Solving the big issues: Yep, this one

It’s time, don’t you think? We’ve tackled the dishwasher, the butter/peanut butter, the condiments, the cups and the sheets! We’ve tackled them with curiosity, with attention to detail, with sheer passion and I know that this will bring out very strong views. It’ time, yes, it’s time.

I have an unabashed love for washing. Sure, when we moved into this house I was overwhelmed with it’s amazingness but NOTHING could win me over like my hills hoist. Sheets billowing in the breeze, towels getting crunchy on the line, sunshine making everything better. The whole process is a pleasure for me including yes, the folding and the putting away. I am nothing if not thorough. Sure, the taking off the line and folding is the least favourite part, but I do it anyway until the job is done. Nothing makes me more woozy and panicked than PILES OF WASHING OFF THE LINE JUST SITTING THERE. All piled up and creased, sitting there. You will never see that at my house. Not because of any other reason than I just can’t abide it. And I refuse to iron. See? Cray.

But my very favourite part of the process is the hanging out. Oh the hanging out! Nothing pleases me more than a basket, me, the pegs, the line and some sunshine. A good (and essential) shake out before hanging, towels and other big items at the back of the line so as to get maximum sunshine, working inwards with smaller pieces until you have smalls at the very front of the line. One section of the hills hoist at a time, then onto the next. I am not one to colour match my pegs to the item of clothing which I know has been done by others more dedicated than myself. A well hung line is a thing of beauty.

I have heard of hanging individual family members clothes in separate sections, matching pegs, hanging shirts from under the arms so as to not get peg marks…there are endless possibilities here. A contentious post I’m sure. For me, the firm shake out before hanging is the most important step here. My darling husband tends to hang things in clumps WITHOUT PEGS SOMETIMES which sees me redoing the hanging out and banning him from doing it again. Anal? Of course I am. I can’t believe you haven’t worked that out already.

So. Over to you. How do you hang? Do you match your pegs? Do you gasp, leave your pegs on the line after the clothes are off? Can you live with piles of clean clothes about? If so, teach me how. Actually don’t. PUT THEM AWAY ALREADY. Is washing a joy or a curse for you? Just why am  so passionate about the mundane?

Oh, and? Happy Weekend!


  1. Ahhhh something SO satisfying about washing flapping in the breeze. I have been known to say, many-a-time, ‘Good day for washing!’. I’m even a sucker for a clothes horse in front of a fire/heater on a wet, Winter night. And the smell of Omo, bliss.

    Sheets and towels at the back here too, undies and socks at the front and all else in between. Pants pegged at waistband but shirts upside-down at bottom hem. Socks pegged in pairs and rolled together as they come off line. No matching pegs here, but I can’t fathom the fold-as-they-come-off-the-line thing. I fold mine straight away to avoid creases, but I prefer to plonk down in front of the box w a cuppa and fold into specific piles.

    Wow. Neurotic much? Happy Friday!

  2. Kim told me I had to come over here and (as always) she is right bc – preaching to the choir! Although maybe not the ‘folding and putting away immediately’ part. But definitely the ‘has to be hung out properly’ thing. Here in the UK Hills Hoists seem to be somewhat of a rarity so my washing gets hung in a straight line but the method remains the same. Shirts hung by their tails, trousers/skirts hung by their waistbands and DEFINITELY everything to be shaken first and then smoothed into position. On the rare occasions that he hangs out washing CK will position things in an entirely inappropriate way, all lumpen and smooshed together. This cannot be left to stand however it must be readjusted while he is not looking so as not to precipitate the ‘You are ungrateful and now have to hang the washing yourself for the rest of eternity’ conversation.

  3. oh dude, what have you done? my productive day at work is shot now cos i am just going to be reading the comments, and there will be many, and laughing away like a lady possessed.
    okay, here are the details. the captain is NOT permitted to use the washing machine, nay laundry…for anything. i am the sorter, the washer, the hanger, the folder, the put away-er. full stop. no questions.
    pegs MUST be used (rob – what are you thinking?) and they MUST be the same colour. not necessarily matched to the outfit (mainly cos my wardrobe consists of more than red, white and blue) but most definitely two pegs of the same colour must be used to hang out an item of washing.
    i live in melbs so it is a rare day that washing actually gets hung outside but when it does, oh the joy. the sunshine, the wind whipping things around. LOVING life! is there anything more fantastic than the sight of a hills hoist, heaving with fresh, clean sheets – i think not, you don’t need to answer that.

