The more I dive into the low-waste, environmentalism, and energy conscious worlds, the more I think about alternatives to basically everything I do. I also have dreams of being a homesteader and living off the land. So, a project I did last fall was install an exterior clothesline! This isn’t revolutionary, but it does make an impact, so I’m here to share!
Air drying clothes is a great way to save on energy when doing laundry and I’m the perfect candidate for air drying clothes in my sunny San Diego climate. Plus, sunshine is the nature’s bleach. So, why not?
Sunny, the neighborhood cat that famously waltzed into my house when I left a door open (go to the 1:22 in the video to see him) really likes it when I do laundry because it turns into belly rub time.
One day, I might add an outdoor rotary dryer clothesline to be able to dry more clothes, but for now I’m using the space between the corner of the house and the garage. It’s perfectly out of the way so I’m not smacking my face on damp underwear when I walk outside, and I have enough height that I can walk underneath it on my way to the driveway without ducking.
Since I’m not doing laundry constantly, it’s nice to tuck the line out of the way, so I got a retractable clothesline that works like a dream.
Instead of purchasing it, I asked my Buy Nothing Group and got one for free! I also asked neighbors for clothespins and got those for $0.
To operate, first attach the metal bracket permanently to a surface. I used the corner of my garage.
Can you seeing it hiding there?
Then, I mounted a hook on the side of the house that you don’t even notice when the line is tucked away. I made sure to mount them both up high enough that I could walk underneath them but not so high that I couldn’t reach a clothespin.
The body of the clothesline tucks in nicely into the ivy of the garage so It’s super hidden. If you don’t have foliage to hide the line in, it also rotates to be out of sight. This line is perfect for small spaces and interiors, too. Kim and Scott installed the same one in a laundry room makeover last year and tucked it flush against a wall. You could also paint it to blend in, better, too.
Towels, sheets, yoga mats, etc. can drape over the line without clipping them on, but clothespins are super handy for smaller items. I keep them handy in a small jar on my dresser, and in a small basket in the kitchen - both within arms reach of the two back doors for easy access.
And there you have it. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, but it’s a simple and inexpensive tool to make a small lifestyle change.
This line came super in handy during my January yoga challenge (30 classes in 31 days!) when I had yoga pants and tops on the line nearly 24/7. I also like to hose down my yoga mat and let it drip dry there, too. I use the line also for hanging my kitchen rug dry where I smack it with a broom to let it air out and get some sunshine. I mostly hang my towels and sheets in hopes they get sun-bleached and stay white.
I’m still using my dryer and the dryer balls so I’m not totally converted to the outdoor line. But, maybe one day. For more tips on sustainable laundry including washing, detergent, and tips, check out this blog post.