Another reason the dad in our family shouldn't work from home: if he does, I'll ask him to hang a clothesline. My husband and I are both enthusiasts so when I say, "Do you think that rope in the car could be used for an indoor clothesline?" Eric immediately finds something that will work even better and installs it for me. We don't really have the neighborhood for a clothesline outdoors and we don't have much space indoors. I bought a collapsible drying rack when we first moved here but it never really took. It was just too easy to lift the stuff out of the washer and throw it in the dryer.
Now that I've got our laundry routine down I'm turning our recent frugal fanaticism on the dryer. We don't know how much it costs to run our dryer. One friend of mine who lives in the same neighborhood and has similar amounts and types of laundry as me (i.e. she also washes diapers) recently bought a dryer and her electric bill went up fifty percent in one month. Yikes.
I gave the drying rack a shot again last week. I hung our diapers on them. Twenty-four hours later they were still wet and we were out of diapers so I had to throw them all in the dryer. Even if they had dried, I don't want to put stiff, sandpapery diapers on my sweet little children, so I think I'll stick to machine drying the diapers. Ditto towels. Call me a wimp but we're not even heating the place, yet. I really want a soft towel when I get out of the shower.
I really, really want to use the dryer less. My motivations are similar to our bun freezing experiment: I want to save money and maybe do a good turn for the planet while I'm at it. So, today we hung a line diagonally across the small back room where the washing machine is located. It's long enough that if I use hangers I can fit a lot on it and we think it will hold a fair amount of weight.
I've been successfully navigating two laundry days each week for awhile, now, and our wardrobe is designed with this schedule in mind. The kids and I have exactly enough clothes to get between laundry days (Eric seems to get a lot of hand-me-downs). This drying method will take a lot longer--maybe a day or two--so I'm going to have to alter my laundry schedule to accommodate it, but I think I'll give it a go for a month. We'll see how our electric bill likes it and how our wardrobes deal with it. Even if I only hang the clothes that are normally hung on hangers, that's probably four less loads of laundry going through the dryer each week.