  4. I’m going to come out and say it – washing does NOT bring me joy…it is a necessary evil…and quite frequently I outsource the hanging and folding to the hubby, despite his poor technique! I’m not particular about much, but I do like to hang shirts under the armpits as to disguise unsightly peg marks and to avoid t-shirts getting stretched outwardly on the bottom.

    And while I’m admitting very bad washing etiquette…I always leave the pegs on the line! Don’t hate me!

  5. Anonymous says

    Oh, the washing and hanging thereof… It is a hot topic in this household, and I was often wondering if we are the only couple debating about the correct way to hang the washing. Alas, I can’t seem to teach the Mister how to hang the washing correctly. Why is that, I ask you? Especially since it is very easy: t-shirts all on one side part of the laundry rack, the big pieces like trousers, sweaters and so on on every second line in the middle part of the laundry rack and the small things on the lines in between, to make the drying easier of course. And it is MOST important to shake everything properly before hanging it up.


  6. Can we see a photo of your perfectly hung hills hoist?! Sounds like the stuff laundry dreams are made of. I lament the lack of a decent laundry space every day. Get this: my only folding space is on top of the washing machine – which is always covered in crap that my husband and children can’t be bothered putting away. I only use matching pegs – and in fact have been known to buy them in single colour packs just to avoid the heart palpitations that occur when you are down to the last two and they are different colours. I, too, refuse to iron. Flatly refuse. So a good pegging technique is critical. I hang shirts on soft hangers frequently – works beautifully! But, I have to admit, I still don’t love it. Nope. But I hate ironing more, so it’s a necessary evil.

  7. I’ve moved house recently and no longer have the joy of a hills hoist 🙁

    But oh how i loved the tetris-like challenge of fitting everything oh so perfectly within the wedge sections of my hills!! smalls in the pointy end of the wedge.. sheets and towels on the outer boundaries… finding that a t-shirt fills the end of one of the lines just so… ahh, sun-dried washing = happiness.

    i wish not to dwell on the sad contraption attached to the wall of my current house at such an inconvenient height (ear-level?! what?! why?!) because it might make me cry…

  8. Hilar!!!
    Ok let’s start with this- I’m a joiner. I connect items with pegs on the lines. It saves on pegs & makes taking them off easier.
    Undies, socks & bras MUST go on the inside lines! I group them in twos & use one peg. If I get a pair of socks hung together on the line I am happy as! My nan taught me this at a very young age & I have never forgotten.
    I hang a line of tops then a line if bottoms. It makes the whole joining thing easier. Bottoms ( shorts, jeans, trackies) cannot be joined but skirts can be.
    I use one section of the line before moving to the next. Tim does not, he is a bit willy nilly & it makes me cross but I let it go because at least he is doing the washing.
    Finally to the pegs…I used to have a peg bag that was left on the line. I had to shake it about each time I used it to get any bugs out & I didn’t like it. After my MIL came to stay for a few weeks I noticed she would leave all the pegs pegged on the line. It pissed me off at first but then I realized it made sense so I do it too. It DOES make the pegs brittle & that is annoying but not sure I can be arsed putting them in a bag & bringing the bag inside….
    Do not ask me about folding & putting away because I hate that mofo job & often I will be heard saying ” check the basket on the lounge” when asked where things are. I’m lazy what more can I say?!

    • A joiner! Welcome joiner! I dabble in the joining from time to time – especially with napkins etc that just BEG for joining. OF COURSE socks must be matched. DER. The willy nilly nature would make me quite anxious…one line at a time please!

    • My mum gave me a peg apron – tied around the waist – pegs in; pegs out – but it’s still tempting to leave them on the line!

    • Oh, and wooden pegs only, please!

