Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Scent of Sunshine

Hi all!  I hope you are all doing well and are safe.  My thoughts have been with those affected by Isaac.  My brother is a lineman and has been traveling where there is storm damage so it seems even all the more real.  

Well, I certainly didn't intend to do a post on a clothesline, but I have never enjoyed doing laundry as much as I have this week.   Last weekend our dryer decided to quit heating... it didn't appear to be a quick fix so the next day while my husband was at work and the clothes were piling up in the hamper (if you are, or have been, a mother of little ones you know what I mean), the wheels started turning and I decided now was the perfect time to build that clothesline that has been on our "to do" list since springtime. 

Next step was convincing my husband, but that didn't take too long (smile).  After all, your dryer uses more energy than just about any other appliance in your home.  Plus who needs to use a dryer when you have the perfectly good use of sunshine and a breeze?

The cost was minimal and the project was finished in a morning.  We only had to purchase 3 4"x4" pressure treated posts, eye screws, a bag of concrete and some cotton line. We will have to buy some tightening mechanisms for the line sometime in the future though.

When my first load of laundry was finished and I went outside to bring it in, the minute I put the clothes up to smell it brought back a flood of memories.  My mom always had clothes on the line when I was growing up.  There truly isn't a fragrance out there that can mimic the true scent of sunshine.

I love having an excuse to venture out for awhile to complete a household chore.  The girls love it too... I've found the past week that I almost always have a helping hand.

Or should I say four helping hands...

 We made the decision to place our clothesline right smack dab in the middle of our backyard, convenient to the house and close to the garden.  There's just enough room for the girls to run around, chase butterflies, and dig around in the dirt. 

I can't really explain why something as simple as a clothesline would make me happy... but I do know each day as I go outside to hang the clothes it feels wonderful to take a little break and soak in the sounds of birds chirping and girls giggling, the reward of a task being completed and the scent of sunshine. 

P.S.  I thought about sharing a few things I've learned since using our clothesline this week, but really all the information you need can be found online!  I spent about ten minutes reading the proper way to hang clothes and linens and it was time well spent... you'll learn everything you need to know about drying your clothes quickly, eliminating wrinkles and stiffness.

Besides, you all are probably the ones that can teach me something!    Tell me... do you use a clothesline?  Do you have memories of using one as a child?  Do you have any tips to share? 


  1. I wish I had a clothes line. My mom always hung our clothes on the line , not sure if we had a dryer or not it just seemed that's what you did. Who know's I may turn into my mother and put one up!

  2. I do not use one, but told my husband I would like a line out back for sheets and towels. Love that fresh smell they can only get hanging out. My mom hung out the laundry when I was a child.

  3. Like my mother, before me I used to hang my clothes out to dry. When we added on to the house the line came down and I didn't have anywhere to put one. Your design has me thinking again. Thanks!

  4. What a happy accident that the dryer quit working! I'd really like to try this. It seems so economical and back to basics, not to mention the wonderful smell of sunshine.

  5. I enjoy hang drying laundry and use the clothesline a LOT- (Arizona desert) I noticed your pins. I was having problems with mine twisting and breaking from the wind. I decided to go back to the old fashioned pegs that my Grandma used. I love them! You can only buy them on ebay now. But my husband did some research about clothes pins and found a Canadian company that still makes some good quality spring pins. Copy and paste this link to Google:,42194

  6. Your clothesline is so lovely! I love to hang my laundry and have a 5 string version that hangs on one side of our house and pull out to a post to clip on to. It isn't quite as beautiful as yours is, but with the wind we have here, it was a logical solution. I usually have four loads out everyday and use lavender soap, too. Don't you LOVE that smell in combination with the fresh air? Walmart sells a brand of clothes pins that are great! They have a little bigger "bite" and grip really well. I think that is my biggest good clothes pins:)! They make it so much easier to hang.

    Your photography is so always!


