Installing the Clothesline

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Landon's dad, Mike (also known as Grandpa), came over this morning to help install a clothesline in our backyard that he picked up at a garage sale brand new a few weeks ago.

As usual, Sam and Juni were interested in watching.

Juni was so interested she even considered pulling up a chair.

The first step in the process of installing a clothesline is to dig a hole using a post-hole digger. You want to dig the hole 8 to 12 inches in diameter and 20 inches deep. Taper the hole larger at the bottom and fill the bottom of the hole with small rocks approximately 3 inches deep.

3 inches of gravel is important for water drainage so the metal support pole for the clothesline will not rust and rot with time.

Now that the gravel is in place, it's time to mix the concrete.

Add water and stir--it's that easy.

Pour about six inches of concrete into the hole, then place the plastic ground sleeve into the concrete and push it down until it hits the gravel.

Add more concrete.

Adjust the plastic ground sleeve if necessary.

Add concrete until the concrete is nearly flush with the plastic ground sleeve.

Now it's time to get out your level. Insert pole into ground sleeve and use your level to align the pole vertically.

Once level and after the pole has been carefully removed, immediately run a small tube or stick down the center of the sleeve through the concrete until it reaches the crushed rock base. Remove tube or stick; this will allow any water to drain into the gravel.

After that, buy yourself a couple of packages of clothespins . . .

. . . take a load of laundry from the washing machine . . .

. . . and hang them out to dry! It takes about two hours on a sunny day for the laundry to dry, and you can read tutorials on how to hang laundry on a clothesline here. I'm not sure I'll have time to exclusively hang-dry laundry all our laundry this summer, since I'm in school right now and life is busier than ever, but even if I can set an initial goal of hanging three loads a week, it's a start. It's true it takes more time, but it's something I can do while the kids are playing outside, and it also feels therapeutic in the way that kneading bread does (not to mention the most important benefit of all--energy savings!).

If anyone has any helpful tips for hanging laundry, I'd like to hear them! I'm still learning, but the less I have to learn by trial and error, the smoother this transition will go for me. Having said that, let's all raise our strawberry-basil mojitos to green living!

P.S. I've learned since hanging this first load that with a staggered line such as this one, you can hang intimate apparel (briefs and bras) on the inside lines so your neighbors (and blog readers) don't have to know quite everything about you!

1 comments:

Leah said...

Hi Karli, we recently relocated to sunny Tucson, AZ and I've been line drying my clothes exclusively for several months now. It's so hot and dry here that most things dry within 30 minutes! I don't know if I would have fit this green step into my weekly routine while we lived in Portland, but it's certainly easy to do here.

I find that I like to hang pants/shorts by the waist band, while I like the results better if I hang shirts by the bottom hem as opposed to the shoulders. I also recommend using a 1/4 cup or so of vinegar in the rinse cycle as a bit of a fabric softener. Towels still end up slightly crunchy (I'm still missing soft fluffy towels!) but much better results with the vinegar.

Have fun! I enjoy hanging my laundry much more than I ever anticipated--it's oddly relaxing.

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