I’m one of those rare souls who really, truly enjoys all aspects of housework. From polishing the furniture and vacuuming our one rug, to mopping the kitchen floor, I fall into a Zen state of tranquility and bliss whilst tidying my home. I’ve long been this way, going so far when I was but a wee lass to telling my mother that I aspired to become a “professional house cleaner” when I grew up. Apologies to my could-have-been rocket-scientist self. I prefer the company of grime.
Now that I’ve got a tiny guy of my own, my cleaning regime has further intensified. Since we’ve opted to use cloth diapers, our household laundering needs have increased exponentially. Add loads of spit-upon clothing (mine, my husband’s and Huxley’s) to the diapering mix, and it seems like I’m running a load of wash daily. Accordingly, today’s Small Measures celebrates the no-frills, low-fi, easy-on-the-wallet use of indoor clothes-drying racks. — Ashley
CLICK HERE for the rest of the post (and Ashley’s tips for buying a rack) after the jump!
In warmer months, a visit to my home is typically met with clothes flapping gently in the breeze, strewn end-to-end across our pulley-style clothesline (it’s attached to our porch). In colder weather, however, wet laundry would freeze and stiffen if I attempted to dry it outdoors. As mentioned above, I’m doing a great deal of laundry lately. In order to curb energy use, I’ve been employing the use of a wooden indoor clothes-drying rack. Strategically positioned in front of our wood stove, the rack makes short work of drying everything from cloth diapers to wool socks. Furthermore, using the rack has the added bonus of introducing much-needed (and seriously absent) moisture into the air.
A variety of indoor drying racks are available, satisfying the needs of single-occupant and multi-family households alike. Wooden, aluminum and stainless-steel offerings come in a variety of incarnations, from the folding freestanding model I use (pictured here) to over-the-door, over-head, and wall-mounted styles (including those that are simply retractable metal wires).
We picked up our Madison Mills rack at the local Ace Hardware. I also love the selection of metal models made by Minky. This curated Amazon list features a fantastic selection of each type of rack. Finally, this wooden behemoth is one of my favorites. Fashioned from New England eastern white pine with birch dowels, it utilizes rescued mill ends that would otherwise have been chipped and burned. Furthermore, all the wood used in its construction is from sustainably harvested second-growth forests.
If you opt for purchasing an indoor drying rack, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while shopping:
1. Space — Consider the size of your living area and make your selection accordingly. If you’ve got a tiny apartment, then a retractable line, overhead or fold-down back-of-the-door model might be more appropriate than a free-standing, albeit collapsible, model.
2. Durability — Ideally, a drying rack should last many, many years. Don’t scrimp on quality at the onset. Look for models that indicate that they’re built to last.
3. Size — If you’ve got a big family with its attendant vast laundering needs, then buy your indoor drying rack accordingly. Selecting too small a model may have the unintended consequence of causing frustration every time you use it. Referring back to tip #1, if space is an issue, consider doing laundry in the evening. Hang it over the rack to dry while everyone is asleep, where it can do its job thoroughly and inconspicuously.
When hanging your laundry, remember:
1. Place smaller items like socks, undergarments or cloth-cleaning rags on the lower racks. Longer items, such as sheets, towels and pants will need the uppermost racks.
2. Hang pants, including jeans, upside-down. The waist will dry more quickly if it has increased air flow.
3. Position the rack as close to a heat source as possible (taking caution to avoid any fire risks). In my home, that’s the wood stove; in yours, it might be a heating duct or radiator or perhaps even a particularly sunny window.
4. If, like me, you share your home with a menagerie of furry friends, your laundry might benefit from a few minutes in the automatic dryer once the indoor rack has done its work. This way, you can remove unwanted fur while cutting down on energy costs (and carbon emissions!).
What about you? Got any indoor drying tips you’d care to share? I’d love to hear them!