Sunday, 5 January 2014

How Hanging Your Laundry is Perfect for Lazy People

A blog that I follow, Becoming Granola, reminded me that I used to hang my laundry to dry.  Of course, when I started doing that it was out of necessity-- during a hospital stay leading up to the birth of our son, our dryer broke.  That meant we were in a new-parent stupor and doing laundry the "old fashioned way".  Our "old-fashioned" laundry methods included:
  1. Taking our laundry to the laundromat, and having them do it for us.  This is a sweet option for new parents who can hardly keep their eyes open.  They don't go to great lengths to separate your stuff, or keep that hang-to-dry sweater out of the dryer, but we took EVERY SINGLE BIT OF LAUNDRY WE HAVE there (including linens) and it cost us maybe $75, and everything came back folded, nothing came back ruined and nothing came back missing.
  2. Washing our laundry at home, then lugging the wet stuff across the street to dry it at the 'mat.  Not as awesome, definitely more cost-effective, and hey, the laundromat really is only across the street from our place.  Bonus:  when you're a new mom who has almost lost her mind revolving around breastfeeding (or lack thereof) it's nice to sit at the laundromat reading Michael Pollan and waiting for your stuff to dry.  Laundromats also have huge surfaces which are great for folding.  My home doesn't have any surfaces like that.
  3. Washing in our machine and hanging to dry inside our 2 bedroom condo.  We put a clothesline in our 2nd bedroom (Os room) and bought a drying rack.
Then we fixed our dryer and went on about our business like none of this ever happened.  But here's why it's awesome to hang your laundry inside your house.  (This advice is for lazy people and shabby housekeepers much like myself, because it's often hard to justify hanging the laundry because let's face it, hanging the clothes takes much longer than chucking them in the adjacent machine):

  1. Humidity.  Granted, this is really only helpful in the winter, but hanging wet laundry in our dry bedrooms is awesome for the humidity.  I feel like my nose is slightly less sandpaper-y.  This is a boon since poor little O has been suffering from some pretty hefty coughing lately.  The poor kid has been sick since November, and cranking the humidifier does a lot for him.
  2. Rate of play.  I only have so much drying space (about 2 loads worth), and drying clothes takes time (if I leave it for 24 hours, everything is dry).  This limits the amount of laundry I should aim to do in any amount of time, thus eliminating the pressure to "get all the laundry done this weekend".
  3. Getting dressed.  Nothing like snagging a shirt off the line to get dressed in the morning.  Bonus points if you can get every article you need without opening up a dresser drawer or closet.  Double gold star if you can get everyone in your family dressed off the drying rack.  Every article of clothing you get off the rack is an article of clothing you didn't have to fold or hang up.
  4. Efficiency.  I feel like a bit of a heel for waiting until now to start hanging my laundry again.  When you think about it, we were using a ton of energy to blast the water out of our clothes all day, then using a bunch more at night to pump the water back in the bedrooms so we can breathe at night.  Cut out the middle man (sort of-- the humidifier is still on in Os room; but just not on fullest blast)

How do you regulate the humidity in your home?  Our place is a humidity battle-ground all year.  Our bedrooms are in the basement, so we have to fight mold in the summer, and the heating is electric, so it's dry in here in the winter.  Like really dry.  Like "one-and-a-half year old coughs up blood last winter" dry.