Debt Reduction

Time to get over my fear of bird poop?

I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and one of my favorite memories from childhood is the scent and the feel of stuff that was hung out on the clothesline that my grandpa had sunk into a pool of concrete about 40 some years ago. I don’t know that my mom was trying to be a frugal farmwife or if she liked the scent as much as I did, but in the early 1990s, my folks took out the clothesline and now everything is dried by the dryer.

And it’s the same in my house. Never mind that we have a clothesline in the back yard. It runs under a walnut tree and a pine tree and for some inane reason, I’m sure that if I were to hang up my bedsheets they’d become a hanging target for my avian backyard buddies.

JD from “Get Rich Slowly” wrote this post recently on clotheslines and it’s planted a seed in my thoughts – maybe I should give clotheslines a second chance.

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3 thoughts on “Time to get over my fear of bird poop?

  1. Be wary of when the pine is dropping pollen. It will leave a coating on your clothes. The bird poop excuse doesn’t fly. Maybe one item once a month gets pooped.

  2. I never thought about bird poop but I actually don’t like the smell of line-dried clothes. I hang a good portion of my clothes (like pants, work shirts and sweaters) indoors in front of a window or sometimes a fan.

    I do this even when I have a dryer since it not only saves electricity but I think it helps the clothes last longer. Plus you can still do it if it’s snowing outside.

  3. I have a couple of high quality (i.e. not accordion) folding line drying racks, and I use them for almost everything! When pollen / outdoor allergens are at their highest, or the weather is foul, I dry clothes inside using the fan. When outdoor allergens are lower, I set the racks outside on my porch. Because of my nasal allergies, I always machine – dry sheets and pillowcases, but I use vinegar in the rinse water so I don’t have to use dryer sheets.

    I started using the racks when two things happened simultaneously–I moved to a heavy-allergen new state, and the subdivision I moved to had idiotic rules about outdoor clotheslines. While racks are “fussier” to organize than traditional lines, they are also versatile and good space savers. Plus I can move them away from sap-droppers and places where there is a higher likelihood of bird poop (such as under a tree).

    Opposition to line drying seems to come from an association of drying with poverty. Some folks who grew up without washers or dryers have been unable to concieve why I would possibly *not* want to use a dryer. I concede their point about using a washer, with absolutely no argument. Others simply seem to think that only poor folks line-dry, so they don’t want anything in their neighborhood that gives the impression of poverty. (One new subdivision near me has even banned window screens, if you can believe it, along with window fans–talk about valorizing conspicuous consumption.) I concede that I am lucky enough to have always had a washer AND a dryer, save when I was a graduate student, and that I have a set now–so I have a *choice,* and no baggage surrounding that choice. Ditto air-conditioning.

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