With summer approaching, many of you are probably looking forward to the long, sunshine filled days ahead. That sunshine can do more than just warm our skin and give us our daily doses of vitamin D. It can also dry and sanitize our laundry. A clothesline is a very simple way to reduce your energy use and lower your budget. We’ve seen an average savings of $50 per month on our electric bill since starting to use the clothesline. Granted, we’re not hanging every load of laundry out to dry because of either weather or time constraints, but it has certainly offered us a significant savings.
Since we live in the woods, our property is limited to only a couple of spots of full sunlight. One of them is in the front yard, and while our house sits back from the road by a couple hundred feet, I don’t want everyone who pulls in our driveway to get a peek at my drawers. That leave me with the area immediately behind the house. This actually works well for me because my washer and dryer are just inside the back door. I chose to set up a clothesline on two pulleys for two reasons. First of all, I’m short and any laundry hung at my eye level would almost certainly result in it draping the ground. With the pulley system, I can have one end at my level and the other end much higher so my laundry is well above ground level. Second of all, I have a very active toddler who doesn’t allow me a lot of time to hang laundry. My setup allows me to stand on the steps at the back door, keep the laundry basket on a stool (so I don’t have to keep bending over) and my clothespins next to my laundry basket and hang my laundry from one stationary position. It makes the whole process go a lot faster, plus I’m not carrying a heavy laundry basket full of wet laundry all over the back yard. The only negative aspect to this method is that I can usually only hang one large load of laundry at a time.
Here is what I would recommend for a ~100 ft pulley clothesline:
200 ft cotton clothesline
5-6 clothesline separators
2 pulleys (I’ve actually found the plastic ones to be more reliable than the metal)
1 clothesline tightener
First of all, determine where you will hang your pulleys. I have one just above my head next to my backdoor so I can stand at the back step and hang laundry. The hook is screwed into a stud and the pulley is attached to the hook. The other pulley is about 20 ft above the ground on a tree across the yard. Again, the hook is screwed into the tree first, then the pulley is attached. Utility poles are also a good option for hanging pulleys because you don’t have to worry about tree branches hanging above or shadowing your clothes.