This month, I am embarking upon what I like to call a Home Economics Study. Although truthfully, it’s nothing so grand as that. I just like the big name.
In actuality, I am using a clothesline to do my laundry. But doesn’t Home Economics Study sound more impressive?
Our neighbours have gone away for a month on holiday to Europe. We’ll be keeping watch on their house during that time, and in an effort to make the place look occupied, I have parked my car in their driveway, and I’ll water the plants. And then I thought of their clothesline. If there’s laundry out, the place will certainly look lived-in. But my thoughts were much more selfish than that.
I’m going to use their clothesline while they are away to see 1) if it saves us any money, and b) if we like using it enough to put up our own. It’s something I have considered for a while now, but wasn’t convinced. My experiences with clotheslines as a kid certainly didn’t make me a fan. But we need to save money. And, in the event that we decide to go with cloth diapers for Mystery Baby, it would sure be a good way to dry and bleach them.
My first foray into using the clothesline went badly this morning. The comforter and sheet I hung out first had dragged on the ground (the clothesline overhangs a deck, so technically, they brushed along the deck) and so they got all kinds of schmutz on the bottom. So I had to rewash them.
But the second load are drying quickly in the heat and sunlight, and I’ve learned to manage the big items to keep them up off the deck. It is a bit of a warm task, hauling loads of laundry in and out, but it’s not too bad. And if we can save a little money, we can more readily afford the air conditioner, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off that way.
I picked up some lovely cheap laundry soap that comes with fabric softener in it, so hopefully this aids in my cause, as well. I never did like the way clothes come off the line all stiff and crunchy when I was growing up.
Also, I am concerned about the dark stuff. We dress in a lot of black and red around here — partly because we like black, and partly because they’re the colours of our old volleyball club (and Team Canada!) and we have lots of gear. I am kind of hesitant about putting out the dark stuff because I don’t want it to get bleached. I remember stuff on my line in Japan coming in discoloured from the sun and the pollution. So I am not sure about that stuff yet.
Another thing? We live by a conservation area. Birds have dirty feet. And they like to poop. And there are lots of bugs.
So there are some perils to clothesline life, to be sure. We’ll have to see if the benefits outweigh the issues.
There are a few issues to work out in my study yet. But we’ll see if it’s worthwhile, in the end. Maybe we’ll be a clothesline family yet.