Our world is reeling from the damage man has managed to do. Every little thing we can now do to be more earth-friendly will make a difference in saving our poor exhausted planet. I began doing my part by using non-petroleum base laundry detergent. ( Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent ) But I felt I could do even more by freeing myself from my ” Blast Furnace”( also called a clothes dryer) and just let nature handle things. It turned out to be one of the best moves I’ve done, not just for the environment but for myself. I’ve cut my electric bill by $25-$50 a month by not using my electric dryer except when absolutely necessary.
No matter where you live, you can dry your clothes without an appliance which costs hundreds of dollars to buy, and will cost a fortune to repair when it breaks(note I said WHEN and not IF it breaks). The solution: a clothesline! You can buy indoor drying racks, retractable clotheslines, indoor umbrella dryer, as well as every size shape and type of outdoor clothesline imaginable (Visit clotheslineshop.com or urbanclotheslines.com to see what I mean).
My favorite is a plain T-pole clothesline in the backyard. When I went to buy the clothesline poles, I was shocked at how expensive they were in relation to my budget. I decided then and there to make my own AS CHEAPLY AS POSSIBLE! Here is what I did:
NOTE:You’ll need: drill, drill bits, pencil, saw, tape measure, level, shovel (You can beg or borrow from your friends J)
1. Find a friend who has a pick-up truck that can help with hauling.
2. Go to any home supply store such as Lowes or Home Depot.
3. Go to the lumber department. You are looking for 4″x4″ treated timbers in 8′ lengths – 5 of them
4. Go to hardware department.
You’ll need 2 ½” wood screws. I got 16 of them.
You’ll need 12 sturdy eye screws.
You’ll also need 6 ½” lag screws – 2 of them.
5. Plastic coated clothes line. (You’ll find it in the aisle where the buckets OR rope is sold.
6. Small bag of Quikrete.
7. Once home, you will need to pick a spot for your clothesline that gets lots of sunshine.
Take your tape measure and mark 2 spots that are 20′ apart. Your posts will go here.
8. Dig 2′ deep holes where you marked. Make the holes about 8-10″ wide.
9. You will now begin to work on the pole itself. You’ll start by cutting the timber for the horizontal piece. The horizontal piece of each of the 2 poles needs to be 66″ in length. Remember: “Measure twice, cut once”
10. Take the 66″ length of timber you just cut and mark the center of the length.
11. You are going to place an 8′ timber flat on the ground. Take one of the 66″ timbers and mark the ½ point of the length (33″). Make a “T” with the timber as it lies on the ground.
12. Take your drill, using a slightly smaller around drill bit than your lag screws and drill through the center of the top of the “T” and into the center of the vertical piece.
13. Screw in the lag bolt, thus attaching the horizontal piece to the vertical post.
14. Take the piece of timber that will be one of the 2 support pieces for this post and lay it at an angle similar to what you see in the picture. Mark these lines on timber and cut.
15. Using your woodscrews and drill (using a Phillips head screwdriver bit), attach the support pieces to the vertical and horizontal posts. (See photos)
While you have everything on the ground, screw in eye screws every 6″ on your horizontal post. Your clothesline will go through them later. This will give you 120′ of drying space when everything is finished!
16. Stand pole upright and place in hole. Have friend hold it while you do the following:
Fill hole surrounding post with dry Quikrete right out of the bag. Pour water slowly on top of Quikrete. Water will seep into the powder, causing it to set. Water from the soil will take care of the sides within the ground.
17. Repeat process to make and secure the 2nd post.
*Follow drying instructions on bag before attaching clothesline between posts.
5 – 4″x4″ timbers 8′ length @$2.25 each = $11.25
2 lag screws = $1.50
Wood screws = $.99
12 eye screws = $2.25
Quikrete = $4.00
Plastic clothesline = $4.00
TOTAL = $23.99
People are realizing a clothesline in a back or side yard has become a sort of status symbol that says “I am making an effort to help the environment.” A retractable line can be the perfect match for those who do not want to see a regular clothesline in their manicured backyard but still want to do their part. Even folks who live in a condo or apartment complex who have to contend with homeowner/renter ordinances forbidding hanging clothes on a balcony have found that an inexpensive bamboo blind that rolls down hides their clothes as they dry outside. We all need to do whatever we can to stop using appliances that use electricity. (Think of what we have to do for us to generate electricity!) It has to stop sometime and somewhere. Why not let it stop with you right now?