Ditch those dryers!
Okay, so I am not actually saying that you should get rid of your clothes dryers. Although I know people who don't even own one and get along just fine, a dryer is something that I just need (read: want) sometimes. To tell you the truth, though, except for towels and the occasional oops-I-forgot-to-give-this-time-to-dry-and-I-need-it-now moments, I don't use my dryer.
Why not? Why should you choose to hang-dry your clothes? There are two big reasons:
- It saves electricity. Dryers are one of the biggest electricity drainers in our homes. Project Landry List has a calculator on their website that lets you figure out how much you approximately spend on washing/drying your clothes per year. Forgetting about the damage the dryer does on your wallet (which may be minimal to some), think about what the energy consumption does to the planet. They also emit an average of 4.4 lbs of C02 with every load!
- It saves your clothes! Dryers are notorious for wear and tear on your clothes. See all that lint that has to be cleaned out after each use? That use to be part of your clothing! Dryers are rough and tumble and can be very harsh on your clothes delicate fibers. Line drying extends their life. So not only does line drying save you money now but it saves you money in the future because you do not have to buy replacement clothing as quickly.
You must be thinking that I have a huge backyard with some glorious clothes line set up. Well, I do have a big backyard, but I have no clothes line. All of my shirts go straight from the dryer to the hangers (my mom always told me that this will mess up your clothes but I think this is a myth) and pants either get hung on hangers or over the backs of chairs. We wear our pants at least twice until they are dirty so there are always more shirts to wash. When I started doing this I hung the hangers in the doorways of our extra rooms, but they still got in the way. So where do they go now? The shower rod! We have two bathrooms and hang them in the extra one that we do not use to bathe. I can easily fit two loads of laundry there. I also have a wire rack that I hang clothes on outside. That is usually where the Kid's clothes (because all his clothes go in a dresser so I don't want to bother putting them on hangers just to have to take them off) and the diapers go. Small items like socks get dumped on this also or hung over chairs. They don't take long to dry so they are never really in the way.
There are so many options to choose from when drying clothes. You can go for a traditional line outside, you can dry them inside, or you can use a combination of both with various folding racks. I actually have a rack like the one pictures above that I picked up at a garage sale for $4. The paint on it is chipping, though, so it is standing unused until it can be sanded :(
If you do a Google search for drying racks you will find some pretty expensive ones. But you can find them at garage sales, thrift stores, and even big-box stores. Don't think you have to have an $80 collapsible one to dry your clothes!
The next time you run a load of laundry, think before you throw it in the dryer!