Do you hang?

One of the first things we installed after moving into our house over twenty years ago was a retractable clothesline. It’s a fancy device with five lines that stretch to over twenty feet.  I can easily hang at least three full loads of clothes, bedding and towels and I do own one of the largest washing machines ever sold.  

Over the years I’ve had people make the strangest comments about my clothesline:  

  • “Isn’t it illegal to hang clothes outside?”  
  • “Can’t you afford a dryer?” 
  • “You hang your underwear outside for the world to see?”

To the first question:  Some states do allow homeowners associations and landlords to ban hanging clothes outside but thanks to good old Governor Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) I live in a “right-to-dry” state!  HOAs and Landlords can restrict the hours and items which can be dried in the sunshine but not outright forbid it. 

To the second question: Over 92% of the house fires in the US were caused by dryers which were either improperly installed or improperly maintained.  Or overused. Or … they’re just plain evil.

To the third: Have you ever put on a favorite pair of underpants and had them slip down to your knees?  Unless you’ve lost a lot of weight, you’ve fried the elastic in the dryer. So my bras and panties all get air-dried.

There is a day devoted to the joys of hanging out laundry, of course, but as far as I can tell, there is no ceremony or national event associated with Hanging Out Day.  What a shame.  I think I’ll petition the White House to install a clothesline in the Rose Garden (I guess it’s now the “Former Rose Garden”) and hang out Old Joe’s knickers to celebrate! Care to join me or perhaps … you have a better idea? Check out the Museum of Fine Line Art Clotheslines for ideas. 

Well, it’s a warm day here and my clothes are now dry …. so adios and happy hanging!

23 thoughts on “Do you hang?

    1. Wow. I remember the putzfrau tossing the blankets over the window ledge every morning there was no rain or snow! Course that was in a village, not in town,.

  1. Bloody he’ll. It’s a human right to display your drying smalls here in the UK. I guess some landlords impose restrictions but not on me they don’t. We have a whirlygig. It happens our old and redundant tumble dryer is going to be places… with a wine fridge! How middle class! And as I’m teetotal and Dog prefers beer it’s all down to the Textiliste and the Dowager (our cat)

  2. I don’t know if it’s illegal to hang clothes out to dry here. We have wooden drying racks that we use inside the house, but outside I see no neighbors with clothes lines. Now I’m curious about this topic…

  3. My maternal grandmother didn’t have a dryer and all the wet items went on a line. She didn’t get a small dryer until she was in her 70s. She rarely used it.

    We have a dryer line in our backyard, here, courtesy of the original owner. I’m surprised the Historical (Hysterical) Commission hasn’t demanded it be removed. I can just see me trying to put unmentionables on the line for the entire neighborhood to see. I can hear the collective heads exploding right now. Within 24 hours, there would be a Crown Victoria in the driveway and a wagging finger with bent eyebrows rolling out. You do not display such things in a high-dollar collective of UNC, Duke and RTP millionaires.

    1. My grandmother as well. I bet those millionaires would pay a fortune to spend time in a place like Portofino Italy where clotheslines are spread across the face of stores like Hermes, Dior, and Cartier. But I guess that’s different!

  4. This was a fun look at hanging clothes, Jan, and I enjoyed your three-tiered reasoning. Fun video too. As always you had me smiling as I read, espec. the part about your underpants slipping down to your knees. Also had a good laugh at the thought of Ol’ Joe’s knickers hanging in the Rose Garden. Your indignancy gets me laughing. I think it’s great that you hang your clothes. We have this incredible dry weather and hot sun here in beautiful Calif., might as well let it dry your clothes.

  5. There are laws for everything. (don’t I know it working with the city.) I only hang my hand washables out. Thanks for an amusing read – esp. liked the comment about exposing your uw. PS Does this work in the winter?

  6. Ahh, clothesline dried garments smell the best!
    It is absolutely preposterous that there could be anti-clothesline rules/laws ANYWHERE!
    How can someone be into the environment, and be against natural drying? Dryers are part of the problem!
    My Baba hung her laundry out in the winter, and she lived in Winnipeg. It goes down to -40 there.
    At first the clothes froze… were hard and stiff, then they gave way to dry and fold.
    OMG! Those smelled the best!

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