Being Green: Retractable Clotheslines

I recently bought a a retractable clothesline on Amazon.   I wanted something that was easy to set up and take down, because I didn’t want to have a permanent clothesline in my backyard.  This Moerman one works very well.  It has two 49 foot lines, although so far, I’ve only needed one.  I attached it to the wall of my house, and then I attach the other end of the line to a chain link fence about 40 feet away.  I rigged up a line support about half way along the line, using a flower pot and a piece of plastic piping, but I’m going to try to find something more sturdy eventually.  Without the support in the middle, the line droops really low.  I’m really loving this so far, and it’s great to be able to dry my clothes naturally without using up any energy.  It’s been so hot lately (high 90s most days), that a load barely takes an hour to dry, which is how long I usually run the dryer anyhow.

I’m not one to romanticize the life that housewives of the past had, but it does give me a sort of domestic satisfaction to hang clothes out to dry.  Or maybe that’s not the right word.  I find it relaxing to be outside, in the sunshine.  I find it satisfying that I’m not wasting energy when the sun provides all the drying power I need.  And I feel a connection to the past, when people used to actually put a little physical effort into keeping their house clean, instead of letting machines do all the work for them.

The apron is a souvenir from when I lived in Nicaragua for six weeks back in 2005.  In the markets, the vendedoras always wore these aprons to keep change in.  They would be selling anything from Coca-Cola to gum to bananas to ice cream, but they all wore these beautiful, colorful, frilly aprons.  I feel in love with the look of these aprons, so I bought one for myself.  The inner pockets are huge, and there’s more than enough room for all the clothespins I need.


About Diana

Style maven, knitter, crafter, seamstress, one who does not walk the beaten path.
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8 Responses to Being Green: Retractable Clotheslines

  1. Tina says:

    I just found your blog from Kristen and I love it!

    We have a smiliar clothes line that we use (we’ve unplugged our drier!) and we’ve also had to jerry-rig it. We use an upside down bucket with an old outside umbrella pole. IT’s taken a topple of few times, but it’s the best we’ve come up with. I’m been looking for a shepherd’s hood flower holder that is tall enough to use, but no luck so far. Keep us posted if you find a good solution…


  2. Natalie says:

    I think I understand your concept of domestic satisfaction. Years ago when my boys were babies I used cloth diapers and hung them outside to dry on a line. There was something about doing that that made me feel a connection to my own mother and millions of other women before me. Plus, the sun works as a natural sanitizer, and, odd as it sounds, the clean, sun bleached diapers actually smelled pretty nice! 😉

    It was hard to find a clothesline back then and I was worried my homeowner’s association might not allow it. Crazy, isn’t it? Shouldn’t there be MORE clotheslines in the world?


  3. Tina says:

    As I am going back through your older posts, I swear I used to follow you on a different blog. Did you used to have a daily outfit blog that you merged into this one or am I just crazy?


  4. Clare says:

    You look absolutely freaking darling in that apron. I totally wish I had enough outside space for a clothesline.


  5. Shybiker says:

    I *love* clotheslines for the reasons you cite. Their environmental benefit is obvious and their reminder to us about earlier pre-machine days is valuable. Surprisingly, some towns and homeowners’ associations have laws banning clotheslines — for fear they will spoil the aesthetics of a place or give it a low-rent look — but smart women are fighting these laws as misguided.

    I also *love* aprons, especially frilly ones. They are hard to find. Your’s looks wonderfully useful and cute.


  6. Lorena says:

    Hurray for clothes lines !
    I have one at home and my husband looks at me like I am insane every time I use it.
    He then says:
    “Why dont you use the dryer ? ”
    “Dont dry my clothes there because they get stiff…”
    I totally ignore him.


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