home life, natural living

Hanging Clothes

We installed a clothesline in the backyard the spring before my son was born. The one we chose is mounted on the shop wall at one end, where the clotheslines roll up for storage. When it’s time to hang clothes, I put the pole in the ground, pull out the lines, and latch them to the top of the pole. It was super simply to mount the clothesline on the building, and to dig a small hole for the concrete, and it had more than paid for itself within the summer.

My family had a clothesline when I was a kid, and I remember my mom hanging out clothes, and I remember helping her when I got older. It was always a chore. Even as an adult, hanging out clothes felt like a chore. It gets so hot here in the summer, and standing in the early morning sun but already sweating was not pleasant.

After living by myself for so long and having one small load of laundry a week, it was strange to be doing laundry for two, and then three, and sometimes four, since we had my stepson every summer. My son wore cloth diapers, so I was hanging out laundry a lot. We even had to get a new washing machine shortly after he was born to handle the loads of diapers without wasting a lot of water and energy. Our new machine is so efficient and cost-effective.

But as I said, the line paid for itself, and we have saved a lot of money by having a clothesline and using cloth diapers. It took me a summer, but I got used to the new rhythm of my laundry routine. We got the kids into the habit of wearing clothes twice unless they got super dirty, so there has been less laundry over the years. We still have the same dryer that was here when I moved in, and seemed ancient then. But it still works, knock on wood, probably because we give it a long break every summer.

Now I plan to do my laundry when my son is home. I start the washer while we have breakfast, then we all go outside to play while I hang clothes. Knowing my son is right there with me helps the laundry seem like less of a chore – we’re out there together, there’s nothing I need to rush in to finish, I can take my time and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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