line-dried clothes and the clothespins!!


Michele September 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

We did in Phoenix. During the summer By the time we hung the last piece the first one would be dry. It is so humid in Houston I doubt if it would ever get dry.


Bryce in NZ September 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

It horrifies me that, in a country where freedom of expression is extolled, many seem to accept the HOA ability to trample on your freedoms. Drying washing using Solar Energy directly IS a no brainer. It seems to me, an outsider, that citizens have been brainwashed by Power Companies into accepting that utilising their $ervice$ is in some way superior. God Ble$$ the U$A.


susan smith September 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

We live on Vancouver Island and dry outside whenever possible. Luckily we have a basement with a line for the rest of the time. We were visiting Tucson and were chatting to a woman in the laundromat and asked about the lack of clotheslines. She said, “Only cheap white trash use clothes lines”. Oh dear.


deana September 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I am in Texas so I try and hang up what I can in my laundry room on plastic hangers, rugs draped over the washer lid, hand towels over the freezer. I put those I want dried on low heat just get the dampness out and then take out and hang. They do make those retractable cloths lines i am thinking of getting one of those. For those that live in small spaces, or HOA’s they would be perfect. Growing up we used the wooden drying racks and hung things outside. When we were done with the drying rack it just got folded up and put in between the washer and dryer. Our basement was perfect for drying cloths. I wished we could have them here in Texas.


Bridget September 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I do not use a clothesline. I lived in Spain for 6 months when I was in college, and my host family always hung my clothing outside. However, it made my jeans stretchy and everything was stiff. So – I will stick to the dryer!


A. Marie September 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Not only do I air-dry the clothes, I have the luxury of doing it on funky old “heirloom” clothes racks. DH owns several rental properties and has rescued a number of racks over the years, including two fairly large ones. The biggest has one bar that was lovingly mended with cloth-backed tape by the previous owner and is still going strong, though I don’t hang heavy stuff on it. One rack in guest room, one in spacious upstairs hallway, one in master BR. The only things I don’t air-dry are sheets–and since I’ve recently invested in two sets of Polartec sheets that only need about 10-15 minutes in the dryer, my dryer costs are approaching nil.


KrisND September 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I don’t dry my clothes on a line. I dry things that I don’t want to shrink in the dryer on hangers on the rack above my laundry sorter.

I live in a dusty place and any time I have tried to hang something wet out it gets parts of the badlands on it(wind and bits of the prairie that flies through my area on a daily basis 😉 )..shrug. It can get 50 below in the winter so I am not going to hang out clothes to freeze, even though I think I read about the Ingalls doing that in one of my “Little House on the Prairie” books 😉

My husband and I have talked about putting a retractable clothesline in our garage. My parents bought us a brand new, top of the line dryer two years ago after visiting and having to dry laundry four times before it dried on my ancient dryer ;), so I am not going to get rid of my dryer.

I doubt that I will quit using my dryer entirely, but we are considering drying clothes in the garage for part of the year.

I do NOT understand the disdain shown to a laundry line. I think it is a wonderful sight myself.


D. Savage September 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I LOVE hanging clothes outdoors! I’ve been doing it for decades, long before it was ‘cool’. If the temps are 40* and above, i’m hanging outside. No trouble from the neighbors, and it wouldn’t matter to me if they didn’t like it. I’m thrilled to be saving money and keeping it out of the electric companies pockets!


Kylee September 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I too, am gobsmacked that clothes lines are thought of with such disdain in the US. (I am Australian, so I can use ‘gobsmacked’). Growing up we didn’t have a clothes dryer. We always hung things up outside on the clothes line (an original Hills Hoist). I briefly owned a dryer when I was living in an apartment, but when it broke down, I put it out for the hard rubbish collection and it was picked up pretty quickly. I won’t buy another one. I live in Queensland (the sunshine state) and line dry all year round. (Definitely no snow or ice to worry about here). I also have clothes airers on my deck, for when its raining, and for clothes that I don’t want in direct sunlight. The smell of freshly washed sheets, dried in the sun, love it.


