To Hang Or Not To Hang


| 12/9/2013 9:10:00 AM


Mary ConleyDear lovers of sustainable living. I remember when my parents bought their first clothes dryer. Mom was elderly and had a shoulder problem, so it was a real blessing for her to not have to hang clothes anymore. I always loved my reliable Maytag dryer, which got much use while raising our four children, but the fall of 2008, I did the opposite of my mother and gave up my dryer for a clothesline – mostly. Much to my surprise, I’m still hanging our clothes five years later, and hope to be able to continue for a long time.

A while back, I saw a request from Chris Martinson’s Peak Prosperity daily newsletter asking for tips about hanging clothes. Maybe you, like I did, think all there is to it is just hanging them instead of throwing them in the dryer. Not so. With our modern day washers, there is the problem of lint. Honestly, I was shocked to see so much of it on my clothes the first couple times I hung them, and didn’t know how to remedy it. Somehow, the amount of lint coming from our clothes never occurred to me each time I cleaned out the lint trap on my dryer, but having it all over my clothes joggled my brain a little, and I am amazed that there is anything left of our clothes after a few washings!

Besides thinking of the environment, I wondered about our personal energy savings and checked on the web for the cost of running gas and electric dryers in our area. Hey, saving money might make it even more worth while. Suddenly, I started noticing how long it took to dry things like a load of jeans, towels, or a throw rug, and I just couldn’t do that anymore.

I dry everything inside the house here in the city as our neighborhood covenant doesn’t allow clotheslines, and personally, I like to do it this way. Although I have always heard that people love the way their sheets smell after drying on a clothesline, I can’t help but think that wet clothes catch all the blowing dust and they just might become dirtier than before!

Here is how I do it and what I’ve learned:



The wooden folding rack: They are easy to find and not expensive; you probably already have one. I use mine for hanging all the small items such as wash cloths, underwear, and socks.