May 29, 2014 - Personal    16 Comments

Ridiculously Happy About Having a Clothesline

I’ve missed having an easy way to dry clothes these last many years on the road. Dryers ruin clothes and, if at a laundromat, are very expensive. Hanging clothes about the rig makes my home feel like a sauna and also for tight quarters. Having the chance to string out a clothesline or put out a drying rack outside has always been a luxury.

Last year, my first at Haven, I ran a line between a post and Miranda, to get a few dozen feet of line, but it wasn’t enough and it was saggy. This summer, a proper clothes line was a priority project. As it turns out, a proper clothesline doesn’t have to be a permanent one. I have no intention of living with my current setup for the rest of my life, but for now, it is going to do very nicely!!!




What I did was simply install eye hooks along the sides of each grainery and then I pulled 200′ of clothesline through the eye hooks and across to the next building, back and forth, until I ran out of line. I tied the ends off with inexpensive clothesline fasteners. Total cost: $5 for the line (purchased at the thrift store last year), $2 for the fasteners (of which I have several left), $5 for the eye hooks, for a total of $12.

Laura is convinced that the weight of the clothes will pull out the eye hooks, but so far so good with a heavy load that had lots of jeans. I doubt I’ll ever use all the lines at once except to spread heavy blankets across them, so I’m optimistic that this set up will last me until I’m ready to reclad the buildings. That that point, I’ll do the digging, cement, and post thing.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to pick up a table that will allow me to set up a laundry station outside. What a luxury that will be! I washed this load at my neighbour’s since I was getting backed up and didn’t feel like spending my evenings kneeling in the shower.

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  • I’ve seen that type of clothes line used for years and years. I see nothing unusual about your method of putting it up. My mother had one like that and it was never put into poles in cement in the ground. It was put up in 1946 and was still there and used when my Dad sold the place around 1980. The only difference was that it was screwed into a couple of elm trees, but with the same kind of eye hooks. I’ve also seen many of them screwed into buildings just like yours.

  • The issue here is what my eye hooks are screwed into. Not a problem on the big grainery side as the hooks are long enough to get through the shingles and into the nice heavy boards under them. But on the shed side, they are just screwed into splintering plywood.

    Nice to know someone else has done this, though!

  • I remember having a clothes line after many years of not having one. The first wash I did I forgot to wipe the line down before hanging clean clothes on it. I sure remembered the next time!

  • Yikes! I’ve done that in the past!

    I didn’t have to wipe it down today, not after all the rain we just had!

  • Could it be reinforced from the inside of the building with a piece of 2 x 4 or something? I’m sure you’ll come across many clothes lines like this, it’s a prairie thing
    Elaine, a Manitoban for 50 years.

  • I am starting a pool on how long it will be before Rae walks between the buildings, forgetting about the clothesline and throttles herself! I am betting three days. 😉 😉

  • Croft, I have absolutely no reason to walk between the buildings. And I’ve had this clothesline up for a week, no walking into it yet so I’m pretty sure I’m safe! Oh, yea of little faith! 😀

  • Elaine, that’s a good thought if it comes to that. Thanks!

  • You are obviously brighter than me. We had a temporary clothesline when we were parked in Florida and both times I had reason to walk behind the motorhome, I walked into the clothesline. Luckily, it was at forehead level.

  • Croft, no comment on who’s brighter ;), but I’m 5’6″ and I put the clothesline up at 5’7″. 😀

  • Your place is really starting to look like you are settled in for the long run.

  • Contessa, you know better than anyone else right now that the road is beckoning. 😉 I’ll have to do a post soon about where my head is right now, but I’m working at making Haven a place I can leave to run itself while I go out gallivanting.

  • When I was very young (post WWII) clothes could only be hung on lines to dry. I recall my mother and grandmothers all had 2 squared wooden poles, each with a notch at 1 end which would be inserted into a middle section of the clothesline and then used to prop up the line when it was filled with drying clothes. Not sure if this makes sense ….wish I could draw a picture. But this method kept the sagging line off the ground and helped keep weight off the hooks at either end (1 end into the side of the house, other into a maple tree in middle of yard).

  • Lynn, I understand what you mean! My line runs are just the right length not to sag toooooo much. 🙂

  • I was going to mention the clothesline support poles that my grandmother used, but Lynn beat me to it! Yup, just a pole with a notch in one end. You’d probably only need one. But I suspect that as soon as you hang up a heavy blanket or sleeping bag, and the clothesline starts to seriously droop, you *will* need one… so it might be a good idea to have one ready. 🙂

  • I’ll get a pole at some point, definitely. But in the meantime, I’ve successfully laid heavy, sodden stuff across multiple lines at once with no sagging.

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