Bauunny September 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

My daughter learned to line dry her laundry during several long stays in Europe. She asked for a rack to bring to college. I got her “the best drying rack” (that’s the actual brand name if you Google it). It is wooden, circle shaped and rotates. She LOVES it. I also got her something similar in a small hardware store in northern Indiana (Amish country) that she uses for underwear, etc…. She hangs that in her closet and is the envy of all her friends. This also reminds me of a story my friend’s mother told about when she was first married and renting the top floor of a home in Grand Rapids, MI ( a particularly religious are at the time). Her landlady would actually take down the clothesline on Sundays so she could NOT do laundry on the sabbath.


EcoCatLady September 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Ha! When I lived in Norway 25 years ago as an exchange student, my host mother was FURIOUS with me for hanging laundry out to dry on a Sunday. Apparently working on the Sabbath is bad enough, but letting the neighbors know about it is downright sacrilegious!


Mara September 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I live in an HOA community that doesn’t allow clotheslines. I air dry in my house, just like my grandma did. I would much rather air dry inside than outside, since I don’t have to worry about pollen, etc. My grandma had a clothesline strung up in her house, which I don’t need right now since I have plenty of space.


Carina September 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I don’t know that this has been mentioned yet (tried to read all the comments but I could have missed it) If you give your clothes (esp jeans and towels!!!) a good shake before you hang them up to dry and again when you take them down it greatly reduces the stiffness of the laundry! Also you can use vinegar or liquid fabric softener in addition to shaking it out if you want to. I’ve had my clothes come off the line just as soft as if they were dried in the dryer.


EcoCatLady September 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Here in sunny Denver I can line dry pretty much year round. Ironically, the only times when it’s a problem are during the summer – hanging clothes outside to dry during allergy season is just asking for misery, and with all the forest fires earlier this year, anything you hung outside ended up smelling like a campfire!

I do have one question for everybody though – does anybody else have problems with lint? It never used to be an issue until I got a new fancy schmancy high efficiency washer (the 1968 Kenmore finally bit the dust.) Apparently they don’t put lint filters in these new machines because they assume everyone uses a drier – that combined with the fact that they use less water leads to a HUGE lint problem (which probably isn’t helped by my 4 feline housemates.)

I have a lint brush, but it literally took me 3 hours to de-lint one load yesterday. Bear in mind that one load is HUGE – more than 3 times what I could fit in my old machine. Anyhow, I’m growing weary of spending an entire day to do one load of laundry. Any suggestions?


Liz September 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I have 4 cats and end up with very furry clothes even straight out of the washing machine. So I line dry until fully or almost dry, then put everything in the dryer for about 10-15 minutes (or the minimum time it takes for the fur to get sucked into the lint trap). It still uses more electricity than straight-up line drying but this way people don’t mistake me for a cat.


EcoCatLady September 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

LOL! I’ve recently taken up macro photography, and let me tell you, I never quite realized the extent to which my life is covered in cat fur until I started looking at my belongings through a magnified lens!

I think I should try your method. I’ve tried putting them in the drier for 10 minutes first, but it didn’t help much, maybe doing it after they’re already dry is the secret… plus I could just put it on the air setting so it wouldn’t use much power.


gretchen September 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I know Adirondack Mountain natives whose clothes FREEZE on the line…. and somehow dry!


Amira September 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Well, I dry most things in a machine, living as I do in a rainforest. Every once in a while, there’s a day sunny enough to hang outside, and I love that!

I have two enormous racks for anything with plastic in it (undies, bras, underarmour shirts, etc.); this is stationed next to the boiler in the garage. My cotton/stretchy stuff socks need at least overnight to dry even in the summer (last Sunday’s socks were finally dry on Tuesday), and there’s no way I’m going through the fuss of drying everything on lines. Especially given the musty smell they end up with if they take too long to dry.


Karen September 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I would never live in a development with a HOA. As far as I am concerned, if I hang my laundry out, in my own backyard, and someone doesn’t like to look at it, there are lots of other places for them to look. And exactly why are they peering at my laundry in the first place? They need something to do. Like maybe hang out laundry. Or landscape their yard to screen my clothesline from their view.

I have a fair bit of lint on my laundry lately too, then realized that DH’s dark work sweatpants are very light coloured on the inside. I use an old fashioned clothesbrush. Mine has bristles about an inch long and the head of the brush is an open oval of really heavy wire with a slight upward curve at the tip. It works much better than the sticky rolls or the napped things you rub backwards to get the lint off the brush. I have heard that a vinegar rinse works too, will have to bring my downy ball out of retirement, I guess.


