Fresh launrdy soaking up the smell of sunshine.

Fresh laundry soaking up the smell of sunshine.

It’s been a really dreary wet spring, but that hasn’t stopped me from putting out my clothes line and hanging my wash out to dry, though it does complicate it a little! Trying to guess the weather and beat the rain has become a game I’m playing against Nature. Yesterday, I won, though it doesn’t always go my way.

I started hanging the wash out about 2 years ago. I did it for a couple of reasons, though mainly to decrease my carbon footprint and electricity bill. Hubby and I have come to love the smell and feel of line dried items.

Getting started was more difficult than it really should have been. I had the rack sent in from out of state (the big box stores  around here just were not stocking outdoor laundry racks), and finding basic wooden clothespins was a challenge. Finding a good spot in our small yard was also difficult-we have so many trees that most spots presented a serious risk of birds bombing my clean clothes.

Now I have a great folding rack set up on the rear porch just steps away from the washer. This turned out to be a key advantage in this season’s competition against the weather.

Here’s the strategy I am using to beat Nature at laundry lotto:

  1. Check the weather in the morning. If there’s 40% or less chance of rain, we go for it.
  2. Start the wash early, especially if it’s humid and cool out. The more humid and cool it is, the longer it takes for a load to dry.
  3. If you have an umbrella rack like mine, leave 1-2 rows empty between rows of hanging clothing. This lets air circulate and decreases drying time.
  4. Stay nearby in case you need to make a mad dash to get everything off the line. Check the doppler radar before leaving the house to make sure there’s no surprise shower lurking in the vicinity.
  5. Check the laundry regularly, every 30 minutes or so. If something is dry, take it down and fold it. Don’t leave dry things out to get wet if there’s a sudden shower! Also, removing things lets more air circulate around what’s left.
  6. Use your spidey sense. If you have a tingly feeling that it’s going to rain, check the doppler. Better to toss a half dry load in the dryer than to toss a sopping wet load in there!
  7. If there’s rain a-coming, get that clothing off the line fast! You can always let it finish up in the dryer and call that round a draw.

NOTE: If there’s thunder, let your laundry get wet, because it just isn’t worth getting struck by lightening. Alternatively, if you have a detachable rack like mine, you can haul the whole darn thing in to the house and out of the rain, but do it quickly because holding onto an aluminum array during a thunderstorm is a BAD IDEA.