Sunday, October 05, 2008

Putting Clothes on the Clothesline

or The Fine Art of Pegging out Laundry


A few months ago, I was watching the new Raiders of the Lost Ark with my family. The movie was entertaining and I was enjoying the film. Then came a scene where Indiana Jones was running through a mock suburb as the countdown to a nuclear explosion was coming to a dramatic climax. All of a sudden, Indy goes past a clothesline with laundry pegged out on it. The laundry was pegged out WRONG!. I was instantly annoyed. I realized that I was sitting in a movie theatre and being aware of a movie mistake. My suspension of disbelief had been interrupted due to my strong feeling that there is a right way and a wrong way to peg or pin clothes to a clothesline. They had t-shirts hanging from the shoulders for heaven's sake!

There is a right way and a wrong way to peg clothes out on a clothesline. I know that even incorrectly pegged clothes will dry, but they'll dry weird and cause more ironing later. In addition they will look wrong and annoy me.Here is an example of a well pegged load of laundry on a line. Note that all the t-shirts are together and hanging from the bottom hem. If you look closely, you will see that I sort of buddy up with the pegs when hanging out things like t-shirts. The ends of shirts can share one clothes peg. This way I can use three clothes pegs instead of four to hang out two shirts and so on. This bit of economy stems from the time when we had all three children still living at home. I had much more laundry to dry than I had pegs. Buddying up with the pegs helped to get more clothes on the line and it saved on line space too.
Jeans and trousers are hung from the waistband. As they are thick, save your biggest and strongest clothes pegs for the heavy stuff. Using the small pegs may result in you having to pick the jeans up off the ground when the wind blows them off and the possibility of having to rewash. I have always used wooden spring style clothes pegs (or pins) They don't split like the other style wooden clothes peg and unlike the plastic clothes pegs, the sun won't break them down causing them to be brittle and fall apart in your hands.
If you match the pairs of socks as you peg them to the line, you can just ball the pairs together as you take them off. This makes sorting them a thousand times easier later on. Naturally there is always the odd sock.
Shirts that button are also hung by the bottom hem but use the two side seams as the hanging points. The shirt is stronger there and it makes ironing it much easier later.

The darling Man of the Place puts clothes out on the clothesline from time to time. He's very excellent that way. I have been known to go behind him when he's not looking and re-peg them. This bugs him to no end. He states that the clothes will dry just fine the way they were. I say that I know that they will dry, but they were pegged out wrong. I didn't want anybody to see the incorrectly pegged out clothing and think that I did it. It just bugs me too much. I know it's me.

Drying clothes on the line costs nothing. We save SO much money when the clothesline is employed to dry the clothes. Line dried sheets and pillowcases smell fabulous! No amount of fabric conditioner will ever be able to recreate that perfect "sunshine for the nose" that line dried sheets have. Seeing a load of laundry well pegged out on the line is pleasant to see. It says domestic industry and harmony to me.

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