observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

National Hanging Out Day

I have never stopped hanging my clothes out on a clothesline. I used to always hang them out even in winter when they’d freeze solid and would have to be finished indoors. But for the past 3 decades I only dry my clothes in a dryer during the bitter winter months. Today is National Hanging Out Day and I hope you will consider participating or picking up the habit. There are so many advantages: huge energy savings; fresh smelling clothes, sheets, towels; natural stain removal (by the sun); clothes and laundry last much longer when dried on a line; and a wonderfully therapeutic time outdoors while hanging and bringing in the laundry.

clotheslines and clothes pegs

As Project Laundry List states, “Some communities prohibit clotheslines, ostensibly, for aesthetic reasons. National Hanging Out Day is a time to protest such draconian covenants. In some states, “Right to Dry” legislation is being introduced to override these restrictive community regulations that ban the use of clotheslines.” Here, here to that!

I’ve written about using clotheslines for the past 3 years in my weekly environment column, Everyday Earth Wise. I hope you’ll check out the link for National Hanging Out Day and consider the many benefits. The fresh scent alone is well worth hanging clothes outdoors.

In fact, one of my photography projects this year is to take photographs of clothes lines with hopes of using the photos for a gallery showing.


Diane writes a weekly environment column and is a freelance custom photographer serving Alberta from Edmonton, north to Grande Prairie & surrounding areas. Visit her website or connect with her photography page on Facebook.

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Marcie - April 19, 2010 - 12:07 pm

Well..you know how I love hanging laundry..and regard it more as an ‘art’ form and meditative practice than anything else. Wonderul image. And thanks for telling me about National Hanging Out Day!!!

The Garden Ms. S - April 19, 2010 - 11:01 pm

I love sheets on the line – the smell is heaven and they feel incredibly fresh. What a fun project!

Gayle - April 20, 2010 - 7:36 am

I haven’t seen clothes out on a line in years! When I was a kid we lived on the second floor of a two family house and my mom had a clothesline that came to one of the windows at the back of the house. I always loved the squeaky sound that it made when she reeled the clothes in and out!

Victoria @ DesignTies - April 20, 2010 - 8:58 am

Makes me think of when I was a child, running and playing around the hanging sheets! Once we have the backyard reno done, I’ll definitely consider adding a clothes line ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’m so glad you liked the fireplace re-face I designed for Kate… support from our readers is priceless!

Alexander Lee - April 20, 2010 - 11:06 am

Thanks for sharing and writing about our big day at Project Laundry List.

Toni - April 22, 2010 - 9:04 am

I can’t remember the last time I saw clothes hanging out on the line. Clothes in my neck of the woods would go out clean and wet, but come back in dry and dusty. Nothing better than sheets dried out on the line, however. Wonderful photos, Diane.

sherri - April 22, 2010 - 11:32 pm

Clothes on the line bring fond memories to me. Our oldest son also has fond memories and he wrote about it for a paper when he was at U of A in Fayetteville. He associates the smell of rain and seeing me run to pull clothes off the line. We live in a covenant community now and it may be against our covenant, but since every back yard has a 6 foot wood privacy fence so nobody has to look at their neighbor (cough-cough:-) I don’t think anyone would know if that rule was broken. Love the images. The cattle with the clothes is special to me.

Mary - April 23, 2010 - 7:52 am

Beautiful pictures. I hope you consider photographing some clothes drying racks as well. For many of us we do not live in houses where clothes lines are either allowed or practical. Air drying is the goal if you can’t have a clothes line then racks are a great alternative. The other nice thing about racks is if that rain sticks around for a couple days you can still get your laundry done.

Marie - April 27, 2010 - 7:53 am

superbe !