Way back in the Stone Age, when I was a mother to one little boy and a second was but a twinkle in my eye, I line dried almost everything.  Buuuuut I cheated.  I would put prefolds and jeans and towels in the dryer for several minutes first, so that they weren't crazy stiff off the line.  And also I always had the dryer as an option if it rained, snowed, I felt lazy, or I had a second baby and NO TIME.

When we moved down to New Mexico, we moved into our first place that didn't come with a washer and dryer.  We bought our first washer (what are we?  Grown-ups?!?), but didn't really want to spend the money or space on a dryer.  The house we are renting has the washer/dryer hook-ups in the kitchen, and our kitchen is already rather cramped.  

Plus, we live in the desert in a time of severe drought.  Is there any better time or place to attempt to live without a dryer?

We already had a clothesline with quite a bit of space in the backyard, so I bought the following:

  • Clothes pins
  • Clothes pin bag (actually, I just use a little tote Bean got for free with his lunch at the zoo...)
  • Laundry Trolley (It looks like a baby carriage for my laundry basket!  It keeps me from having to set the whole thing down in the dirt and then repeatedly bend down to get things out of the basket)


drying line 1


This worked well...until there was a pretty major break in the drought and it rained for something like 5 days straight!  So I then purchased a drying rack to use indoors during inclimate weather - which I'm told will include dust storms and general windyness in the spring!

There was a bit of trouble-shooting with hanging some of the laundry, though.  Because A-Train is only going through 2-3 diapers most weeks, I wash diapers with whites.  So, in every diaper load there are wipes, a diaper or two, a wetbag, athletic socks, a couple towels, and maybe an undershirt or three of my husband's.  It ends up being a lot of little things, and I was running out of clothespins!  I cut the number of clothespins needed for wipes nearly in half by making a chain of them.  They overlap slightly, but they're a single layer so they still dry quickly.  I also double up the socks and other small items with towels.


drying line 2

What I am still struggling a little bit with, though, is the wet bag.  The Planet Wise Large Hanging Wet Bag has two separate pieces - a cloth outer and a waterproof inner.  The inner and outer are not attached to each other, so water easily gets between the two as the bag is washed.  I have several times ended up with water pooled inside the waterproof section as the bag dried on the line...  That kind of defeats the purpose...


drying line 3

The best solution I have found is to turn it right side out and dump/gently squeeze out any pooled water, then hang it upside down from the fabric side so the waterproof section hangs down (as shown in the picture).  But sometimes, there is still some moisture when I turn it right side out.  The water just cannot evaporate out of the PUL end.  So I turn it right side out and lay it somewhere in the house to completely dry.

This is my biggest complaint about the Planet Wise bags.  I know I'm not the only one to have this problem.  Does anyone have a better solution?  Or perhaps other tips to share from a dryer-free life?


brea family pic

Brea Carlson is mom to two boys (Bean born Spring of 2008 and A-Train born Fall of 2010) and wife to her college sweetheart.  Brea edits the TGN, runs the giveaways, and writes about life with kids (mostly) after cloth diapers and baby carriers.  She also blogs at Contentedly Crunchy.