Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday: My new clothes line

This is the first time in my life that I have ever had a clothes line. I am allergic to, well, everything. Seriously--dust, mold, mildew, trees, grasses, cats, dogs, tobacco smoke, cockroach droppings...See? Everything. The first time I was tested for allergies as an adult, I remember my doctor sitting across the room, marveling at how he could see the reactions appearing on my skin from that distance. Fun times.

So I imagined that have a clothes line wouldn't be a good thing for me, what with all the grasses and trees that tend to be outside. However, I am significantly more allergic to dust than grasses and trees, so I figured I would give it a shot since I do pretty much OK with the dust bunnies that reside in hard to reach and/or neglected places around here.

And then we were hit with the hotter than normal early summer temperatures, plus we recently had a porch added to our home, so I figured this was as good a time as any to attempt a trial run with a clothes line.

I sound full of optimism, don't I?

With our new porch addition, I had the idea of running a clothes line between the two support posts at the edge of our back porch. The support posts are vinyl, and I didn't want to drill holes into them, so I found small, tight bungee cords I could wrap tightly around the posts. I bought the cheapest ($3) clothes line I could find at Ace Hardware (remember my optimism with this plan) and ran that through the bungee cords on each post as I wrapped the clothes line once around the posts. This effectively held the line in place so it wouldn't slide down the posts with the weight of the laundry.

I've tightened the line once so far due to stretching and will likely need to again, but it's easy to do since it's tied off at one post.

I had a small supply of clothes pins on hand that my mom had given me years ago when I first moved out of the house, and improvised for the ones I lacked by using pants hangers until I could get more clothes pins. Also, I hung neighboring items with shared clothes pins when it was practical.

Since it's a short clothes line, with only two lines, one load of laundry tends to overflow a little into the laundry room, especially with a load of whites. I usually move these outside once there's room after I take well-dried items off the line.

I can only wash one load at a time unless I plan on using the dryer. The clothes line is shaded most of the day but, with the heat (Did I mention the heat?) and a good breeze, laundry tends to dry quickly enough to do two loads in the morning/early afternoon if needed. This is usually enough to keep me caught up on laundry for our family of five.

I searched online for tips on how to hang laundry the most efficient way, and have found other things by trial and error. For instance, I found that the t-shirts I wear on a daily basis stretch out too much if hung by the bottom seams, so I hang these on thick plastic clothes hangers (the kind with a metal hook, so I can pin the hook to the line).

I made a clothes pin bag that hangs across my body using a salvaged pocket from a child's badly worn cargo shorts and an old shoelace. I don't particularly care if it's not pretty--It does the job. And, as an added bonus, my husband will hum the theme song to Indiana Jones movies when he sees me wear this.

So...bottom line: I spent $3 for a money-saving project. Not bad, especially since this project will (1) save electricity, (2) keep the house cooler, and (3) slow down the wear on our clothes. And that works for me!

Want to see the new "expansion" of my d.i.y. clothes line?  Check it out here!


LivingSoAbundantly said...

That is very creative! Using what you have, while using is successfully--priceless!

Living So Abundantly: New meme starting tomorrow, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thursday---come join the fun!

Anonymous said...

A clothesline is soooo 20th century*

Jenni said...

Great ideas! I haven't figured out a way to create a clothes line at our duplex, so I use a drying rack. It's not perfect, but it works. :)

Emily T. Thomas said...

I just closed my window researching an indoor clothes line fo rmy extra bathroom - 5 lines across the tub. I think it's as frugal as I can go without damaging any walls for $17. bucks. You've got me beat on price, for sho... but I might recycle a bit for my pin bag and then let k=you know what my hubs hums...

Kathleen said...

First of all, I don't think I'll ask how you know you are allergic to cockroach droppings, but anyway...love the clothesline shots, and I'm glad you got it worked out. I don't do a clothesline, but honestly, I do believe that, after a lifetime in Africa of having no other option but a clothesline, I am still just a little bit enamoured with the dryer. :)

Kathleen said...

Hey look at that - my comments work on your blog; they aren't publishing on a lot of other Blogger blogs. You must have the magic touch!

'Becca said...

Clotheslines are awesome! Not only do you save money on electricity, but your clothes will last longer. Most of my clotheslines have been indoors, but some of my line-drying tips might be useful to you.

Elizabeth said...

I had abandoned my clothesline due to my sons' and my own allergies, but I learned that I can use it with a little bit of extra effort. I hang the laundry to dry and then pop it into the dryer on the "dewrinkle cycle". It only takes a few minutes but gets pollen and other nasties off. The laundry still smells like sunshine and I figure that the cost evens out with the price of extra benadryl!

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