Monday, December 17, 2007

Laundry day

Arghh, I've used the clothes-dryer twice in the past month! Once was almost excusable -- it was the first major washing of all our yummy-soft but oh-so-linty new organic cotton bath towels. But the other time was nothing more than poor planning, laziness and a case of old habits dying hard.

So today is laundry day and I will use the airers. If I'm careful, I can get the better part of two extra-large loads hung indoors. The piano and the stringed instruments like the extra humidity, and with the wood stove things dry quickly.

Two and a half years ago I installed my first laundry airer. I bought it from 1898 House, though there is now a Canadian source of these as well. I've been very happy with that first airer, but when I decided to expand my indoor drying capacity I opted not to spend $100 a second time. Instead I spent $10 on two pulleys, and $12 on some nice walnut-finish wooden hangers. I used a scrap of trim wood, a drill with a 1/4" bit and in no time I had a shirt-dryer with a pretty large capacity for its size. Shirts seemed to take up a disproportionate amount of space on the rack-style commercial airer, and dangling hangers off it turned it into an unwieldy monolith. So my second airer is entirely home-made and dedicated to shirts.

Once this is full of damp shirts, I hoist it to the ceiling and the laundry is out of sight as it dries. I should probably go and do that right now, but I'm savouring my coffee-and-computer time. Yesterday was declared a Screen-Free Day and I missed my morning ritual. Instead yesterday I had to knit, read to myself ("The Soup Peddler's Slow and Difficult Soups" by David Ansel) and aloud to Fiona ("Squids Will Be Squids" by Jon Scieszka). The rest of the day somehow filled up with flour-milling, bread-baking, soup-cooking, more knitting, family games, practicing, more reading aloud, mathematicking with Fiona and attending Sophie's children's choir concert. No laundry got done though. Must go fill laundry airers.


  1. What a great idea!

    Do you have other designs for other types of clothes? I like the idea of hauling the thing up to the ceiling and out of the way. That's our biggest problem--not enough space on the conventional drying racks and in closet space.

    I am going to have my DH the handyman extraordinaire take a look at this picture.


  2. YAY! A Canadian supplier! I've been meaning to add one of these to my home since you first posted about it over 2 years ago - it just hasn't happened yet. Now though I have no excuse. I will be ordering one soon. Thanks :)

  3. Yay! I'm not the only one who doesn't use a dryer!!! ;) My husband made a very compact clothes lines (5 lines) that we hang up the ceiling. It's not ver nice to look at, but we don't need a humidifier in winter when we heat with the woodstove! ;)

  4. I love peeking at your life, your family is always up to interesting things.

  5. my father lives in bogota colombia and their it rains every day but no one owns a dryer instead they all have special parts of the house for hanging up clothes to dry. usually the room is also used for family meals or is part of a garage or something. we have no space in my little house to hang clothes but when we move from here i hope to be able to hang clothes up to dry (our lease actually says we can't hangup anything outside!)

  6. Deborah2:35 pm

    Your post (the soup peddler part) reminded me of the Austin bumper sticker sported by those from his area: "78704...more than a zip code, a way of life". DH and I lived not too far away, in 78703, and next week we're going back for the first time since 1998, wondering if we will still be able to discern the structure of the Austin we lived in (and resisted leaving) amidst the recent "growth", and if our food co-op membership can still be invoked just by reciting our 4-digit member ID...

  7. Thanks for sharing your invention - I've linked to this post from my blog to show it to people. Such a neat idea.


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