Monday, January 31, 2011

Is winter making me crazy?

I'm a fair weather clothes line user.

I love hanging clothes on the line outside.

But only on balmy sunny days. As soon as the weather turns bad, I give up the clothes line. I would much rather use the clothes dryer then hang up wet clothes with frozen chapped hands - and bring in stiff frozen clothes that are still damp!

Last year, my husband put up a line in my basement next to the washing machine. Most weeks, I manage to use my dryer for only two loads. Our basement has almost no heat and it takes two days to dry things but it has been worth it not to use the dryer -or the outdoor clothes line!

So how do you explain this photo?

I had more laundry then usual today. I couldn't hang it all in the basement. The sun was out bright and the temperature rose to above freezing. I really do enjoy sun dried diapers or maybe I'm getting a little cabin fever. I don't think I've EVER stomped through snow to hang up laundry! It was so unusual I had to take a picture.

Now I'm wondering. Are any of you die hard clothes line users? My neighbor down the road has a large wrap around porch. She has a large family and almost any time, day or night, she has her porch full of hanging towels. I always shook my head in disbelief at her dedication to line dry. But I'm sure my neighbors were wondering at my sanity today, too!

I love the slow winter days and extra time to sew and bake. But anyone else counting the days til spring with me?


  1. Nothing better than clothes dried outside on the line.

    However, I agree with you about not hanging them in the winter. Brrrrr. Too hard on the hands.

    Having said that, I look forward to the day when I can start using my outdoor line again.

  2. I live in one of the wettest parts of the UK and I don't, and have never owned a tumble drier. We have a wood burner, and indoor clothes racks, which we stand in the room with the wood burner. We hang the washed clothes on them instead. I usually managed to get the clothe shung outside, it's windy here by the coast so it gets the worst of the wet off the clothes, they always dry over night in the residual heat of the fire.

  3. Maybe you could get one of the clothes lines on a pulley that connects from the house to another building or pole outside. Then you just stand at a window or door and hang and pull....the Amish around here use them all year round plus many of them use the porch method for rainy days. Me, I'm lazy and use the dryer and drying racks next to the wood stove. I'm wishing for spring also, at least it was nice to see the sun today :) Maybe we will get enough snow tomorrow that I don't have to go to work and can sew all day....keeping fingers crossed!

  4. I grew up with a Father who made us use the clothes line unless it was raining/snowing. I hated the cold months too, and decided I would rebel against the idea once I had a family of my own. We are about to move into a new home in the country and you'll never guess what one of my favorite things about the place is....yep, a cute little porch that leads to the backyard where the clothesline is.

  5. Yes I hang laundry out in knee deep snow and very low temperatures. They smell so nice when I bring them in for that last little dry by the cookstove.
    Like your new header.

  6. I don"t even have a "line" ! Though I'm thinking hard about getting Prince Charming to put one up. I think if I could line dry my quilts, they might last a little longer & not look so warn. My oldest is 28 now & when I lived in CA I line dried diapers everyday. It hardly ever rained & it was always warm enough to dry diapers...But I'm very blessed. I don't have to do that anymore!


  7. I used to hang diapers out with snow on the ground. Justin was born in January and I put the diapers out and prayed he would be good until I got warm. Didn't want to touch him with cold hands.

    I think diapers get nicer when they are out in the sun. I use the dryer all the time in the winter now. I don't have those little ones and I'm just not going to freeze dry my clothes anymore.

  8. Well, we don't even have a dryer so I hang all my laundry. Thankfully it doesn't stay cold here for weeks on end like it does there and any snow we get may last a week and be gone. So it is really not too bad. I do miss the fluffy towels. And hope for a reel type clothesline someday:)...

  9. Spring can't get here soon enough! We grew up without a clothes dryer, (and maybe you did too?)So all winter long, sheets, towels, and ALL of our clothes hung on the line no matter what. I can still remember my mom bringing in dad's work pants and standing them up in the corner, frozen stiff. :) We don't have a basement or room for an indoor line so I am much more dryer prone these days. But if I had to wash diapers, I can't imagine a better way to bleach them than in the sun.

  10. VERY ready for spring. also ready to start using cloth diapers again. taking a break right now!:)

  11. Weather is telling us it will be -20 with wind chill tomorrow night. The snow has already started tonight. I'm about to lose my mind. Spring won't get here soon enough!!! ~Liz

  12. *Frantically raising my hand* Me Me Me - I AM I am SO ready for Spring!! Enough snow already!!!

  13. well, I'm ready for spring, yes, but I love discussing laundry :)

    I dry most of my laundry in racks inside in the winter - we need the humidity inside. However, I do put my whites and sheets outside on the line with a few caveats: there usually needs to be a little wind and sunshine and I need to get the things on the line first thing. On cloudy, still days, the wash is just still too damp by dusk to make it worthwhile.

