Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"After enlightenment, the laundry."
- Zen Proverb

During the winter months I hung the laundry to dry in our tiny space upstairs above the washing machine. But now springtime has come and my shirts whispered to me, "Wiiiind" and my capris said, "Breezeee Pllleazzze". I wasn't going to listen to their fanciful wishes till I awoke to find crafty crowlike birds building their nests in the dryer vent outlet. Since the dryer is now completely out of the question I obliged my 100% cotton friends, promising to let them go outside. But where? I don't have any kind of drying contraption in my backyard. Not even a wooden portable type to carry out. Surveying my options I have a garden, a grill, and a swing set.

This is about the time when the crow flew over me and dropped a large twig on my head, causing me to suddenly have a laundry epiphany........Of course, I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner! The swing sets monkey bars are a perfect area to put hangers on to dry!

Now, what are the benefits of hanging clothes out to dry, instead of having a machine do the work for you?

  • Your clothes will smell fresh.
  • Saves your clothes. The dryer lint isn't hiding in your pockets... that is fabric coming off your clothes little by little. Sometimes I wonder how I have any clothing at all when I open up the dryer and see the layers of lint!
  • Dryer sheets will be a thing of the past. Clothes create static cling when tumbling around together in the machine. One less item to need from the store.
  • Hanging your clothes inside out on the line will prevent colored items from fading, but whites will actually become whiter from the sunshine.
  • You are saving money. You will skip using all that electricty from the dryer, and get some exercise in the process.
  • If you are wary of your clothes feeling like a paper dolls, just put them in the dryer for a quick fluff afterwards. Also, be sure to shake out your clothes before you hang them outside to get the wrinkles away. That will also make them dry faster.

So, I now have a useful space to let my clothes fulfill their drying dreams while giving my kids space to monkey around. The best of both worlds. Being green and saving money more times than not means thinking "outside" of what you don't have, and being creative about what you do.

I would love to know, do you ever take your clothes outside for a breath of fresh air? (And also how do you get rid of unwelcome birds in your home??)

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