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Green Laundry: Inside & Out

Our laundry areas over the years have definitely varied - from an actual laundry room right off the back door while on the farm (Electrolux Energy Star W/D), where I closed off a useless window and used it as built-in storage for detergent, etc. and installed a retractable drying rack above it, to the basement setup at our first home in the city (Whirlpool Energy Star W/D) with a tub we literally never used, to our current stacking setup off the kitchen back in the city (Miele Energy Star Washer with Heat Pump dryer) that is SO nice on my back...and way cool that the dryer doesn't rely on HVAC.

I've never had one of those adorable 'cubby' setups you see in the Pinterest design inspirations that perfectly fits a W/D to add a countertop thingy, but really? Doesn't matter. The more important factors for us when it comes to laundry is having reliable, energy efficient machines that do the job right, an eco friendly powder detergent (liquid detergents may seem fun but they all come in plastic which is made from fossil fuels and is only down-cyclable in your curbside recycling - meaning it can only be used to make non-recyclable items. A plastic bottle cannot make another plastic bottle. Even the Seventh Generation cardboard 'bottle' is not that - it's got a plastic bag inside it!), and a way to line-dry clothing, no matter how much space we have on hand, indoors or out.

Having grown up with one of the old iron ones in the backyard, line-drying clothes wasn't some weird cottagecore thing, but a way of life. So when I visited my future husband in Australia? I thought it was pretty rad that his apartment building had a shared clothesline for tenants, something you just don't see here in the States.

So when we were in our first home in the city, I enlisted the help of my husband and neighbor kid to help me realize my own backyard line-drying dreams and utilized DIY Diva's Kickass Clothesline plans -which worked swimmingly. In fact, we loved it so much that we used the same design when we moved out to the farm!

However, downsizing back to the city and having a considerably smaller backyard meant I had to find a more creative way to line dry our clothes in the spring through fall seasons. I didn't want to get an umbrella style one since I'd de-grassed the area, so after considerable searching I found a wall-mount option that I attached to our shed, that collapses into itself with a cover and everything when it's not in use - totally perfect and not far from the backdoor (VIP when carrying a load of damp clothes to hang!). It was about a hundred bucks or so online and took about 15 minutes to install on my own, and well worth it. It looks small (these are the listing photos below) but it actually holds about a load and a half of clothes, including sheets! What's nice is this setup will also work indoors if you want to have one for use in the winter, kinda rad...

Really, why spend money on electricity when you've got the sun to dry your clothes so many months in the year? Plus your clothes and sheets and stuff smell great! And for me, I find it super relaxing, being out in the sun with the clothespins, putting everything up and watching them in the breeze. Ironically, it takes about the same - and sometimes less - amount of time as using the dryer if it's a warm enough day! And with this wall-mount one being outside the shed with a concrete pad below, it gets the sun reflecting off it, speeding it up even more. Noice!

NOTE: One thing I don't line dry are my undies, as they dry softer indoors. Also, I'll often toss my towels in the dryer for 10 minutes to fluff them up a bit. But that's just personal preference.


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