Laundry Love

by Wendy Copley on August 19, 2008

Getting ready for the new baby

A few weeks ago, on the way home from work, I heard this story about hanging laundry out to dry. I thought it was an interesting story over all, but the part that really struck me was the second half of the piece where they discuss how millions of Americans are banned from hanging their laundry out to dry by their homeowners associations because it looks “low class” and it’s “unsightly.”


I’ve written about hanging laundry out to dry before but that was before I fell totally and completely in love with it, so I think the time is right for me to write about it again.

I love hanging our laundry out to dry.

I love it.

I find it to be calming and pleasant and almost meditative.

I love being outside in the fresh air and sunshine when I’m doing a chore that should be drudgery.

I love the system I’ve worked out with the best way to hang each type of clothing. Shirts are hung upside down so that there aren’t clothes pin pinches at the shoulders. Socks are hung by the toes so the elastic doesn’t stretch out.

I love giving each damp item a sharp snap to get the wrinkles out before I hang it. And I love that when I pull the clothes off the line they don’t need to be ironed. And don’t forget that fresh, clean smell.

I love that we save money on our electricity bill. That it usually takes less time to dry a load on the line than it does in our dryer. I love that it’s green.

I love the connection it makes me feel to the past. Whenever I hang clothes it makes me think of my grandma doing the same thing 50 or 60 years ago and all the other women who have hung laundry through the years. And though I know they would likely envy my electric dryer — especially in the winters and on rainy days — I kind of think that maybe this was one chore they didn’t mind so much because I don’t mind it so much myself.

And I love how it looks. I love to see the clothes drifting up and down in the breeze. I love how our porch feels like a cozy little room when we hang up big sheets and towels that make “walls” (as Wyatt calls them).  I love hanging like items up all in a row (yeah, I know it’s compulsive — I’m like that) and how it looks neat and orderly. I love seeing my family’s clothes hanging up like little pieces of their personalities. Caring for the clothes they like is one way I show my love for them. And how can I see a robot ninja t-shirt or a fuzzy monkey suit or a geek t-shirt without thinking about the fellas who wear them and how much I love them?

That woman who said that hanging laundry out to dry is “unsightly” must be cold and hard and miserable.


Monkey clothes


I do still hate the crunchy towels though.

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