When I moved to this house a few years ago it had a retractable clothesline that was half under cover and half in the sun so now I had the best of both worlds. Even in the rain I could dry my washing without having to use the clothes dryer. I think in the last 3.5 years I've used my clothes dryer about 10 times and that was probably because it was late at night, cold and didn't want to actually peg the washing outside and it was just easier to just put it in the dryer. I could have avoided those times but seriously I'm really good with not using the dryer and sometimes I indulge myself when I'm really exhausted.
Over the past couple of years I've streamlined how I peg my washing and have it down to a fine art that works for my family. A couple of items which help me are as follows:-
- A bucket of pegs for $3.00 from Kmart which hangs on the clothesline, I have two of these.
- Coloured kids hangers from Ikea, I have lots of these.
- Pressa Hanging Dryer which we call an "Octopus" from Ikea, I have 3 of these.
- A laundry trolley to hold the basket and the hangers hang off the handle.
Armed with these items my washing is pegged like this.
School uniforms are hung with either pink or blue hangers for obvious reasons James is blue and Sienna is pink. She wears a dress to school and I know that's not James' however when you have 5 school T-shirts on the line I want to know quickly who's shirt it is they are hung with either pink or blue hangers. All my hangers go into the clothing with the hook to the left. It can be any way however I do it this way and all the clothes are facing the same way when on the ironing rack.
Shorts and skirts are hung with skirt hangers on the line. All the kids casual T-shirts are hung on blue or pink hangers until I run out of those colours, then I use whatever colour is available because generally a pink T-shirt will be Sienna's and James has his particular boy T-shirts as well.
Now the next best thing you can have on a clothesline is an Octopus from Ikea. These will change your life trust me when we (my other friend who put me onto these and I) finally convinced another friend of ours to get a couple once she did, she could not believe how amazing this device was on so many levels. She agreed that they are a life changing item. There are lots of little devices like this that you can purchase from Kmart or the cheap $2.00 shops however I have found this particular one from Ikea to be the best. It's sturdy and hangs really well on the line and there's enough space between the pegs for you to peg everything so I would highly recommend you invest in some of these if you have an Ikea store near you.
It's legs can fold up and we all (our camping buddies) take it camping with us and all the kids hats get hung up on the Octopus because when you are camping kids they can put their hats down anywhere and when you need them everyone including you has to go searching for them. With the Octopus it hangs up in the one spot and then the kids hang their hats on the Octopus and it's easy to grab them and go for a walk instead of wasting time looking for where they last put their hat down and usually it's never in the same place as the last time they put it down.
I have 2-3 of these Pressa Hanging Dryer (aka the Octopus and it has two little sticker eyes on it as well). I hang "socks" on one of them and "undies/jocks" on the other and if I need the third I'll use that as well. The beauty of these is you do not have to get one peg for one sock so it's so quick and efficient. Also if it suddenly starts raining and you have to race outside you can just grab the whole Octopus and move it under cover rather than trying to take off 30 individual socks/undies/jocks off the line all the while you are getting wet. It's so simple you just hold open the peg and pop your item on and let go. These devices will change your life and I suggest you go and get a couple. If you have a big family you might need 4 of them or depends how often you are doing the washing as once you change over you will not be pegging individual socks and jocks on the line ever again.
Any other items like kids casual shorts or pj's, tea towels etc. just get hung on the line with pegs. I usually do towels, sheets etc. on a different day as they take up a lot of the clothesline.
I've previously mentioned that I have been making our "home made laundry powder" for the past year and I'm very happy with this recipe.
On the ironing front, I iron all the school uniforms and I still love ironing my tea towels. I used to iron my pillow slips but gave that away after I had kids due to lack of time. The fact that all the clothes are already hung up on hangers drying when they come inside they go on the ironing rack rather than being crumpled up in the clothes basket. This means that the ironing part of it is usually quicker because they have less wrinkles and they are hung dry on the hangers. I used to iron all the kids casual clothes but these days that depends upon a few things (i) if I'm on a roll and don't mind ironing a few more casual T-shirts and shorts (ii) Landline is still going and the iron is on so I'll do a few more items. If we are going out I will always iron the kids casual clothes so they look nice and neat when we are out. I don't mind the kids running around the back yard in a T-shirt that's not ironed. If we are home on a Sunday I put the TV on and watch Landline and Gardening Australia and iron the school uniforms and whatever else I need to iron. I don't mind ironing when listening to these inspiring interesting shows about Australia.
There you have it, this is how I have streamlined my washing/pegging process to ensure efficiency in our household and wanted to share it with you.