Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The daily grind: Hanging out the washing

Image from here

When I hang my washing on the line, it is a slap dash affair. I grab a garment, give it a shake to flatten out the creases, and peg it up. One - two pegs per item (depending on size of garment and availability of pegs).

My only concern is getting the clothes flat to minimize drying time.

I have had conversations with friends over the years about their washing line fetishes.  It is a fascinating business.

People who have to use matching pegs on a garment ie. two blue not a blue and a white.

People whose pegs need to match the colour of the garment being hung.

People who have to keep colours together on the line ie. black next to black, red next to red

People who have different sections of the line for different categories of clothes - tops, pants, socks 'n' undies, other.

People who have to put their clothes up in size order- ascending or descending

Today whilst doing an 'icebreaker' activity in a training session*, I heard a new one.

A person who has to hang the washing on the hills hoist from outside to inside.

Why outside in? I wondered to myself. It would be a hell of a lot easier to work inside out wouldn't it? I mean, if you had to follow a particular direction that is.

Her admission generated much discussion amongst the group*. And it got me thinking about why people have these habits? How do they start? And why do they continue?

Do you hang out your washing in a particular way? Do you want to share?

* It was a response to a question card about 'quirky habits'
**I think I might just ask people about their washing line habits for my next icebreaker. The rest of the  question cards weren't nearly as successful at bringing the group together and getting them talking. Who knew?


ANB said...

I try to arrange it according to who it belongs to, because then if you unpeg it in the same order, then each person's clothes are roughly in a pile. I'm sure the amount of time it saves is negligible but I can't help myself. And I take it that if you don't already, you will soon realise that you and Maxabella both posted about washing within minutes of each other? :)
(I wonder if you are the fanatical-about-singlets sister?!)

MultipleMum said...

I like it @ANB. Much more sensible/practical than some of the other options! I just noticed that re: Maxabella! Singlets are the Fibro dweller's domain x

Mum on the Run said...

Yep - hang in lines according to family member.(and in bottoms/tops/then underwear.)
Still trying to convice Hubby though. He mixes em up just to shit me!

Kelly Exeter said...

Omg - outside in on a hills hoist?! My brain cannot process that!

Timely post this one as my blog post tomorrow is laundry related! As far as the washing line goes the only thing I am anal about is hanging things the way I want then to dry - ie in the right shape. Oh and I hang my socks up already paired :)

Mama of 2 boys said...

How funny! Now you raise the question I suppose there are certain patterns we form when doing such a repetitive task. It's all a bit obsessive compulsive really... and after reading a couple of those, I don't feel weird at all about my washing line antics.
I pretty much hang the clothes as they are picked from the basket. Like yourself, a good shake and try to keep them flat.
My Mum used to do a funny one... folding the washing as she took it off the line, I guess with a family of nine, it was more of a timesaver than anything. But I just couldn't be bothered.

Erin said...

Umm actually I sort of do outside in on the hills hoist. blush. I hang all the older people's clothes and heavy items ie jeans on the outside lines, and the smaller people and lighter gear on the inside lines. Underwear goes on the very inner lines. All about maximising drying time. Though with 2 hills hoists now in, drying is easier. Thought this picture may bring a smile
note I even have a system there. Clothes on the 'real mccoy' and linen and nappies on the plastic coated irritation.

Maxabella said...


What was her reason for the outside in approach? Dying to know!

I'm a matching peg person (when I bother to peg, not often in the cold months...)


Lisa said...

I am a put it up as my hand grabs it out of the basket person, the only exception is jeans go on the outside line as they always take longer to dry. My Mum hangs underwear on the inner lines and my sister is a pegs matching person.

Bungalowgirl said...

Goodness this is a hotbed of confessions isn't it? I feel safe enough to admit that I just fling up in any order BUT most scandalously, I leave my pegs on the line all the time and do not put them back in the basket, EVER. Please do not judge me harshly. My husband finds it appalling but given that he will hang 6 items off the one peg and wonder why they are not dry by September, I choose to ignore him. melx

Lipgloss Mumma said...

My hanging of washing consists of taking it out of the machine and throwing it into the dryer. Bad. Yes very bad. I know.

Miss Pink said...

All our pegs are wooden, otherwise I'd probably have to match the colours and that would leave me out there all bloody morning!
I hate it when people that leave pegs on the line when they're not holding a garment on there. Put it in the peg basket!
I also hate it when people who just drop them on the ground. Trashy.
But you do what you like in your yard, just don't do it in mine because I will sigh loudly and fix it up. Lol.

I peg things up according to who's clothing it is. So Greenie's goes on one side, Bluey's the other, mine over here, and then pyjama's on the fourth. Underwear/socks etc. always 2 rows in from the outside unless it's a really big load then it gets moved in a little further.
I also always skip a line to give my clothes "more air space".
I have specific wash days for certain loads, so that means my line is rarely choc-a-block full. But sometimes, during winter, it can be.

I also need to shake clothing out and make it flat (I don't iron, and this helps with that). Some garments MUST be turned inside out to dry (darks, or patterned clothing), and others MUST be turned right way out (whites, socks and underwear), and some it doesn't matter.
I usually fold the clothes as I take them off the line so I just need to carry the basket in and put things away. If it's raining or I need to get them off in a hurry then obviously I just fold them inside.

E. said...

I can't believe I'm commenting on a post about washing!
I'm like Erin. Big / heavy stuff Stuff on the outside lines and undies sock etc on the inner most lines. Also if I have a couple of loads I try to leave a line gap between each line of clothes. It helps with the drying.

Like Miss Pink, I also try to fold the big items as I take them off the line. I'm not fanatical about it though.

What I really want is someone else to do the washing, drying a folding. The washing fairy has run away with the cleaning fairy around these parts.

Photographer Mum said...

I'm all over the place with mine. Each item gets one peg unless it's heavy stuff and they go on the line as they come out of the basket.
My parents hang their clothes so they all overlap and share a peg with the next item to save pegs. A little OCD perhaps, but whatever. Each to their own...

As for getting them packed away, we have a tendency to live out of baskets in the living room.

Anonymous said...

I start at the outside and work my way in too because if you start at the middle you keep walking into washing that's already been pegged out. Nothing worse than consistently walking into the wet socks. I also have bigs on the outside, then smaller items on the inside, then finally socks/undies on the very inside lines.

Kymmie said...

This post is priceless! I fold my washing as it comes off and my best friend taught me to hang by family member. We have a hills hoist and it's divided into quarters. Perfect for our family of four (at the moment). Amally retentive, I know, but at least I don't match pegs like my mother!

PlanningQueen said...

This post made me laugh as I have a post lined up in a few weeks time about a new way I have been hanging the washing out!

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