Is Northfield clothesline-friendly?


  1. John Thomas said:

    We have a clothesline out back, as well as our neighbors. (I installed both)

    And, frankly, it is VERY cool to not use energy to dry ones clothes. They smell and feel better.

    August 16, 2008
  2. I’ve always thought of Northfield as very clothesline friendly. I hang them out (much more so recently than in the past, I’ll admit), and my neighbors here and at my previous house hang out lots of laundry. I’ve only used my dryer a handful of times since spring really arrived, and then only on a rainy day or when I need something in a hurry, but I try to time my laundry days for good weather so I can take advantage of the free sun and wind. I created a happy blogpost about it back in May.

    August 16, 2008
  3. Kathy Blough said:

    I’ve lived in a variety of places, from tiny apartments to large houses with big yards, but in all of them I’ve always managed to avoid using a clothes dryer. Since I bought my current house 4 years ago I have not used the dryer once. In the winter I hang things inside and it works fine.

    August 16, 2008
  4. Marie Fischer said:

    Our family hangs everything outside, much to my dolor (it makes our towels scratchy).
    Actually I don’t mind that much. Plus we have a garden right next to our clothesline, so your clothes end up smelling like whatever plant they were next to. And it’s good for making quick tents :).

    August 16, 2008
  5. I have not used a clothes dryer in recent memory. I don’t even have one.
    I hang my clothes inside here, and they dry so fast cuz this region has very dry air. Because of all the construction around here and the bare hills of soil and such, I haven’t hung clothes out here. I do put rugs on the deck though.

    In Oklahoma, I do hang larger items outdoors, if there is no road dust wind. In Texas, I used to hang the clothes out on a 70 degree day, and then
    find them later all frozen and stiff with ice. That what happens when you live in an area with winds from all directions seemingly at once. hahaha.

    August 16, 2008
  6. I hadn’t hit the send button, cuz I have another story…in Tulsa, there used to be and may be still is an Italian restaurant called Zio’s and part of their decor is Italian street scene, where they actually hang acutal laundry and even unmentionables from “second story” windows. The kids love it and think it’s very appetizing, apparently. Parmesan, anyone?

    August 16, 2008
  7. I love using the solar clothes dryer! I see a number of other households hanging laundry in our neighborhood on St. Olaf Avenue and elsewhere nearby. Clothes dryers are major energy users, so this is a simple no-cost/low-cost thing anyone can do to reduce energy use and associated expense/environmental impact.

    Of course, if you live in some areas, the homeowners’ association covenants may prohibit hanging laundry–too low-brow, I guess.  Sean Hayford O’Leary informs me this is the case in Bridgewater Heights…

    August 16, 2008
  8. Yeah, well, I assume people would rather see the flowers on my balcony at Village on the Cannon than laundry! Besides, it is against the rules here and most balconies are smaller than my third floor one anyway. And I won’t be decorating my small living space with clothing racks for drying. Sorry. But good for those of you who have room for clotheslines and the time to use them. One question: do air-dried clothes need more ironing? (Who irons anymore?)

    August 16, 2008
  9. I am all for flowers, too. As for ironing, I try very hard not to. For one thing it’s a huge waste of energy, both human and electrical, and for another, in this dry climate, the clothes just seem to pucker anyway.
    I try to buy all cotton or rayon or nylon or some blend thereof that really don’t require ironing. I am not for that starched look that makes people look more perfect than they really are. It does look nice, but save it for a special occasion.
    Most people in Chicago long ago quit dressing up for the streets, or work. This was mainly due to the fact that if you wore your gold necklace on the train tracks, it would get snatched, so people stopped showing their wealth,
    and everyone went to the common man look.

    It’s sort of sad, because I remember when you went to a concert and dressed up for it to show respect and honor to the performers and to show what a special occasion it was and how you could be part of the scene by dressing for it. IT was fun!

    Back to drying clothes. They dry fast and you can finger iron them, for the crinkly areas like shirt pocket and collar, when you hang them up on a hangar. Then, you can use that time you would have spent ironing, and the money you spent on the electric bill to save the world.

    August 17, 2008
  10. If you take the particularly stiff or scratchy items, like towels and blue jeans, and throw them in the dryer on low or no heat for just a few minutes (3-5, say), they soften up considerably and you’re still using far less energy than you would have to dry them in the dryer.

    We have just acquired an indoor drying rack that we will set up after we move in a couple of weeks. Having so enjoyed not using the dryer’s energy this year, I know it will feel good to be able to hang things to dry in the cold/damp seasons.

    August 17, 2008
  11. Rob Hardy said:

    This is from the Northfield city code:

    Sec. 34-1010. Exterior storage.
    (a) In residential districts, all materials and equipment shall be stored within a building or shall be fully screened so as not to be visible from adjoining properties, except for the following if they are in good working order and in good physical appearance: laundry drying and recreational equipment; construction and landscaping materials and equipment currently being used on the premises; agricultural equipment and materials, if these are used or intended for use on the premises; off-street parking of passenger automobiles and pickup trucks; and firewood. Boats and unoccupied trailers, less than 25 feet in length, are permissible (emphasis added).

    August 17, 2008
  12. Thanks for the note about Bridgewater Heights, Bruce. For anyone who’s interested, the covenants are posted here (the document includes a slew of environmentally unfriendly things beyond banning clothesline).

    Anyone know if there are similar rules in Northfield developments like Jefferson Parkway-area, Thye Parkway-area, or Mayflower Hill?

    August 20, 2008
  13. Bill Ostrem said:

    We too only occasionally use the dryer, drying clothes on racks, lines, towel bars, and other handy places both inside and outside.

    August 21, 2008

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