  7. i remember having a clothes line when growing up--everything smelled so great! and my mom had a cute bag to keep the pins in. great post, andrea:)

  8. This brings back nice memories--yes, my mom had a clothesline in the backyard. Seems like everyone had one when I was growing up, but I never see them now. I loved walking between the sheets when I was a little girl. Your post makes me wish we had one now. Ah, another project to add to the "to do" list... :-)

  9. I loved this post. You really brought back a lot of memories and feelings with your words - great work!!
    I needed to wash my quilt yesterday so I hung it out to dry and it smells heavenly. My 13-year old son kept commenting on how much he loved it. His sheets and comforter are in the washer right now - he'll have a nice surprise when he goes to bed tonight!

  10. Thanks for taking me back again to my "young" mommy days. I have always had one. Our first home came with one and when we built our current home, I too had my husband build one. Right now mine is dimantled, as we complete the new outbuilding that took its spot. New posts are purchased and I am this weekend hopefully getting the new one up. Your pictures are making me drool. Ha..ha..I miss mine..Who knew a laundry line could bring such simple joy!

  11. When my kids were growing up and I was at home with them I used the clothesline alot. If I had to be outside while they were playing anyway, why not hang out the sheets etc to dry. Reason ? OH you are so right about that wonderful scent. There is nothing like it.

    Funny...many older homes in this area have clotheslines. Now, the home that I moved into about 9 years ago had the line and I used it to dry my comforters, sheets etc that first year. Then the line broke a few years ago, from weight of snow or some such thing and I just started using my dryer all of the make me want to go buy line now :)

  12. What a beautiful post ....
    I used to hang laundry when my kids were growing up.
    I loved it!
    I loved the smell, I loved seeing my clean laundry blowing in the breeze with the sun shinning down on it.
    It used to make me feel like I did something really special for my family:)
    My Mom never hung laundry that I can remember but I'm sure my grandma must have.
    I do remember as a child our neighbor always hung laundry and I used to love watching it swing from the lines wondering why we couldn't do something so special :)

  13. I love, love, love my clothes line! It's one of my favorite things!

  14. Oh my gosh Andrea I love this post! My grandmother had a double clothes line that went the length of her back yard. It was amazing. What is also amazing is that I just found out you have been named a finalist for the Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards!!! I am so excited for you. Congratulations! the way I voted for you. :o)

  15. LOVE this post! that's IT! Im adding another DO on the honey-DO list! LOVE the pink bedding too! where is it from? :)

  16. WOW!! another *new* friend to "hang out" with... talking about the laundry. Welcome to the world of pinning. ;)

    Love my line, and I can't imagine (my) life any other way.

  17. Oh yes. I wanted to say that Julia is right.

    Invest in the best - pins!! They don't make them like they used to. I have old ones passed down from my mom and grandmother and they are still going strong. The newer ones (don't know brands) seem to be so flimsy.

  18. Wonderful post. I live in a big flat and I've got a lot of room in my back terrace to hang the clothes. I've a dryer but I only use it in winter when It rains during weeks, the rest of the year and mostly during the summer I love to use my clothes line, It's a very practical one bought in IKEA but these are the disadvantages of living in the city

  19. Hi Andrea, I remember the freshness of laundry dried on a line from much younger days. This makes me wish I hand a line in my own backyard. Lovely post.

    I'm stopping by from Country Living to wish you well and best of luck.

    Take care and enjoy the upcoming weekend,

    Lisa (fellow finalist)

  20. Oh my goodness, congrats on being a finalist for the Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards!! Wow, I'm impressed but not surprised. Congrats!!

  21. Congrats on the Country Living nomination. Voting for you.

  22. Hi Andrea!

    First off, ***CONGRATULATIONS*** on being nominated as a Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger!!! I went to the site to vote for my friend Cassie (of Primitive and Proper) in the decorating category just a few minutes ago. And lo and behold, there was Keeping It Cozy in lifestyle! I'm absolutely thrilled for you and will cast my vote daily as I simply adore your blog. I'm rooting for you!

    As for this post--I aspire to having line-dried laundry. We didn't always dry laundry outside growing up, but we had a clothesline and I do remember helping my mom hang out wash as a kid. The fragrance of sun-dried laundry is truly marvelous, though I do remember everything being stiff, so I'll need to read up on how to prevent that. :)

    Considering how bloody hot it is here in NC, I despise using the dryer in the summer; it seems like such a waste of electricity, and now that I read that it's one of the biggest energy-users in the house, well, all the more reason to use of the sun, right?

