Childhood summer memories involve spending time on the farm, walking the railroad tracks to the suspension bridge, playing hide-n-go seek with my cousins, and hanging clothes on the line to dry. Recently, as I was cleaning out my basement, I came upon a basket of clothes pins and my mind instantly raced back to my Kansas summers. I hadn’t used my clothes pins in years, but the flood of happy thoughts associated with my childhood led me to Home Depot where I purchased a retractable clothesline to use in my backyard.
Hanging clothes on the line to dry is great for the environment, less harsh on fabrics, and shaves a few pennies off the electric bill. It’s not convenient, though. It is a lot easier to push a button on the dryer than it is to carry the clothes outside and hang them up piece-by-piece.
Unclutterer reader Sarah recently e-mailed me to share some of her tips for streamlining the entire laundry process when you’re using a clothes line:
- “As I hang the clothes, I group by person and by clothing type. Since I use folding racks, this happens pretty organically (small things like underwear go on the bottom rung, long things like shirts go on the top). Each individual in our 3-person household gets their own rack.
- As I take clothes OFF of the racks, I again group by person and by storage location (which drawer in the dresser, the closet, etc.), and I fold as I go. So I take down and fold all of my clothes, then all of the husband’s clothes, then all of the kid’s clothes. The kids’ sorted and folded stuff goes into one basket, the adults’ stuff goes into another.
- By the time I’m done, the clothes are ready to be taken to their respective rooms and put away — in less than five minutes. This virtually eliminates the ‘Mount Laundry on the Bed’ situation!”
Great tips, Sarah! When I use a single, long line, I group by person in sections along the clothesline. What about the rest of you — what do you do to organize your laundry process? Do you use an outdoor clothesline? Share your tips in the comments.