Line Drying in a Small Space

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I grew up in a tropical country where line drying is a norm. When I moved to the States, everyone uses dryer so it never cross my mind to line dry. In addition, we live in a condo/ townhouse complex and doesn't have a backyard to set up the line. Things change when my mom came to visit us almost 4 years ago. She couldn't bear the thought of putting in wet clothes inside the dryer when it is 85 degree Fahrenheit outside. "We can hung them in the hanger and use drying rack," she said. Today, thanks to my mama, I line dry all of our laundry.

Why I do it:

1. Less energy being used. I don't know how much money I save by not using the drier, I'm guessing not much but it feels good to be able to reduce our energy use.

2. Less heat. Our washer and drier is conveniently located up stair nearby our bedrooms. However, this also means that the bedrooms also get the heat whenever we turn the drier on, which makes the rooms even hotter in the summer. Line drying solve this problem. In the winter, the wet clothes serve as natural humidifier.

3. Less noise. My second baby is a light sleeper. We cannot run the drier when he's asleep. Line drying allows me to dry my clothes anytime without worry about waking up the baby

4. I enjoy the process. Truth to be told, I don't really mind doing this. In fact, I prefer this than cooking or ironing.

5. I loveee the fresh smell of the sun dried clothes. Reminds me of home.

6. I can involve the kids in the process. Max and Wes now can help me hanging or taking the clothes from the drying racks. It's fun for them and makes them feel important.

How I Do It:
1. Start Small. When I first started line drying, I only hang the big stuff like towel, bed sheets, and my and Chris' clothes. Once I get a hang of it and got the 'octopus' rack from my mom {it should available in any Asian store or Chinatown} I then start hanging the small stuff like underwear, baby clothes, and socks.

2. Be Creative. I know some HOA have restriction for line drying outside, but even so we still can do it inside. I hang all my laundry inside during winter. For example, places where I hang our laundry:

- Stair rails:

- Inside the laundry closet/ room

- On the canopy bed. It is the perfect place to hang the sheet and blankets {just make sure you wipe the top first to remove any dust} :)

3. I still use my drier. Once the clothes dry, I put them in the dryer for five minutes or so to get rid of the wrinkle that way I don't have to worry about ironing or wearing stiff clothes.

That's it. Give it a try. It may or may not work for you. :)


  1. Living in Costa Rica, we have no (and need no) dryer. We also take advantage of most anywhere to hang clothing, and using hangers is a GREAT way to save space, as you mentioned. We had bars inside our windows at the last apartment and even hung socks there. Worked great, even if it looked pretty silly. Once we had a baby and were doing more laundry, my husband installed a "venice-style" line outside the window with pulleys which worked like a charm for our small space.

  2. I love the picture of your laundry hanging on the stair rail! I never thought of that. I have line-dried almost all my laundry for 20+ years, and although I now have clotheslines in the basement, when I lived in dormitories and apartments I had to be creative. I would string clotheslines across the room attached to furniture, door hinge, etc. and just duck under them. A bonus to drying laundry in your living space during cold weather is that it adds humidity.

  3. @Jelli: the venice style line sounds like a great idea.
    @Becca: yes...yes... agree about how wet laundry serve as "green" humidifier :)