Thursday, August 25, 2011

No-Dry July

First off, I am well aware that it is nearly the end of August, and I'm posting something about July.
I'll explain....

My husband gave me the best Mother's Day present ever this year. He built me a clothesline. Even though I nagged him all last fall that mine needed replaced (we had to tear ours out a year ago when we replaced the cellar), I hadn't started up again on the nagging once spring rolled around. He came up with the idea on his own to build it for me. (And I can't remember what it cost - I want to say $30? Maybe $50? Basically 3 4x4 posts, 2 bags of QuickCrete, plastic-coated wire, and some eye-bolts.)
Here he is, finishing it up before church on Mother's Day. With his helpers.

We had to drop a huge chunk of cash to replace our air conditioner in May. Then it got hot. Really hot. I was really stressing about how to cut back on energy use so that we could afford for the a/c to be running constantly like it was (even set at 78!). So I became the light Nazi, turned off the computer after I checked email in the morning, and didn't let the TV be on that much (have you noticed how warm a TV can get?).
And I decided to not run the dryer.
I actually decided in early June that I wanted to try to go until July without running the dryer.
Well, hubby was helpful one day mid-June when I was busy (I think it was one of the 3 garage sale weekends we did), and did all the laundry using the dryer. So I started over, challenging myself to get to the end of July without using the dryer. I even came up with a clever name for my challenge: No-Dry July. Which isn't quite right, because I was drying the clothes, just not in the dryer. I just thought No-Dry July sounded better than No-Dryer
It's now nearly the end of August, and I can victoriously say - I have not used the dryer since mid-June. Well.... Correction - I did use it for 10 minutes one Sunday morning to de-wrinkle the boys' shirts since there was NO WAY I was going to actually iron them.
I have learned some things along the way.
I always hang shirts by the tails now, instead of the shoulders. Our old clothesline had one line of copper wire, which reacted with something in the wet laundry (unfortunately, we didn't realize it was copper until after this fact). I ruined one of Paul's favorite t-shirts, which now has a line across the back from one shoulder to the other. (It looks like a perfectly drawn line of bleaching.) Several of his shirts got it, but that's the only one that mattered. So I started hanging the shirts by the tails - to avoid that problem, but also so you don't get the weird pulled, wrinkled, bunched place where the clothespins were. Paul always tucks his shirts in, and even though I don't you don't notice it nearly as much when it's on your hips than on your shoulders.
Also, I hang underwear differently now. Growing up, I always hated hanging our underwear on the line, because anyone and everyone driving by can see exactly what size, style, and color of underpants you wear. So embarrassing.
Except when it's these teeny tiny underpants. Then it's really cute.
(And do you see the shirt on the left? That's what I mean when I say I "hang them by the tail.")

So I started hanging the underwear by one side, with one clothespin. They dangle down, and you can't really tell what they are.

Not a great picture, but that's the point! You can't tell what they are

Socks have been the killer. I hate socks. HATE them. (I may or may not have avoided sorting socks for 6 whole weeks once.....) I sort them as I take them out of the washer and hang them up in pairs - so there is a great thing about it..... When I take them off the line, they are already paired up and all you have to do is fold them together.
That doesn't do anything about the rest of the laundry, though.....
(I'm OCD, and can't fold clothes neatly at the line, so I don't bother. I bring them inside, where there's no wind to fight, and a work surface that I can lay them flat on.) (Oh, and the OCD continues.... I can't just hang the clothes on the line..... All the shorts have to be together, t-shirts together, washcloths, big towels, etc. I don't just arbitrarily hang them. It's gotta look neat and organized, folks!)
Anyhow. That's my economical victory for the summer.

1 comment:

Doug or Janice Rhodes said...

I have the same summertime rule-actually spring through fall except when raining or sometimes for very nice clothing. House certainly is cooler