Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tightwad Tuesday: Laundry

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

Today I'll be advocating hanging out your laundry to dry.

"What?" you say. "In the middle of winter?"

Yep. In the middle of winter.

Fact is: I almost never use my dryer. And, I only hung my laundry outside three times this past year because of all our funky wet weather. First, why hang your laundry to dry? Project Laundry List offers several reasons, and I'll include the ones I use as my own:

* Save money (more than $25/month off electric bill for many households). Any appliance that generates heat uses a TON of electricity -- try watching your meter when you run the dryer... it's frightening!

* Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment. Actually... I just really like the smell -- I DO use fabric softener, so that eliminates the "toxic chemicals" reason for me. Still... it's not just the clothes that smell better, but my house!

* Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from? Seriously folks... I have some clothes I've had for fifteen years and I can still wear them (sweatshirts that I adore, mostly). It really DOES make a difference.

And... if you hate how stiff some clothes are (especially things like towels and jeans) then take the laundry off the clothesline when they are still slightly damp and toss in the dryer. Everything will be soft and flexible just as if they were in the dryer the whole time. I have one line in the basement and then I use racks that I stick wherever I have room. For instance... this is what my craft area looks like right now:

And, if you're really interested in going the extra mile to save money ... you could make your own laundry detergent. There's a great recipe for that on Suzanne McMinn's "Chickens in the Road" blog right here.

The time isn't really a factor, either, once you get into a routine. I wash clothes every three days or so -- two to three loads at a time. I do dry my socks and undies in the dryer (in the winter) because they take up tons of room on the dryers and are ridiculously time consuming to hang. In the summer, though, up on the line they go!

Talk to you next week!


A video of my loopy dog -- I was trying not to laugh, so that's my heavy breathing you hear -- but how can you not smile when you see her absolute joy?



Ceri Hebert said...

Such joy!! I want to come back as a happy dog in my next life.

I don't have the place to hang laundry here in my apartment. But when I get a house (this summer maybe?) I'll be doing that for sure.

Dru said...

I use the drying racks in addition to using the dryers. Since we have a laundry room in the building, what I do is dry the towels for 20 minutes and hang on rack to finish drying. It comes out softer.

LOL at Dakota, she's having a dandy time playing in the snow.

Have a good Tuesday.

MaryF said...

When we lived in apartments, we had a mini washer that hooked up to the sink and didn't want to spend money on the dryer, so I had those wooden dryers all over the apartments. I was never so happy to wear jeans as once we moved into a house and had a dryer.

I still hang a lot of clothes, though I don't have a clothesline. Anything knit, for sure. I love the smell of clothes that hang outside. And really, if I had a line, I could hang them all year long.

Maria Zannini said...

There's something to be said about a dog with such joie de vivre. She's a handful but she's all heart.

Ref: laundry
I haven't hung laundry in years, but it's absolutely a great idea.

Tori Lennox said...

Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment.

This is only true if you live in an area that doesn't have crop dusters. *sigh* Even if they don't fly directly over your house, the stink goes EVERYWHERE.

Amy said...

The dryer is one luxury I'm not willing to give up, except under extreme duress.

I make my own dry laundry detergent (even though I have a front loading washer).

oregonsunshine said...

Your pup is too cute! I'm sure she'd have a great time playing with my pups in the snow. Oh, if only I wasn't on the other side of the country!

Melissa said...

Oh, i love the video. She looks like a Santa dog with a snow beard. So fun!!! Thanks for sharing!

Brandy said...

Your dog is hilarious! And so very cute! I can't hang clothes outside, we're all allergic to SO many pollens and such we just can't. I do hang certain sweaters and my unmentionables on hangers inside though. *G*

I hope you have a fantastic day!

Allie Boniface said...

I hang everything outside in the summer - and do about half and half in the winter.

Yup, she's loopy all right!