Well, I’ve read it all, and just after I thought every possible dumb thing had been reported, along comes an article in this week’s TIME Magazine that made my jaw drop.
Community and homeowners associations across the country are trying to ban the use of clotheslines in their communities. According to the article, they seem to think clothes drying in the sun are an eyesore, and could well affect property values. Hello? Who thinks up this kind of idiocy anyway? Obviously, some people have way too much time on their hands.
Let’s start with clothes dryers. They can add up to 6 percent of your electric bill and dump up to a ton of CO2 into the air, per household each year. That’s a good reason to use them sparingly and do like us old folks used to do, and hang the clothes outside. When the weather got too cold or rainy, the laundry went on and mom hung the clothes in the basement to dry. Of course, that might be a problem for homes without basements, but you get the idea.
As ridiculous as this sounds, it’s a fact – state legislatures are being asked to pass laws prohibiting people from hanging their laundry out to dry. I can’t believe in this enlightened age that people would be embarrassed to see someone else’s undergarments catching some rays, but on the other hand I can think of some blue-nosed areas where that might be a problem for some folks. And to think someone’s laundry would lead prospective buyers to think their would-be neighbors couldn’t afford a clothes dryer. What rubbish!
But, if a person is reluctant to display the undies to all who pass by, there’s still the dryer, or better yet, the basement or an indoor rack on which to hang the more delicate apparel.
If you’ve ever slept on sheets that dried in the sun, you can understand how wonderfully clean and fresh they smell as you crawl in for a night’s rest. The same goes for clothing. There’s nothing like sun-dried wash, nothing.
So, what do you think? Are we looking at another effort to deny us our rights in our own backyards, or do the HOA’s and neighborhood associations have a valid point? If it’s already affected you, I’d like to know that too.
Till then, “hang” in there.
It is pretty silly to ban it, although hanging clothes to dry in the sun is not a very good idea, as sun can bleach fibers.
Shirley Siluk Gregory
Banning outdoor clotheslines is ridiculous, and not just from an environmental standpoint. Considering the nightmarish housing market and record number of foreclosures right now, homeowners’ associations should be more worried about the empty, uncared-for homes in their neighborhoods. A clothesline full of undies is a good sign someone’s still at home!
I used to live in an apartment complex with a balcony and one lovely spring day I washed a big comforter and draped it over the balcony to dry. Within an hour, management contacted me and told me I wasn’t allowed to hang things on the balcony.
Now I live in a house in a nice modest blue collar neighborhood and can keep a compost heap and garden and hang things on the deck. I hope it stays that way!