Today is a yucky rainy day, not a good laundry day, but I did 4 loads this morning. I got behind last week, so I had an extra load of whites, but I had to tumble dry everything because we have a week of rain forecast.

I love to hang my clothes up in the sun and wind to dry! I have several lines strung between the porch poles and the tree in the backyard. We have a tumble dryer and it’s a wonderful convenience, but it’s also an energy hog and the simplicity of hanging clothes on a line in the backyard would win every time if we had a better climate. Why use fossilized sunshine when you can use the fresh stuff?!

I recently found a great option for drying clothes indoors or under cover when the weather isn’t so good – they’re called best drying racks and you can buy them directly from the manufacturers here. They’re American made of wood and metal with no plastic parts that will disintegrate in the sun. They also won’t rust and break like the drying racks we saw everywhere in NZ, and there’s no paint to chip off like the simple folding rack I used before. I knew right away they would work well for us so I bought 2 of them.

The design is great. It spins around to make it easier to load and you only pull out as many arms as you need or have space for, so you can put it near a wall with a small load. Everything is on one level so you don’t have things shading or hanging over the lower levels, and there’s good airflow between the arms. And the whole thing folds down to a small size when it’s not being used – that’s always a nice feature.

So simple! I didn’t use them today because I had too much laundry to catch up on… or maybe because I got lazy and forgot…

When we lived in Japan we didn’t have a tumble dryer. Hardly anybody did. We had a balcony with a pair of hangers on it that supported poles. You could drape clothes over the poles or thread the arms through the pole. They also supported futons hung out to air. We also had small plastic clip hangers that held lots of delicates or socks for drying. (I used one for a few years here, and they are a great design except that the plastic doesn’t last in the sun – after a few years it gets brittle and the pegs break one by one!)

In Japan the washer is often on the verandah, but wherever it is (mine was between the entrance and the bathroom) it is only hooked up to a cold water tap. Actually in my apartment I didn’t have hot water anywhere except the bath (where there was an on-demand gas water heater) so I would add a little boiled water to my sink if I was hand washing to cut the chill. And hand wash I did – I didn’t get a washing machine until I’d been in Japan for 9 months. I have a piece of writing I did a few years ago about that – I’ll take another look at it and maybe share it here.

When I get really cold wet hands now I remember doing wintertime laundry in Japan – hanging ice cold laundry out to dry in wet cold weather, my hands would prickle and burn. Ouch!

I enjoy doing the laundry, but putting it away is not so much fun. It’s been a little more fun (if a little more time consuming) since I learned about something that I call “poddifying” the clothes. I found two tutorials on youtube one day (when I was looking at videos about luggage and packing) – one is for an “army roll” for your tshirts, the other is a folding method for boxers, shorts and women’s underwear. The tshirt roll is a simple short video, the underwear one goes on and on and on, but you can learn what you need to know in the first couple of minutes, then skip to the end for a sock method. The army roll is quite time consuming, but it makes for a very tidy drawer, you can drop the pile and they won’t unfold, and it would work great for packing a suitcase. I’m certainly not saying these are the best, correct or easiest ways to fold anything. Looking for these videos today I found a LOT of other options – some I might try. I think it’s amusing that so many people have shared folding videos!

btw how do you stop fitted sheets from “swallowing” everything in the dryer?

Better go put the laundry away!



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