    My mom and I joke that we're in the "laundry sniffers club" because we love the scent of line dried laundry so much.

  14. When we first moved out here to the country, I requested a clothesline. Hanging clothes on the line can be quite theraputic when the weather is pleasant, not to mention more economical. We had a work day where several other families came out and helped us get some projects done as well as get a clothesline put up. We've used it frequently except for when it is too cold. I had to giggle at your picture, especially the little depressions in the snow underneath the garments where they had dripped.
    Yes, I'm thinking that Spring will be a little more welcome this year :-)!
    Blessings to you and yours and thanks for commenting at my blog.
    I'm so enjoying yours.

  15. Yes, yes! I hang my laundry year-round and love it! I have an 'amish wash line' so I don't have to traipse into the snow. I even hung my loads last Monday when the thermometer read 1.9 F. But oh, did our bedding ever smell delicious! I've found that if the skies are clear, the wind will blow. Friends shake their head at my line as they drive by on these frigid days, but it thrills my soul to leave my dryer quiet.
    Souderton, PA

  16. We have a dryer and I used to use it all the time-but no longer! Here in NY the clothes dry fast on the line and, I agree, there is nothing better for bringing back many, many memories than the smell of freshly line-dried clothes! I have a woodstove and a line in the basement and clothes racks and a retractible clothesline in my dining room-so there are lots of opportunities for indoor clothes hanging in the colder months. Still, on a clear, sunny, mild winter's day...I cannot resist hanging the bigger items out to dry either! Yes, come spring...I will be 'hanging out' by the clothes line for sure!!!

  17. I really liked this topic! Post Grenada I've stubbornly refused to hang laundry outside in the cold, though I have a few times. I love doing laundry in the Summer! In our area all the plain people hang out laundry in the Winter, even in the snow, while I shiver with a tinge of guilt! We don't have an indoor clothesline, but I do have a wooden rack and 2 clothespin carousels for which I'm very grateful! I try to wash laundry every day and if it doesn't fit on the rack, then it goes in the dryer. :( That's not my first choice, but frozen limbs aren't either. :)

  18. did it still have that smell? Fresh line dried in the sunshine yummy smell? If so, then okay, you go ahead and dry them outside in the snow...LOL! If not, I diagnose you with a terrible case of cabin fever and you must now stay under covers by the window until the spring thaw. LOL!

    I live in the south and I try not to even go outside if the temp is below 35 degrees or I fear I would freeze to death. Born and raised in the south so I have no cold genes. You should have seen me those 5 years in Kansas when my dh was stationed there. Uggh....I froze.

  19. That's a great picture! My immediate thought was similar to the Frugal Queen's comment. A pulley system would be perfect for you. Even if it wasn't connected to the house, you'd get less snow in your boots. That looks pretty deep.

    I do have a line outside, but I really don't like hanging clothes when they freeze. It's cold on my hands, and I've had the clothes freeze so hard that I couldn't get them off the line. That's not appealing to me. I do use some lines in the basement occasionally, but I don't find it very therapeutic to stand in the dark basement hanging clothes the way you do in the sunshine.

  20. If we had any balmy winter days I'd be out there hanging clothes or airing blankets or beating rugs... but alas we haven't had any of those is a very long time.

    I remember by Mom bring my Dad's pants indoors looking like there ... 'was somebody inside 'em'

    Nothing like sun dried clothes to make me happy and yes, I'm hoping for a early spring.

  21. Ok, you might have it buried on your blog here somewhere, but I want to know how do you get your line dried clothes soft? I tried hanging some towels and blankets out over my deck railing last summer, and they were soooo stiff. Any help? I'd LOVE to have a real clothes line, but not sure if my Home Owners Association would allow it. :(

  22. I have to line dry all my laundry. A family of 8 makes for a lot of freeze dried clothes!

  23. Believe it or not, one of my most precious memories of early motherhood was when I had two little ones in cloth diapers that I hung out every day or two in the hot Florida sun. On really hot days they dried so quickly that I could almost go back and unload the beginning of the line as soon as I finished the end.
    BTW, I'm not that old. My children are only teenagers now. We had a dryer, but I never pulled a load out of there that compares with my memory of those fleecy white squares out on the clothes line.

  24. I am also counting the days till Spring. I do not own a dryer so I air dry year round for my family of four. I use a clothes drying rack. What I find really helps the drying process along is to run the clothes through the spin cycle twice. The more water you get out then the less you have to let evaporate. I also always dry in the main part of my house where there is air movement.

    This system works well for me. I do a load of wash at supper time then it hangs in the kitchen overnight. Then the second load goes in the middle of the living room before we go to bed.

    If I have lots of heavy towels and jeans I find that turning the ceiling fan on overhead is enough to ensure they dry in 8 hours.


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