Outdoor clothes-drying is alive and well!

| June 11, 2012 | 1 Comment

Project Laundry List is a nonprofit promoting the outdoor laundry-drying and fighting the hundreds of (ridiculous) homeowner association rules that prohibit it.  Even in relatively with-it Columbia, MD!  I’ve spread the word in frequent blog stories on this national blog and elsewhere (I love their Top Ten Reasons to Line-Dry) and was pleased to find clothes lines are the dominant garden feature here in Old Greenbelt.  How green!

With a little asking around about the clothes lines I and googling I discovered a couple of interesting limitations on line-drying in the town’s history, though.  Originally, line-drying wasn’t allowed on Sundays.  (Remember blue laws?  Reading up on them, I’m shocked to discover how many are still in effect.  Wikipedia contributors also can’t agree on the origin of the term.)

Another local law that’s long gone is that laundry had to be taken in before dinnertime, which long-time residents tell me had to do with making the home look nice for the return of the breadwinner.  We can imagine the little woman putting on her nicest housedress around that time, too, a la June Cleaver.

I recently bragged on the aforementioned national garden blog about Greenbelt’s clothes lines and asked if any of the readers were still practicing this seemingly long-gone tradition and to my surprise, dozens of readers declared that they were outdoor laundry-dryers, too.  Proudly so.   Click here to read the 64 comments supporting outdoor clothes-drying, the first of which is: “I think I want to move to Green Belt, just so I can join the GSGS!!” (referring to the Greenbelt’s Sun-Dried Garmenture Society Drill Team.)

Truth to tell, I removed my own clothes line in favor of more plants, so I’m kinda out of step in a town where the Sun-Drying Garmenture Society Drill Team struts its stuff every year in the Labor Day Parade.



Category: Green

About the Author ()

Susan Harris has been writing online since 2005 - about gardening. (E.g., Garden Rant, Lawn Reform Coalition, and Behnkes Nursery.) In 2012 she started this community blog for and about her adopted hometown. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland Youtube Channel and does digital promotion for several Greenbelt organizations.

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  1. Ken says:

    My grandmother would be HORRIFIED if she saw how most people hang their clothes.
    When I do see folks hanging laundry I very often think that looks so sloppy and quite frankly unsightly.
    I do hang out when weather permits. I use a Hills Hoist Rotary and take the time to hang it neatly and “properly”
    I know I sound like a “snob” but I dislike the rope strung between to trees or the lines between posts or T-posts that sags to the ground and the clothes just haphazardly thrown over and maybe pinned and maybe not.

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