My best tips about hanging clothes on the outdoor clothesline come from the people I know, who’ve developed excellent methods of hanging expertise through many years of practice.
The main person who springs to mind is my Mum. Since leaving home more than 20 years ago, I’ve consistently used this generational know-how for hanging my clothes. I know they work and are the most worthwhile ways to increase your clothes’ longevity.
For All Clothes
- Our family friend “Aunty Betty from Bathurst” had a family of six. I grew up as a family of four, so we trusted Aunty Betty to know more about washing and drying than us! Aunty Betty’s top tip is to shake each item before pegging on the line. The shake-out helps to minimise creases and gives your clothes a flatter, more even dry.
- Fold the clothes over the line no more than the seams-worth. More than that and you’ll end up with an unsightly line across your clothes, which is more difficult to iron out.
- Hang your clothes evenly. No need for super perfection, but hanging at crazy angles increases your ironing time.
- When your clothes are dry, fold them neatly into your laundry basket as you take them off the line. I’m all for less creasing and crushing!
- Increase the lifespan of your plastic pegs by returning them to the peg bag. This decreases the brittleness caused by UV exposure.
If your plastic pegs have perished, there are a range of excellent peg choices, such as these traditional wooden pegs or these stainless steel pegs. They come in a variety of stainless steel grades, including marine-grade, which are ideal for living on the coast.
Turn all dark clothes inside out to reduce fading, especially if your clothes dry in the sun. Alternatively dry all dark clothes in shadier, breezy areas.
Tops and Shirts
There are two ways to hang a top – upside down or on a coathanger.
Hang all tops upside down, pegging (the equivalent of) the seam-widths worth. This hanging method increases the drying surface area and gives a neater appearance on your top once dry.
My Mum always hung Dad’s business shirts on a coathanger. This is one of the most time-useful drying tips. The already hung top goes from outside hanging, straight into the wardrobe.
Make sure the clothes hangers are the right fit for your shirt to avoid pointy bits happening at the end of your shoulders. How easy is that?!
My Granny showed me how to hang pants for a better drying result. Hang pants as you wear them, pegged along the waistline. For thicker pants such as jeans, peg by the back waistband. Straighten out the legs from top to bottom.
Towels, Sheets, Tea Towels
Large towels and sheets are my 2-3 peg items to keep the shape neat without sagging. Hang from the seam to keep it as one layer. If you need to fold your towel for drying, fold it in half to dry evenly. This becomes your natural fold line and keeps the towels in shape.
Always dry your woollen clothes flat in the shade. This is important for your clothes to maintain their shape and size.
In addition to having that naturally fresh feeling of line drying your clothes, you’ll see that by using these clothes-hanging tips is the easiest and quickest way to line dry your clothes, reduce unwanted peg marks and maintain the shape of your clothes for longer wear.
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