Don’t Air Your Laundry In This Neighborhood

I remember the day when sheets, towels, jeans and shirts would have been hanging from these clothes pins. Few people hang their laundry outside these days. I for one don’t, but both of my neighbors hang their laundry out. I have often thought about purchasing a clothes line, but only for a brief moment.

Watching my neighbors hang their laundry has brought back memories of wringer washes, wash tubs, scrub boards, and spray starch. My mother had a wringer washer and clothes line for years. She starched more shirts and doilies than I care to count. I remember getting my fingers caught in that damn wringer on many occasions too. I did love the smell of my sheets when I was growing up. They always smelled so fresh. On the other hand, I also have memories of frozen jeans, stiff towels and cold fingers from being out in the cold and taking the laundry down. It’s those memories that make me run thankfully to my dryer where I can open it to find nice, warm, wrinkle free laundry.

Did you know there’s a fight going on in America over laundry? Women want the right to air their laundry, but local ordinances are keeping laundry out of backyards. It seems that most developers place this restriction in their covenants, but 5 states have made it a law that you can hang your laundry in your yard. These state include: Florida, Utah, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii. Additional states are thinking about lifting the ban on airing laundry. It seems that in most states neighbors aren’t interested in seeing other neighbor’s sheets and/or unmentionables blowing in the wind. Many believe it trashes the neighborhood. Gone are the days of wringer washers and wash tubs on the back porch, but shouldn’t a home owner have the right to hang boxers, bras and booty shorts out if they wish?

I don’t find either of my neighbor’s laundry embarrassing or trashy. I must admit I have glanced at the undies and wondered if my ass was big as the briefs they had hanging on their line, and vowed to hit the treadmill more often. Other than that, it’s just laundry.

Laundry blowing in the wind used to be a common sight in the neighborhood when I was growing up, but we didn’t live in a neighborhood of $200,00, $300,000 or $400,000 homes either. People seem to be focused more on looks rather than saving energy and having fresh smelling sheets these days. Seeing laundry in the backyards of homes of this caliber is most unusual, but Project Laundry List may end the ban on sheets blowing in the wind in the swankiest of neighborhoods. They are fighting for the rights of home owners everywhere to air their laundry.

It’s doubtful that I will join in the fight to air my dainties. Although I do miss the smell of fresh sheets, I love my dryer and the delicate cycle too much. I do wish those who want to hang their laundry in their yard the best.

Will you be joining the fight? Leave us a comment and let us know if you or your neighbors hang your laundry out and your thoughts.



  1. I vaguely remember my mom doing laundry with a wringer washer, but very well remember her drying clothes on a line. (I also remember starched dresses)

    I, too have dried clothes on a line, and I see nothing wrong with it. Currently we have a small folding rack that we use for rugs and such, it's used outside in good weather, in the garage in bad.  Even though I like the feel of sheets and clothes from the dryer, I would like to get a folding line to use on occasion, even if mainly just used to air out things, nothing like that fresh air smell smell.

    I feel if someone wants to dry their laundry on a line, go for it. Like others, it seems ridiculous that with all the talk of conserving energy that in some areas it is against the law.

  2. ah yes those stiff towels and jeans, well really every thing is stiff off the line. While everyone should have the right I love my dryer too!

  3. I've seen people hang their laundry in the garage!

    Stopping by from Momdot.

  4. I find it hilarious that for all the green talk we hear, that local governments don't want to advocate for something so basic that would help conserve energy!

    Clotheslines wouldn't bother me. Now if they could confiscate excessive lawn ornaments… then we'd be going somewhere. πŸ˜‰

  5. Isn't it ironic that cities are talking about going green yet people pitch fits over drying laundry?

    If I lived in a place like that, I would go buy a truckload of underwear including thongs, bra, etc and hang them up in my front yard.

  6. I loved the way laundry smells when line dried- it is just silly to try to ban it!

    I don't line dry my clothes anymore though, I am doing SOMETHING wrong, every time I tried everything would end up being stiff as a board and you had to force it to fold LOL, but I remember my grandmothers clothes always being so nice after!

  7. I love hanging my laundry. I havent done it lately because I dont have a pole to tie the line to. But it saves so much energy. I think it is a shame to try to outlaw saving energy!

  8. I totally would if I had a line to hang my clothes on. But, I did have to say that this comment of yours: "I have glanced at the undies and wondered if my ass was big as the briefs they had hanging on their line, and vowed to hit the treadmill more often"

    Made me laugh so hard! You have my sense of humor! You are so silly and funny!!!!!!!

  9. I read this news article the other day on yahoo and it really irked me! What gives anyone the right to tell someone they can't hang laundry out in their own yard! Just ridiculous! It makes me so glad that I lie in the country where I can hang out as much laundry as I want! I

  10. My mom use to hang out our clothes, I did hate the stiff jeans and such though ha! She never did the undies or towels though lol. I think I would with our bedding because it always smells so good when you do but I don't have a place to do that here lol.

  11. I love hanging my clothes out. And I'm not sure if you can here my neighborhood but when we were in Texas I did it all the time. Saved us $$ too!

  12. I used to work at a real estate office and read some of the covenants in neighborhoods.  I was shocked that drying laundry was banned!  It is so much better for your electricity bill and the environment to dry your laundry outside. Having bans on this is so intrusive that is makes me ecstatic to live on my own 20 acres with no neighbors.  I hang my baby's diapers out whenever I can, as well as our underthings. I am so glad no one can see it πŸ™‚

  13. I remember my mom doing this, and my grandma always did it. In my mother in laws neighborhood, there is a family that has a large trampoline in the backyard with the fence guard all the way around it. They hang their laundry on there. The Homeowners Association HATES it. It's their yard! Their property! IN THE BACKYARD! No one can see it, geez! I have always wanted to live out in the country, where I could hang my laundry outside and watch the sheets sway in the breeze.

  14. If the weather is nice, I have a little drying rack on our screened porch. I like drying laundry out there.

    However, in our suburban town, hanging laundry is a big fat no-no and I believe it's against some village ordinance.

  15. I never much cared for hanging my laundry out.  I like the softness that a dryer brings to them, but that is just me.

  16. We hang our laundry out and i honestly don't give a rats donkey if my neighbours care.  I like the way my clothes smell when I hang them out, I also like paying less on my power bill at the end of the month. 

    I hang everythign out and then the towels and jeans i just fluff in the dryer to take the stiffness out, I run my dryer for 10 min a week as oppposed to hours and hours.

  17. A small town I lived in a few years back had a by-law restricting clotheslines. I thought that was just bonkers, and hung my clothes out anyway. No-one ever complained or told me I had to take it down.
    With the huge amounts of energy it can save, I can't understand for the life of me why it would be illegal! …Then again, I guess I've never resided in any real snooty neighborhoods, ha!
    I live out on 10 acres now, so I can hang all the ginormous underpants I want. πŸ˜›

  18. I think people should be allowed to do this.  They do in Italy-every balcony has stuff hanging from it.  They want us to save energy, well guess what?  This is how you do it.
    People are stressed because of lack of money from losing their jobs or pay cuts and this helps them to save money.
    I don't do it because of the way my house is on a hill, but I am thinking I would like to so I am going to ask hubby if we can get a line someplace so I can maybe put a few things on the line.  It would be interesting to see how much I can save and how I like how it turns out.  Our old man neighbor used to hang his undies out and it didn't bother me one bit!
    Where is our freedom? Everyone used to do this!