    Sadly, I still don't have a's been two years in the making though! Late last summer, we salvaged those old clothesline posts from my parents' house by ripping them out of the ground with my husband's truck. I dug holes and relocated the posts to our yard, but that's as far as I got in 2011. This summer, my husband built the cross bars and braces and we've even gone as far as buying new eye hooks and clothesline last month. But have those things been installed yet?? At this rate, I'll get to use the clothesline *next* year. :)

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment about the joy of taking time to do a simple task like hanging out laundry (or gardening, or making bread, for that matter.) My husband dumpster dives to feed our pigs and he scored a ton of bread a few days. I put aside a few loaves of wheat bread with which to feed to the hens. After taking my son to school this morning, I stood in the cool, early morning air and picked apart half a loaf, and reveled in watching the hens dart around after the bits of bread, listening to the bird song in the woods, and enjoying the fresh air. Though I want to use a clothesline to save energy, a lot of why I want to use it is simply because it's soothing to be outside and do domestic tasks.

    Sorry to prattle on, but this was such a lovely post. I've been a bit behind on blog-reading so I'm sure I'll pop back over this weekend to catch up. Glad you're having a good summer!

    Take care,

    P.S.--Painting the posts is *such* a good idea that I may just have to borrow it! The posts and the cross bars here are two very different shades of brown and it would unify them so nicely--and give the clothesline a little cottage flair. (This is a total tangent, but I also want to paint our raised garden beds, which are adjacent to the clothesline. Perhaps I'll have to coordinate them all...)

  23. My mother didn't have a clothes dryer until we were in high school, so we grew up hanging clothes outside "properly". We live in northern MN and even hung the sheets out during the freezing winter weather. Yes, they do dry in the cold. And I agree. There is nothing better than snuggling into bedding that has dried outdoors in the fresh air. I still hang all my bedding outside to dry.

    *Old blankets and sheets can be hung over the clotheslines to create magical tents for the kiddies to play in.

  24. Oh mercy.

    I can almost smell the laundry on the summer breeze.

    This is simply perfect in every good and Country Living way {CONGRATULATIONS!!!}

    Your man did a fine job on your line. Making the decision to add more than one line on those posts was a smart thing to do;-)

    My line is ten years old and could use a makeover. I hang my diapers from my porch and my clothes on the line and I love...LOVE every moment I stand pinning them to the line. I'm taken aback when life was simple and time was sweet.

    Love this post and and the one up top and I'm heading to vote for you friend!

  25. What beautiful pictures of sunshine and the outdoors. Your laundry looks beautiful hanging there. And your little helpers....well they just make it all the sweeter.


  26. Ahhhh....the scent of sunshine, the warmth of the sun, the gentle breezes, the songs of the birds in the trees. I love my clothesline. Mom always hung laundry out all year long. We have a picture of a great snow fort we built back into a drift, and there in the background is a line full of laundry freeze drying.

    Now, we have a clothesline that I love. I agree; there's nothing like the smell of clothes dried on the line. I love seeing laundry gently fluttering in the breeze and love the smell that comes no other way.

    As children, we had a lot of wonderful fun with the clothesline and pins, too. Mom would drape an old blanket or sheet across the line and stake it with old peg type clothespins for a great tent/hideout. I remember when I was quite young playing with the pins, pinning them all the way around the galvanized bucket mom kept her pins in. When dad poured the cement for the posts, he had us put our hand in to make an impression and then wrote our name and age.

    Now, we have a clothespin bag my husband's great aunt made us for a wedding gift. It's faded and worn from years of use, and the fabrics and trim never totally matched anyway, but it's a treasured memory of her care for us.

  27. Great blog you have here! Clothesline....yes, I have one and have always had one. I'm finding that the new clothespins aren't so great, but I found one brand that my local grocery store carries (because I asked them) -- Diamond brand. Good gripping!

    Because we have so much wind here, I am always checking the wind direction and I hang my clothes with the wind so that they aren't slapping me in the face when I pin them onto the line. Little things.



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