I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but it’s cold here today. (I always think it’s cold.)Still, we are having some sunny days, and it is technically spring. And so, the spring cleaning has begun. I love the smell of fresh, clean laundry. And April is the month of Earth Day (the 22nd). So there’s no better time to get outside and hang those clothes on the line. Yes, I said outside, clothes, line. You remember? The way your grandmother used to do. Turns out, granny was on to something. Here are a few tips to get you interested/started.
1. Did you know that using the dryer can add up to about half of your energy bill? And in summer months your air conditioner has to work extra hard to cool down your home from the heat of the dryer. So hanging your clothes outside is good for the planet, and your wallet.
2. Get yourself an inexpensive clothesline from the local hardware store, and some clothes pins from just about anywhere. (I found mine at Target, but they didn’t have the clothesline.) Depending on where you live, you can put your line almost anywhere, as long as it catches a breeze and some sun. You can set a couple of poles if you have a large yard. Or you can even stretch it across your deck from one rail to another for lightweight, small items. Just make sure your line is pulled tight enough that it doesn’t sag.
3. Sunlight is great for helping your whites stay white and bright. It has a bleaching effect. So it’s best to hang whites in the morning to get the most help from the sun. Then hang darks later in the day, when the sun is less bright.
4. Shake out your items before hanging, to lessen wrinkles and bunching. You can even hang blouses on hangers, buttoning the top button, then hang on the line by the hanger. If your hanger wants to slide, simply pin IT to the line. This equals fewer wrinkle, and no clothespin marks on your blouse!
5. If you really want the extra softness and smell that comes from your dryer sheets, you can always toss the clothes into the dryer for a few minutes at the end. This will also help reduce pollen or allergens for those who are sensitive. But I believe there’s nothing quite like sleeping on clean sheets fresh off the line!
I encourage you to try this for a few weeks at least. I think you will feel good about reducing your carbon footprint, reducing your energy bill, and maybe even reducing your stress and waistline from the fresh outdoor activity! Enjoy!