Katy September 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm

My white towels make everything linty, so I just make sure to wash them apart from our clothing.



terilyn September 8, 2012 at 3:37 am

I line dry almost everyday, and always have. I do have to admit that in Late Dec to early Feb, I have to use the dryer for big things. Small things, I just hang on racks inside.

I don’t understand why anyone would want to live anywhere with a HOA. Did our founding fathers and soldiers give their lives to that the citizens of this nation could be told what color to paint their house, whether or not they could have a fence, children, or a chicken, or whether they could line dry their clothes. It is just unAmerican to tolerate such abuse from an HOA.


Shannon September 8, 2012 at 5:02 am

I can’t line dry because of the HOA. Where we live has the schools we wanted and it is what it is. However ours is not as bad as the ones described here. I may start rattling my cage and actually go to a meeting or two and get this fixed!


dusty September 8, 2012 at 5:06 am

it’s always a great idea to get involved, especially in your HOA.


Laure September 8, 2012 at 5:18 am

Here’s a sincere question: what do people do with pool/beach towels if you don’t have a clothesline?? Again, I live through hot Chicago summers, and for anyone with more than 2 kids (or just kids who bring their friends over after swimming!), where would you find space for daily big towel-hanging? Or do people actually wash and dry those towels every day? I wonder if areas with more temperate summers don’t have the kids spend every day swimming and whether this directly leads to our need for clotheslines? I know some people who have retractable clotheslines outdoors, but I honestly don’t know anyone — even in townhomes, which have HOAs — where they are not allowed to have clotheslines. I do see some people hanging pool/beach towels from patio furniture, low trees, etc and maybe an HOA is the reason….


Rosa September 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

we went on vacation to a place with a pool, with non-green family members, and they did indeed wash and dry a load of towels every day.


Tawn September 8, 2012 at 5:33 am

I love the simple, quiet pleasure of my clothesline. Although, I draw the line at hanging our underwear outside. No one should be subjected to granny panties at breakfast.


marie September 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I put panties on the inside of my circular clothesline. Even I don’t want to look at my underwear!!!!!!!1


Rosi September 8, 2012 at 5:46 am

I must admit, prior to travelling in the US, it never occured to me to NOT air-dry laundry.

my family (parents, me, 2 siblings) always lived in apartments and never had “laundry everywhere” – usually on the balcony, in winter over the bathtub, alternatively in the bedroom during the day and the living room at night. while renting in an old building with high ceiling, we had a nifty pull-up-system for a bunch of rods. I’m now renting a single room and simply put the drying rack there.

everyone I knew – singles, families, single working moms – did & does it that way. Germany, Austria & Poland btw – no 3rd world countries!

but then, considering some of my American hosts would use towels only once and also wash each item of clothing after wearing – not just underwear & sweaty shirts, as any hygienic person should, but also sweaters that had been worn over a shirt? cardigans? jeans? … that might explain the difference of laundry volume. 🙂


emmer September 8, 2012 at 6:10 am

i live in one of those hoas with lots of rules. try a clotheline below the level of the fence, preferably one that can be pulled out to use and retracted into its wall-mounted sleeve when not in use. use the shower curtain rod for those big towels. run a small line inside the tub area. use a fold up drying rack.
in my townhouse, at the peak of the third floor, i have 2 clothelines on pulleys, like the ones in katy’s pix. that high ceiling over the stairwell is the warmest place in the house–great for drying clothes quickly. i do have a dryer which i use for 10 min to fluff the crunch out of towels and fluff the wrinkles down to a tolerable level on cotton knits.


Diane C September 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

“For those not in the know, HOA = Home Owner Association, those helpful organizations that tell you what color to paint your house, how high your grass can grow and how to dry your laundry.”
I love this blog, but I’d gently like to gently point out gently that nobody puts a gun to any US Resident’s head and forces them to purchase/live in a HOA community. It is a choice. The obligation to obey the rules is a direct result of that choice. Puh-leeze, if you don’t like the rules, DON’T BUY OR RENT THERE. Hope was that gentle enough.
I live in a HOA community and own a rental property in another. Wouldn’t change it for the world. I have great neighbors and live in a beautiful environment. When the spirit moves me, I line dry in my garage and it works just fine.


Anne September 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

I agree.


