Clothepins in my mouth

Well, we’ve come to one of my favorite things – hanging laundry. I’m the first to tell you, I’m lazy. L-A-Z-Y. I’m one of those people who will wash and dry the clothes then leave them in a pile until the pile has migrated itself back to the dirty clothes hamper. So how on earth did I get started hanging laundry? It all started with a book (as so many things do in my world). The Tighwad Gazette in this case. A wonderful compendium of articles and tips on how to be a tightwad. It’s worth picking up if you can find it. Anyway… this is the book that started it all for me. It was the first thrifty book I read and remains one of my favorites. The author recommends hanging laundry to save on electricity bills. It’s not a huge savings but it does add up.

So, off I go to buy a garment rack, figuring I can just hang all my clothes on that and they’ll dry just fine in the guest bedroom. It worked. So I went and bought a clothesline and clothespins so that things would dry quicker. I now have a spider’s web of clothesline in the guestroom, high enough that no one gets “clotheslined” by it and low enough that even my 5′ 2″ self can reach it. Now the garment rack is used for overflow.

Why do it? As I’ve said, “Every little bit helps.” It’s a way (along with adjusting the thermostat a couple of degrees) to save some money each month. It takes about half an hour – because I’m still a beginner – to get the clothes from the washer, put them in the dryer for 20 minutes (the shortest marked time on my dryer) to knock the wrinkles out, gather them up, and hang them. Since we’re lucky enough to have a bedroom that no one uses usually, I can hang them and forget them until the next morning when it’s time to do another load.

A side benefit, it makes it easy to fold clothes. I just fold them as I take them down and set them in the hamper to be divvied out later. My kids are old enough to put their own clothes away so I don’t have to worry about that bit. And, since it’s never more than a single load at a time, it’s never the overwhelming, hour and a half long job that folding used to be when I let everything pile up.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a spare bedroom lying about the place, you can do the old-fashioned and hang your laundry outside. If you can’t do that, a garment rack shoved to the side of your bedroom works just as well as clotheslines. I have saved about $10 a month by doing this and lowering the thermostat. It may not seem like much but those $10 a month savings begin to add up after a while.

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