  9. When I hang out the washing for our family of five. I indulge my mothers voice… it’s one of the places in my life I just cant shake her! Peg under the arms, at the back of the waist band, jeans inside out, wools lying flat, stretch across stitched bands on towels… if you do it right the first time there wont be the need to iron… “you pegged it at the cuff! what the hell do you think your doing!” Oh mother; so effing crazy…
    My partner pegs things out however he likes, often cutting across lines instead of along them… he pegs socks together and pants upside down… Marrying him is my great act of rebellion.
    And… we leave the pegs on the line..

    • My sister in law does the jeans inside out thing. I’m crazy and don’t like the look of it so don’t do it even though I KNOW it’s better for the clothes!

  10. Matching pegs per item and I once went through a phase of matching pegs to item colour. Made myself stop that one, just too anal. Similar items all grouped together and socks hung in pairs.

    Unless it’s raining and I’m grabbing in a hurry or blowing a gale strong enough to sweep me away, I always fold as I take things off line. I know the same amount of time is spent somewhere along the way, but I enjoy bringing it inside all folded.

    I did hang out clothes by person at one stage when sons were young but decided that I preferred like clothes grouped by category.

    (Ex)-husband used to never shake, so clothes would be lumpy and still wet in spots where they hadn’t been unfolded. He also hung them up by weird spots, no logic in it at all.

    And I’m with you on crunchy line dried towels and sheets and bedding, all full of sunshine. Love the feel of them, as do all my sons. DILs can’t understand it and use fabric softeners or the drier.

  11. When I was younger my boss at work used to say to another lady, “it’s a good drying day”
    We were the young ones at the time and didn’t know what she was talking about.
    Now, with 3 kids, I’m frequently saying to others “it’s a good drying day”, hell I’ve even said it on Facebook!!!
    Now I totally appreciate a good drying day. Nothing better than running 3 or 4 loads through the machine and getting it all dry and put away. Love seeing the bottom of the dirty washing basket.
    Hanging out is a meticulous operation. Pants all on the one line. Shirts on another, by the tail. I put all the kids undies, socks and little items on a clothes airer next to the line, and get them to help.
    Hate using the dryer. As for My Mate hanging out, only if I’m off to work and I don’t have to look at it. They just can’t do it the same.

  12. Yes! I can’t stand sloppy hanging of the washing! Seams have to be lined up and pegged properly. I had surgery a couple of months ago which saw my husband doing the washing for a few weeks- torture! I fold as they come off the line, but it unfortunately takes a while to be put away- my bad.

  13. Love it! These posts make me feel less anal knowing other people do the same thang!
    Although i do let hubby hang out the clothes cos i work FT and yes, he doesnt use pegs always either AND when he does, he hangs the clothes in the most unusual ways. But ive learned to let it go. But i do like the task of washing. I think its the satisifaction that after you get clean, nice smelling clothes, sheets, towels etc.

  14. Sadly, I’m a washing fanatic too. I love having an empty washing hamper and a full line! Towels and tea towels get joined on my line, but each item of clothing has their own pair of pegs, and undies socks and bras all get their own peg.
    The only thing that gets ironed in my house is Bell’s school uniform, and hanging straight after washing is great for this.
    I consider myself so lucky to live on the coastline, not just for the beautiful water, but because we always have a great breeze to dry the washing……so tragic when you say it out loud!

  15. Oh, thank goodness you don’t match pegs. I’ve always thought that was just a bit too weird. I’m with you on everything else, except sometimes baskets of clean washing can sit around for a couple of days…

    Where do you stand on dryers? We haven’t had one for years but are about to cave in.

    • In the highlands a dryer is good for those cold days, just to finish off your towels & flannelette sheets!

    • Agree – we need them down here. Especially in the dead of winter when you need to finish them off. I also chuck smalls in – teeny tiny little people socks don’t deserve a peg!

    • Was going to talk about all the bloody little socks in my previous comment but got sidetracked. Shall purchase whitegood promptly with your blessing.