Pollyanna September 10, 2012 at 4:58 am

I’m in a neighborhood with an HOA and agree, the rules are all ones I agreed knowingly and voluntarily upon purchase. I have a great metal multi-rod drying rack from IKEA and use it with every load, although I do throw towels and some items in the dryer when almost dry just to get rid of crunch.


Elaine in Ark September 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

Thank you Diane!

I just wrote a comment about that, below (waaay below – there are a lot of comments!).


Katie September 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

I SO look forward to having a clothesline someday – maybe one of those big rotating umbrella-shaped ones! We live in an apartment with no yard, and I hang all my laundry on two drying racks indoors, supplemented with various chairs for bedsheets. I don’t know if I could pull this off if I was doing laundry for more than me – I can only hang about a load at a time, and sometimes it takes a couple days to dry in the winter. The landlords actually installed a washer and dryer in our apartment this summer (luxurious not to have to go out to the laundromat!) but I have yet to use the dryer. The boyfriend does not appreciate crispy clothing and towels like I do, so he does machine-dry most of his stuff.

When I was growing up, my mom would hang laundry in an upstairs porch with sliding glass windows. If it rained while we had laundry up, we would just slide the windows shut and wait it out (and sometime give up for lack of time and throw it all in the dryer). I would love a setup like that now, or one of those nifty overhead hanging racks like people mention in this thread!


Katie September 8, 2012 at 8:16 am

Forgot to add that I also enjoy seeing all the colors of my clothes together while they’re hanging to dry. I tend towards a lot of greens, greys, browns and blues, with the occasional orange or crazy paisley thrown in, and it’s kind of neat how they all “go” together, even though they don’t. 🙂 It makes me want to make a quilt out of my worn-out t-shirts!


Cat September 8, 2012 at 8:35 am

I line dry everything. Cloth nappies, towels (bamboo towels don’t get the line-dry crunch), sheets, clothes and yes I do hang underwear outside. I live in the Northeast so use indoor racks in the winter. I used a dryer if I really had to in the winter, but it’s no longer functioning and we don’t plan on replacing it. I don’t know any other family around here who hangs washing to dry. In the winter there is bound to be a rack of clothes drying by the fireplace. I don’t put it away or apologise for it when guests come over. I grew up in NZ where it is the norm. Utility costs are so high there you would only use a dryer if you really had to.


Julie Smith September 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

We live in Alaska…..and when our dryer finally died last summer I had my husband put up clotheslines in the basement. Outside wasn’t an option since it rained (poured not sprinkled) pretty much all summer long (which is often the norm). So I hung up laundry in the basement. Unfortunately, between the colder temps and a family of 5, I was soon overwhelmed and very behind. In August we broke down and got the dryer and though I feel slightly guilty with each load I run, I am much less stressed. Would be all over the clothesline if we just lived a little further south.


Katy September 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

You definitely can’t get behind on laundry if you’re going to line dry.



Rosa September 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Yeah, it takes about 5 days to dry heavy stuff like jeans in the fall here. 2 days right now, while it’s humid and not too warm. It makes it so if we go out of town two weekends in a row, I have to use the dryer.

But even if you only line dry part of the time, you’re still saving a ton of energy by doing it.


Amanda @ The Fun Mommy September 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

I grew up with a mom who line dried everything outside in the summer, and some things on an indoor line in the winter. I thought it was completely normal and it wasn’t until I was adult that I realized some people looked down on it! I love hanging things out to dry in the sunshine. The duplex we used to rent prohibited clotheslines-what a drag! Now I live in an apartment and dry most of my clothes on a rack on the balcony. My dryer broke a couple months ago and I really don’t miss it all.


Madeline September 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I have a dryer phobia.My Mom was no homemaker. She was a career woman in the 50’s and 60’s before it was fashionable.If she did the laundry (mostly she left it to my grandmother) , she put everything into the washer with BLEACH then into the dryer on HIGH.I HID MY CLOTHES FROM MY MOTHER. I learned early on to do my own laundry and line dry.We always HAD a clothesline,my Grandmom did use it sometimes.
Now, EVERYTHING I wash goes on the line or standing driers in or outdoors.It’s Arizona, and clothes dry in like 10 minutes so I can do a lot of loads and dry ’em all in one afternoon.


