As most of you know, if you are a regular reader of mine, this place is a constant work in progress. What happened this time you might ask? Well let me tell you a tale of how I unwantingly became a mid-century laundress.
One day, a little over a month ago now, I was doing laundry as usual. I went to the basement and transferred the damp clothing to the electric dryer, turned it on and went back to whatever I was doing before I had gone downstairs.
About an hour or so later I made my way back to the basement to retrieve the laundry that I had put in the dryer. “Huh!” I thought to myself as I touched the still wet and now cold clothing. I was confused and figured that I had forgotten to actually turn it on, so I set the timer and made sure to turn it on and went back to cleaning while it ran.
A few hours later I made my way back downstairs for the 3rd time and found that the clothes in the dryer were still wet and cold. The timer was finished and I was so confused. I called Josh, who was home from working daylight at this point, down to see if I was going crazy. He took a look and we decided to run it for 10 minutes and see if it warmed up.
So 10 minutes later, there we were in the basement with a dryer full of STILL wet laundry and a washer full of more laundry waiting to be put in the dryer, but the dryer had decided to quit heating up. I was so irritated by this point, when I finally realized that the heater had quit working, that I didn’t even want to deal with it.
I was very not set up for this issue. We didn’t have a clothesline strung outside or inside and we had had out A/C running for over a week, so the basement was cold; not the best environment to dry clothes in.
After I had a chance to calm down a bit, I figure I could use the cheap metal rack that I used for drying some of my delicates to put the clothes on the side porch and let them air-dry since it was so hot out. Well…lets just say that 3 days later I finally found myself online trying to figure out what I was doing wrong since my clothes still weren’t dry.
After a bit of looking around I finally found what I was looking for on another blog. The picture on the post was pretty much the same drying rack I have only her’s was wood and she had it loaded up pretty much the same way I had mine. So why was she able to dry her laundry and I wasn’t? Well, I decided to leave her a desperate comment asking for help with tips and tricks and she got back to me within a few hours. I really can’t thank Story enough for her help (check out her blog Homestead with a View for some amazing writing and great tips on just about everything you’ll need to know for starting a homestead).
So, long story short she told me I needed to actually put the rack somewhere it would get some sun and way more breeze. After reading her reply I ran outside and moved the rack full of 4 day old damp laundry into the yard by the garden and waited till just before the dew cam on that evening.
It worked! Holy crap it worked!!! She was now my new hero and should be given a homesteading medal or something…but for real though.
After a few days of finally getting caught up on the laundry using the rack as advised by my new friend, I decided that it was time to get real about this and get a line put up since it wouldn’t be in the budget to get the parts for the dryer until Josh’s car was fixed.
Putting it on the line
After looking at Josh and telling him about my laundry woes, he said, “Let’s do this,” and proceeded out the door. I had no idea how he was going to string a clothesline since our trees are too far apart and we didn’t have any poles that we could set up.
Well…wouldn’t you know my husband is a magician and true homesteading da Vinci. A short story is needed for you to understand this one.
You see, when we bought our property it had so much junk on it that it was kind of like a scavenger’s dream. It’s mostly useful things like bricks and blocks, a random cast iron tub in the treeline and some old garden fencing and stuff like that. Needless to say, anytime we need something that we think might be in the random stuff by the woodline we go look before buying it new. I mean, why buy when you can get it for free less than 100 yards away, right?
The next thing I knew, here comes Josh out of the brush and trees with a triangular piece of metal in each hand. I looked at him and realized what it was and shouted across the yard that he was a genius. When we were cleaning up the place after we had moved in, there was an old TV/radio tower that was just laying there in 3 or 4 sections. The sections are triangles made from tubing that interlock when stacked. Josh met me in the side yard near the house and triumphantly placed them on the ground and asked where I wanted the line put up.
I showed him where I wanted it after giving him a hero’s welcome with a hug and a kiss. He dug the holes for the piping to go in, 6 in total, and I showed him how to run the lines and make the lifting sticks (something I remembered from when I was growing up). After we strung the lines, we realized that the poles (piping) weren’t long enough in the ground and the lines where pulling the tower section down. I asked if he knew where the tent stakes were that we had just found and he came back a few minutes later with them. After tethering the tower sections with the tent pegs and extra cotton line, I went to find the clothespins that I used to use for my TreadlingHome Aprons display at shows.
After I found the clothespins, I ran a load of laundry through the washer (check out an overview of my laundry normal routine here) and put them on the line to finally dry. It was amazing! Our cloths were done in a few hours instead of a few days, and my amazingly ingenious husband was even kind enough to neutralize the large wasps nest that was covering half of our basement access door from outside.
Needless to say, this has been an adventure with more than a few learning curves for the both of us. I had to remember how to line dry laundry, something I hadn’t done in almost 20 years, and Josh had to learn everything about washing and drying and how different it can be when using a clothesline.
I want to truly thank my amazing husband Josh for being there no matter what and being Mr. Fix-it when all I can do is yell about how frustrated I am. Thanks babe!
If you want to know more about drying your laundry and all the different ways to do it, I have linked a few articles that really helped us out when we needed it below.
- Homesteading with a View’s Laundry on the Homestead
- Juli Hoffman’s How to do Laundry Without a Clothes Dryer