Do You Have the Right to Dry?

by Katy on July 12, 2009 · 13 comments

White House Clothesline

Alexander Lee who heads up Project Laundry List was featured in a CBS news segment about clotheslines and the politics that surround them.

Click here to watch the video, which is great!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

P.S. The above photo shows a circa 1909 White House which includes a clothesline. (To the right of the building?)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristie-ND July 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

This is the most ridiculous thing! They need to pass a law so people can dry their clothes on their own property?? Amazing. Of all the things that could be a controversy, this isn’t what springs to



Meg from FruWiki July 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Wrong on soooo many levels. And I know I’m preaching to the choir so I’ll keep this moderately short — for me, that is!

These people are worried about laundry depreciating the value of their property?! Why don’t they worry more about people who bought houses they couldn’t afford which now are in foreclosure. I’m sure those depreciate the property more than some hanging socks.

Oh noes! Seeing other people’s clothes! The horror! Gah… if the worst thing you fear seeing is a pair of ol’ granny panties then you should be a lot more appreciative that you live in such an area where you don’t see REAL problems.

And finally, why is everyone so obsessed with their property values? Do people buy and sell homes every few years like some do cars? I bought my house to LIVE in. I’m not worried about the value right now because I’m not selling it any time soon, nor am I trying to tap out every last ounce of equity. If anything, property values going down mean less taxes I have to pay.

It seems to me that building a better, more open-minded community would be a more constructive use of their time. As it is, you couldn’t pay me to move their knowing that there are snobs like that living there. How’s that for depreciating values!


Janet Texas July 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm

A clothesline depreciates your property values. What planet are these people on? Now looking at my neighbor’s three giant gas guzzling SUV’s parked in their driveway – that’s offensive!


Rosanne July 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Thank goodness I live in a neighborhood whose houses were built in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. Each house was supplied with it’s own close line! Good grief!


Judy C. July 13, 2009 at 4:40 am

I took the plunge this summer and became the first in our suburban neighborhood to install clotheslines – one outside; the other within the enclosed back patio. Within a week, the woman who lives behind me did the same! The neighborhood’s going green!

A few weeks ago, thanks to my husband’s ingenuity, I became the first to have a 50-gallon rain barrel, which I painted to match the house. It’s attached to a gutter downspout and seems to provide my flowers and vegetables with a never-ending source of fresh, nitrogen-rich, FREE water.

Just last night, my husband mentioned to me that the same neighbor had disattached her downspout, too, and placed a bucket underneath to catch the rainwater.

This is how a movement for change works…one person at a time!


Diana July 13, 2009 at 9:22 am

We have had a clothes line for quite awhile. I moved in with my mom when I became a student so I’m not sure if it came with the house or she put it in. I usually use it only when washing bedding during the summer, but ventured to hang out my clothes last week. The underwear issue came up. Did I want to hang my under things out for everyone to see? Then I reasoned that it would be more scandalous not to hang-out under things; wouldn’t that mean I didn’t wear any? Feeling silly about having this conversation with myself, I simply hung the undies on a line between the rest of the clothes.

I think that a well-maintained, discreetly located clothesline should not be considered devaluing to a property. I think they are very picturesque actually. The bad property images come from run-down lines hung with stained clothes from poverty stricken neighborhoods.


Kristen@The Frugal Girl July 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm

That was great. I love the ticked-off neighbor. lol

I live in a neighborhood that is too old for such ordinances. There are some eyesores for houses here, but at least I can dry my laundry.


calimama July 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

This issue came up at the dinner table last night! My husband had no idea their were such local ordinances and laws against clotheslines. His disbelief was really quite charming!


Maniacal Mommy July 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I have been drying my clothes on the line for over twelve years ( and I am 33). My rental in college and then the house I bought had clotheslines ready, and I used them. I come from a long line of frugal women who appreciate the savings and scent of line dried laundry. Why pay for what can be done for free?

That woman who was offended by line drying needs a reality check on so many levels. Who says “I can’t live next to a (gasp!) clothesline user?”


Carla July 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I would LOVE to have a clothesline, having grown up with the sweet fragrance of sun-dried sheets and and the suss of a hot iron on clean, white shirt. Alas, over the years I have become a highly allergic person — I now even have asthma. I’m not at all certain pollen-carrying clothes are in my best health interest, which is too bad because a clothesline sounds wonderful! True, I could dry more indoors but you miss the romance and the great smells although the reduced electricity use would definitely make it worth it.


Jennifer waycroft July 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm

on use it up, make it do etc- my daughter left home 11 yrs ago, leaving behind an assortment of t-shirts, many with stains on the front. I tye-died them and am still wearing most of them for every day wear, yard work etc.- work fine and stains are not visible. the ones with too many holes to be servicible in polite company have become rags, and are used to dry the dog’s feet after wild splahing in the rain.

I have grown a garden for 20 yrs, but this year I have really focused on using what I grow- you can only give away so many zuccinis!- It has had its challenges, but I have enjoyed the deeply satisfying sence of not wasting things.


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