Since we all know that clothes dryers are major energy hogs, it makes good penny-pinching sense to minimize their use. During warm months, this can be accomplished by hanging clothes outside on a clothesline. Because most of us don’t enjoy the feel of crunchy clothes brought in from the cold, we quickly abandon this idea in the winter and resort to the dryer again, resulting in an increase in our utility bills. But there is no reason that you can’t bring the outside in. There are several options for drying clothes indoors. Fortunately for me, the previous owners of my home had the same thought. There was a ready-made clothesline in the basement, which I use to hang-dry shirts. I use a folding clothes drying rack for pants, skirts and sweaters.
Our basement is unfinished so the floor joists are exposed. There are four screw hooks that were screwed into the floor joists. The clothesline was run along the joist and twisted around each screw to provide some tension to keep the clothes from sagging too much.
In my apartment-dwelling days, I didn’t have the advantage of a basement. But the bathroom provided the perfect space for hang drying. Shirts on hangers hang from the shower rod. (Of course, this is only an option if the shower rod is screwed into the wall. If you have a tension shower rod, it will not hold the weight of the laundry.) The folding drying rack can be placed in the shower/tub. (The advantage of a folding rack is that it easily stores in a closet or under the bed when not in use.)
If you don’t have a sturdy shower rod, hang clothes from the doorway going into a room. If you have a room that gets little traffic this would be ideal. If not, you might have to do a little ducking for a few hours while the clothes dry.
Indoor hang drying humidifies the air inside your home (for free!), which is a welcome bonus that counters the dry, static-causing air normally present in the winter. Dryers are hard on fabric. Therefore, hang-drying will prolong the life of your clothing by preserving color, minimizing shrinkage and deterioration of fabric due to repeated exposure to heat. Clothes that last longer don’t need replaced as often which means money in your pocket!
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In the last few weeks I’ve noticed that I was wearing the same clothes over and over. The monotony of my wardrobe was causing a serious desire to go shopping for something new. However, after a few minutes of penny-pinching meditation, I decided to first reorganize a closet that has no hanging space but is for folded clothing. I pulled everything out of the closet and put it on the bed. I examined each piece and discarded anything that was stained, worn or torn beyond repair. The items that needed mending went into another pile. (After the closet was put back together, I sat down and replaced a couple of buttons and mended a few seams, which netted me 3 “new” additions to my wardrobe.) I also made a pile of the items that no longer fit or that I just don’t wear anymore, which I’ll hang on to until the next wardrobe swap. The end result – items that had been buried in the back of the closet and not worn for ages are now up front and center. Suddenly I have all kinds of “new” pieces in my wardrobe and the urge to go shopping has subsided.
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