Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Of all the household chores that need doing, laundry is probably the one I have the least objection to. Afterall, you don't really need to actually be there, doing anything, in order for it to get done. Oh yes, there is prep work, but that is minimal. If anything it is the clear up and folding and putting away (and possibly ironing?) of the laundry that poses a hint of an objection. And for me, the drying. Because I refuse to use a dryer. But I like that hanging up process.

When I was younger, I remember helping push the heavy wet clothes through the wringer washer. I was at once thrilled with the process and terrified of the wringer.

I also seem to remember that it would skitter across the uneven basement floor during the agitation phase. It was an all day event, this washday.

I always hang my clothes outside, even in winter sometimes, if there is enough of a breeze to keep them from freezing solid. And even sometimes if there wasn't. The air would give them a fresh scent if you hung things up after they were more than halfway dry.

Now, having only a balcony space, I need to use a variety of clothes horses for this chore and due to a some space issues, I tend to leave them outside folded up and behind a trellis when not in use.

My large wooden rack is perfect for hanging sheets. I found one that someone (likely someone cleaning out Mum's house...) had put out for garbage pick up.

Over the years, it has become less and less stable and has on many an occasion fallen over with the heavier breezes. It had broken bits and needed to be stabilized by the wall and chairs but would still list to one side and wobbled dreadfully. It owes me nothing. So I shed no tears, when I finally threw it out and replaced it with this brand new STURDY
one that I found at a market stall.
It has much thicker dowels that mean less crease in your sheets. 
And extra supports. And you can't tell in the picture, but it is also a bit wider. 
Now, I am waiting for that right breeze....


  1. I've always wondered about laundry complaints. Today it's not like you actually have to stand over a washtub or anything. Now that we've moved and have a washer only a flight of stairs to the basement away, I'm in laundry heaven...

  2. I think it's very admirable that you don't use a dryer even though you have one available. I would be tempted to use it. I'm lazy that way.

  3. Hurray for small domestic pleasures. Just this afternoon I was wringing something through our ancient mangle - it's been sitting over the stone sink in the laundry room for the past fifty-odd years, at a guess - and wondering if anyone else still uses one. And then I thought, hey, I should write a post about this. But you have beaten me to it. Yay for you and your new clothes horse!

  4. I have the very same wooden laundry rack! Mine is a hand-me-down from my former mother-in-law, who purchased it in the late 1960s and used to place it over the hot air floor register in the winter because she didn't have a dryer. I only use it in the summer now, and I use my dryer the rest of the year. But I do love the fresh scent of clothes dried outdoors.

  5. I am spoiled..I use my dryer but on occasion dry the clothes outside. For that clean fresh smell. Love your rack...nice!!

  6. I agree. Laundry isn't really hard work anymore - the washing machine does most of the work for you. I don't iron unless it's something that's really creased but if it's just something we wear during the day for work, (on the farm) I can't see the point. Sheep don't get impressed!!

    I remember the "maiden". When I first moved to the farm 10 years ago, my late father in law used to lecture me about Monday being "washing day". He used to drive me nuts with it. Washing day to me is whenever the linen basket is full.

    But his late wife would make a point of washing on a Monday, baking on a Tuesday, sewing on a Wednesday, cleaning on a Thursday, shopping on a Friday and relaxing at the weekend. Well, as much as a farmer's wife can relax at any rate! I kid you not, that's how she lived.

    I soon put him in his place, lol.

    CJ xx

  7. Sounds like a very wise purchase to me.

  8. Jazz: I know, the hardest part it is taking it out of the machine...

    Nora: I'm cheap that way;)

    Beastie: go ahead and write - I'd love to hear about your ancient mangle!

    Pinklea: this one is handcrafted by Mennonites. a hot air register would be a perfect compromise!

    SueAnn: i have ruined too many things in a dryer and now I don't trust their setting.

    Crystal: some people like to live by ritual - I am more of a free sprit like you - when the basket is full, I wash (or buy new underwear)

    EG: it was!

  9. When I was 6 or 7 there was a junebug inside my nightgown that had been out on the line that day. I discovered it the hard way just as I was drifting off to sleep. From that day onward I detested outdoor drying.

  10. Geewits: eeewwwww! that would do it for me, too.

  11. Clothes horses are terrific and so are coathangers dangling from stairs. I have a device for hangers which is very useful when doing the ironing. I know many people never do any ironing, but I persevere.
    As for washing freezing, this is not something which we have to contemplate, let alone experience, although in Canberra if you left things on the line overnight in winter they would freeze, but then soon thaw.
    I do like my dryer, though, notwithstanding the fact that I use the clothesline regularly.
    When I was a child, washing day was on Mondays, and I remember my mother and grandmother coping with the copper and the wringer. I had an easier life, but I did go out to work, and all the domestic work was considered the province of the female.

  12. I use a dryer. I guess it's the idea of lugging wet laundry down the stairs and out through the basement. But I hadn't thought of a drying rack that I could use on my porch or deck. Hmmm - I need to look into that. Laundry, in general, is a chore I don't mind at all. But I do NOT iron.

  13. Persiflage: I do use the dryer sometimes to fluff up the towels. there is not much else that can rejuvenate frozen towels! and yes, I have a lot of clothes hangers hanging all over. It takes a bit of work to put everything away!

    SAW: if I had a house, I would definitely put the laundry on the main floor.


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