Jennifer September 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I live in TX and it hit 106 yesterday. I have a clothes line in my backyard that we use. I can dry 2-3 loads a day in the summer. I have a trick to getting the stiff feeling out of clothes. I call it “spray and shake”, put the item of clothing on a hanger and mist it with a spray bottle, then shake the item of clothing. We do this all the time, it softens the item and takes out wrinkles. My kids will do this to their clothes the night before and then it air dries overnight and is ready to go in the morning. I rarely use an iron.


Linda from Mass September 9, 2012 at 5:34 am

I line dry most of my clothes year round. I have several racks (in fact, I bought one at a yard sale a few weeks ago for $2). In the winter, I will throw the white clothes in the dry because I hate hanging out all the socks. It just takes along time but in the summer I do hang them out. I love driving down my road and seeing all the laundry out on the line! Each time I see it and have forgotten to hang the laundry out, I know I will have to rush home and get it all on the line.

My mother never hanged out the laundry once she got a dryer. She had 3 babies in cloth diapers without a dryer, so she does not like to hang out clothes. My mother-in-law taught me a lot of my thrifty ways and hangs out her laundry in all kinds of weather.

When I went to Italy several years ago, I loved seeing all the laundry hanging out on the balconies and I wondered why American homes and apartments don’t have the racks out the balconies for laundry.

I do not think of clothes lines as affluent vs poor. I just think of it as being a different way of doing laundry. I happen to think that the line dryers amongst us are doing it the right way!


tna September 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

I hate clothes dryers. I have never lived in a place that allows line drying so I just put my wet clothes on hangers and hang them in the big closet to dry. It helps that I keep a minimalist wardrobe. Everything is dry in a few hours. I call the clothes dryer behind the folding doors dinosaur # 3…..#1 is in the driveway, and #2 is outside changing the air temperature. My redundant dinosaur life. bleh.


Jeana September 9, 2012 at 10:07 am

I live in New Jersey and I dry almost everything on my drying racks. A side benefit in the winter is that the damp clothes add much needed moisture to the very dry winter air in my house. When we go down to our beach house in South Carolina for the summer, the drying racks go with us. We just set them up on the porch and let them do their job. I even found one of them at Goodwill! Even if you have draconian HOA rules you can line dry your clothes.


Justine September 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I live in Australia & I have to admit that the notion of NOT using a clothesline seems ludicrous. When there is so much sun why not make the most of it, especially given rising electricity prices!
Adding a little vinegar in place of fabric softener (doesnt make your washing smell funny, thats a myth!) gets rid of the sandpaper feel, which is often caused by the chemicals in the laundry detergent.


Cherie September 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I live in Australia too and like you, we line dry and don’t understand why others DON’T line dry when they are able to take advantage of the sun! Especially with how expensive electricity is!! In winter I use our clothes horse inside by the fire and also hand clothing over the fire guard (our fire is a wood heater and the fire guard looks like a metal “play pen” ) . Nan loves the vinegar trick 🙂 i havent used it, but i dont use fabric softener either and our towels are fine – or maybe we are just used to it 😉


Elaine in Ark September 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

I love using vinegar in place of fabric softener! It makes all my laundry brighter. I had a couple of tops that had seen better day and was thinking about tossing them, but after I washed them and used vinegar, they came out looking like almost-new.

I think the vinegar keeps the odor in my front load washing machine from starting in the first place. Great stuff, and so much cheaper than fabric softener.


Samantha Fox September 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for another interesting blog Katy! I’m from Australia and you are right I was stymied by the fact the most American’s think only the poor dry thier clothes on a line!!! I love the line, every home has one here!!! I grew up with the Hills Hoist and much to Mum’s dismay I would grab hold and spin and swing round at full speed – it was better than any show ground ride! I’m sad not everyone got to experience this childhood activity. Anyway, apart from this the convenience of the line is second to none, in Spring/Summer/Autumn the clothes dry within the day, in Summer they are dry in less than an hour – in Winter I hang them out to catch any sun and if the wind doesnt dry them I bring them inside on a clothes rack and they dry overnight by the heater. I will never buy a clothes dryer, I think its an unnecessary luxury which only wastes money and resources!