    • I hang everything on the line except the smalls which I put in the dryer – or hang on a little ‘line’ in the laundry. We have enough of everything to only require one dryer-load each week, so I don’t feel too guilty. And I use the dryer instead of the iron – a lot of stuff just needs 5 in the dryer to get the wrinkles out…….

  16. I haven’t had a washing line for years as I live in an apartment, but I always volunteer to hang out the washing when I’m visiting my Mum.

    I learnt from my Nana many years ago that pegs must be matched, sheets and towels on the outside, underwear and socks on the inside. Most importantly, pegs can never be left on the clothesline. Ever.

  17. Oh Im a culprit for hanging without pegs! My husband hates it – he does the same – Likes to rearrage
    Oh and I also load two or three garments ie. underwear with one peg! Time saver? Space saver? Peg saver!

  18. I am so jealous that you have a Hills Hoist I’ve only got a wall thing which just doesn’t cut it for me. I never leave the pegs on the line (it looks way too messy). I food as I bring the washing in, but putting it away promptly seems to be a little beyond me.

  19. Fold, damn it, fold the stuff off the line. Oh & I have 2 washing machines – so that hubbies super dirty work clothes don’t contaminate the rest of the wash.

  20. I hate hanging out the washing so much that I put it in the dryer, even on beautiful sunny 40 degree days. I know, I’m killing the environment and I’m a terrible terrible excuse for a human being.

    But when I used to hang it out, if we left the pegs on the line they would get small spider webs (usually still complete with spider) in the tops… the horrors! And I used to have to take a stick and clear off the webs in between the lines before I could actually hang washing up… because you don’t really want to cover your clothesline with contact poison. Also my husband hung our white sheets up once and we hadn’t used the outdoor clothesline for ages, and he didn’t bother wiping it first. So our clean damp white sheets got dark lines of dirt on them from the clothesline. I could go on… clotheslines have obviously scarred me for life.

  21. I LOOOOVE the hanging! Yes to the shack out before hand. I do my stuff in one section (snap to the hills) tims in another, sheets towels etc in another, I hang undies (one peg/undie) and socks (paired up) on the inside, tshirts and shirts all in a row then trousers all in a row. My husband too does sometimes NOT USE PEGS – WHAT ARE MY UNDIES DOING IN THE NEIGHBORS YARD TIM???? I have to fight the urge to match my pegs – because I love too but i feel like a crazy woman. Fold the clothes off the line into the washing basket – buuuuuttttt I hate my towels being crispy….. so I don’t give my washing the 100% dry – I take it 95% and thats enough. And pegs must absolutely go back in the peg bucket.
    ps. God I love these posts.

  22. I admit it. I leave my pegs on the line. It may be lazy but I don’t care. I also have been known to leave the washing in the basket overnight or longer. Because, really, life’s too short to miss out on good stuff like sitting in the sun or playing with my kids in favour of folding washing…!
    Great post Beth!

  23. I love washing too and have the ULTIMATE efficiency tip (especially great for non-ironers): if the item usually lives on a hanger, dry it on a hanger! Saves the pegging/unpegging step by just going straight from machine (shake) to hanger to wardrobe!

    I am a recent convert to ironing as well. It is my most hated task but since I stopped outsourcing husband’s business shirt ironing I have learned to appreciate the end result and now also iron many of our non-stretch-type clothes like my tops & my daughter’s dresses, where I used to just be content with smoothing them before drying.

    As I fold I group items by person, and then by drawer, so when I put them away I only have to open each drawer once.

    I have an important question: you mentioned crunchy towels as if this were a good thing… but doesn’t it hurt your skin when you dry yourself? I thought I was the only one with the crunchy towel problem because whenever I stay at a friend’s their towels are lovely and soft. I tried fabric softener but it didn’t work & built up in my machine which created a smell, which I tried to eliminate with white vinegar (after googling) and it then smelled of vinegar for a week!!! How does one achieve soft towels (without using the dryer)?

    • I think that the older the towel, the crunchier it will be. A nasty thin towel like my Grandma used to make us use was like sandpaper and NOT good. But a slight dryness/crispness pleases me greatly. I think you might need fabric softener to achieve the super soft, fluffy towel though…?

