The Clothesline

clothes·line [ klṓz ln, klṓz ln ]
noun (plural clothes·lines)
Definition: line for hanging laundry: a cord on which clean laundry is hung to dry,usually outdoors.
 

It is a simple word that is causing much discussion these days. The act of hanging out clothes in the fresh air brings back many memories for me. Days with my grandmother and mother, the smell of fresh sheets on the bed at night. I still hang out my clothes, rarely using a dryer. I read an article in the New York Times about a year ago about clotheslines and how some areas, mostly new house subdivisions, have banned the use of clotheslines. The article led me to Project Laundry List where founder Alexander Lee gives the top reasons why you should hang out your clothes, the first and foremost being to save money – about $100 per year on electricity for most households. The organization has designated April 19th as National Hanging Out Day to encourage everyone to hang out their laundry and save energy.

There is a beautiful book on the subject, The Clothesline by Irene Rawlings and Andrea VanSteenhouse, which discusses the history of drying laundry, types of clotheslines, laundry rooms, laundry collectibles and clotheslines as art. The illustrations alone make it worth a look.

3 Thoughts on “National Hanging Out Day

  1. Ann E on April 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm said:

    I have fond memories of my Grandmother and hanging out the laundry too! Thanks for the reminder of happy times.

  2. I’m definitely reading “The Clothesline.” I have them inside and outside – hanging laundry outside is very therapeutic and can be very beautiful (look at the Italians).

  3. Karen on April 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm said:

    I tried to buy clothespins a few years ago at a large department store. The young salesperson had no idea what I was talking about! Nothing smells better than bedsheets dried outside in the fresh breeze.

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