Cherie September 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

HAHAHA! Oh i have fond memories of my sister swinging me around on the hills hoist 🙂 the poor line was a tad lop sided


Charlotte September 10, 2012 at 1:46 am

You are right, I live in Australia and I have been without a clothes dryer for years. My undies go up with the rest of the wash though but as we say here.. no worries!


JD September 10, 2012 at 5:18 am

I live in Florida, where rain can pop up almost every summer day. The weather is very humid all the time, with or without rain, yet I line-dry 95% of our clothes and linens, even though I work full-time. Sure, I’ve had some clothes go through an “extra rinse” a few times when it rained before I could take them down, but I figure they just become “rain-water soft” at no extra charge. I use the dryer for very few items, but I have one, because I need it for heavy items that would sour in the humid outside air before getting dry. ( I know this from experience!) I use a wooden rack to hang lingerie and delicates indoors. I hung out my kids’ cloth diapers when they were little… the sun removed the breast-fed baby poop stains better than any harsh bleaches could have done. They never had a problem with diaper rash or irritation. My mother hung out all of our clothes when I was little, but when she finally got a dryer, she never hung out clothes again, because a dryer was so much more “convenient.” I think of her rushing to get the clothes out of the dryer before they wrinkle, the heat setting of stains so that they became permanent, the shrinkage of clothes, and wonder, what was really so “convenient” about a dryer? I do know of some HOA’s that tried to prohibit line drying. I may be mistaken, but I have heard it finally became a law that line drying could not be prohibited in the state of Florida.


Pollyanna September 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

Have you seen the new US .45 “forever” postage stamps with the Go Green theme? One of the designs is the image of the sun shining on a line of laundry with the words “let nature do the work”.


Elaine in Ark September 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

I’m a Director of our POA, and I’m working on getting the ban on clotheslines removed. I am also interested in instituting a ban on fireworks in the subdivision, as I’m tired of being kept awake and having to pick fireworks debris out of my front yard, my side yards, my back yard and off my deck for a couple of weeks.

Not all POAs or HOAs are anti-homeowners. We’re trying to improve all the property values by not allowing properties to decline. We’re a relatively new neighborhood and our houses are all similar with stone/brick and siding on the back. There’s not much you can do to that anyway, but parking cars on the front grass, letting the weeds in front of your house get taller than 12 inches, and keeping the neighborhood awake all night with loud parties or barking dogs are all things that will devalue the entire street.

Not all POAs or HOAs deserve to be criticized so severely. We *are* homeowners, too.

And by the way, I drive a 13 year old Gran Prix, not Lexus or a BMW.


Anne September 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

We are spoiled in that we live in the Valley of the Sun, so laundry can be hung outside to dry 99% of the time. The only time in the last several years that I have felt the need to use the dryer was when the neighbor kids were kind enough to share lice with us. It makes me itch just thinking about it!


Katy @ Purposely Frugal September 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thank you so much for this post!! The trailer park I used to live in asked me to stop line drying my clothes and it drove me bananas! I had the clothes neatly hung in the back yard, where you could barely see them from the street and I was able to save some money by not always using my dryer, but apparently they thought it looked bad.


Mary Stubblefield September 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

I think I would hang my clothes out to dry if my oldest child and I didn’t have such horrible allergies. We don’t even open our windows much, except in the early spring (because in IA we have hard long frozen winters), because of the pollen in the air. I used to love going to my grandparents and helping to put the clothes on the line.


Vicki September 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I like to dry our clothes outside, but they always get crunchy. Anyway to avoid that?
I love drying my son’s diapers outside – the sun is an excellent bleacher-of-diaper-stains! Last time we were out hanging up his diapers he said “Potty! Poop!” and we did! So maybe we won’t have to hang our diapers too much longer…


Barb September 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

I grew up with clothes lines – backyard in the summer and basement in the winter. I used clotheslines too when I got married. Then we discovered my son had severe allergies to pollen. The doctors told me I was bringing into the house the very thing that was making him very ill with asthma. I started using the dryer more. Still use lines in the basement some, just got out of the habit.


suzy September 17, 2012 at 6:49 am

I live in Phoenix AZ, where anything left out to dry in the sun is generally bleached and hard as a brick. I just dry everything on the absolute lowest setting in my dryer, no dryer sheets even. Except pool towels. Those we leave hanging over the pool fence till they’re dry, then they come in, or they might blow away in the monsoon.


Katy September 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

A clothesline miracle!



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