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Little House Living readers please welcome Cindy, our guest poster for today!
Last month I got pressed back into using my clothesline when my dryer malfunctioned and needed some repair. I’m no stranger to a clothesline; I’ve always been blessed with having a line in the back yard wherever I’ve lived. I’ve used the line off and on, mostly in the summertime. But the last couple of years got a lot busier and the clothesline got neglected except for an occasional bedding washing day.
The first day, as I started hanging clothes, I began remembering all I liked about hanging clothes: warm sunshine, a fresh March breeze, birds singing and flitting in the trees nearby, and a few peaceful moments to reflect, pray, and generally soak in the quiet while still getting my to-do list done. That afternoon, I remembered the other thing I loved, the smell of clothes fresh off the line, and at least
one thing I didn’t like as much – stiff towels!
Since our budget wasn’t prepared for a dryer repair and the weather was being extra helpful, I decided to find out just how much the convenience of my dryer was costing me and whether it was worth it. When I opened the new electric bill, I was glad to see my bill was lower. So I did some more research. I found a handy online calculator here which told me that with our local rate of about $0.10 per kWh of electricity and drying 15 loads a week for an hour each, I could save $0.44 a load or about $343 a year. For a stay-at-home mom, that is a pretty decent savings for about 20 to 30 additional minutes daily work.
So this led me to the question of whether we should repair the dryer or not. Well, as much as I admire the pioneer women who had no choice but to not only hang their clothes but heat the water and scrub them by hand, I can’t say I want to be like them totally. I’m not fond of freezing my fingers on below zero days in the winter, and with 7 children, there are days when I just don’t have that extra time or need something dry quicker than the rainy day will allow. So we’ll definitely be putting that electric bill savings into repairing the dryer (it helps to have a brother who is an appliance repairman). But I’ll also be using my clothesline a lot more when the weather allows now that I realize just what it is saving me. (I think I found a new summer job for some bored kids, too.)
Try it for yourself and see! This time of year is generally good for clothes drying. If, like me, you enjoy the fresh air and time to reflect, you may just enjoy the excuse to soak up the sun and enjoy the peace knowing at the same time you’re saving a bit of money.
I know some of you out there are like me and would love to line dry your clothes but your allergies prevent it from happening. My in-the-middle solution is to get an indoor drying rack! This may not work as well if you live in an area with high humidity but otherwise you can at least get the savings from line drying clothes…even in the winter time!
Do you line or dryer dry?