  24. Traci 'Sparkle' Devlin says

    OK this is MUCH talked about subject in my family. See we also have mild OCD when it comes to the hanging of washing and it stems back a few generations…..

    Nanna will colour match her pegs to her washing and they MUST be in matching coloured pairs (of course). Luckily for her(or perhaps it’s planned?!) she wears mostly white, pink, blue and yellow, so this is a fairly do-able task.

    My mum also has to use match coloured pairs however she has a system when it comes to useage. Blue first, then white then red (she throws out ALL THE OTHER COLOURS! cray cray! actually that reminds me, whenever she manages to find a pack of just these colours she celebrates like it’s Christmas morning. Hilarious.)

    My aunty also has a crazy peg system but unfortunately I can’t remember it.

    and me….

    Well when I started (or realised) I was also colour matching my pegs to my clothes I threw all those fuckers out and bought timber pegs instead.


  25. Yes, I too love a good drying day. I get pretty excited in Autumn and Winter when the sun is out and the winds are blowing!
    Sheets and towels are always on the outside and I start from around all of the edges and work my way in. Unless its undies and socks, they go right on the inside. I figure this is the best way as the sun can get to as much of them as possible without one item being obstructed by another. I’ll then miss a line if possible to allow the sun and breeze to really get inbetween.
    Items are given a good shake three times before hanging.
    Pegs are taken off the line. I prefer to fold straignt from the line, shaken again, but I don’t always get to do that.
    Unfortunately I suck at putting the washing away, so it often sits, folded, in the basket. I know, undoing all my goodness.

  26. Lucky for me I married an ANAL clean freak who is just like you Beth. He LOVES to wash, hang, fold and do it all over again. It brings him great joy. I wouldn’t say I am overly messy, but my husband manages to make me look like a total slob, damn him. I agree that nothing makes me happier than a basket full of washing, a pail full of pegs and hanging it all out. I am pretty particular about where I put things on the line, jeans all together, hubby’s shirts all together, socks paired, that sort of thing. Hubby and I like to do the washing together, he does ALL our washing, I seriously don’t touch our washing machine at all, but then he’ll have a basket of wet clothes ready for me to hang out in the morning. It’s our system – he likes to wash, I like to hang, then after work we’ll get it all off and fold it together. It works best for us. We like our little washing team and system, and gasp in horror at those that leave the pegs on the line! For shame.

  27. Anonymous says

    I do not have time to hang clothes out between full time work, uni and two kiddies… That is why we have a DRYER! I would be lost without it 🙂 I would love to hang my clothes but I hardly see daylight (or stop to breathe during daylight) so sadly I am doomed to have a massive electricity bill every quarter 🙁 My lovely hubby does the folding and putting away while I am locked away studying.

  28. Oh dear my husband and I differ here. Firstly, he leaves the pegs on the line- which I hate cause it annoys me to have pegs all over the place when you’re putting the next load out.
    He randomly pegs things in weird places, (I have tried to explain this one, cause although I don’t mind washing I detest ironing so peg placement is paramount) and he washes bizarre combinations together. I have a routine, washing particular things on particular days. We don’t have a hills hoist but an under cover washing line under the verandah of our outhouse hut. So I admit that during the week, when we’re coming home in the dark, I’m not so keen to go and deal with it all (the laundry is down there too).
    No washing piles in our home, it goes away right away.

    On a slightly related note, on men and washing/ironing. I once noticed that my brother was sporting a bizarre triangular burn on his neck. I looked at Nick and asked what it was from. He answered, “I was running late and was ironing my shirt while it was on me.” I am ashamed to admit I share a gene pool with him. I mean, really!

  29. haha another doozy, beth! I too have order, we have the fold out line from the fence, no room for a HH so I start with little clothes against the fence so they won’t hit the fence when blowing and work my way out to biggest furthest away from the fence. I used to match my pegs.. pre kids. very sad. pegs come off the line! I don’t know how people leave them on!! absolutely the strong shake out is a must, and I always reshape the littles’ clothes before hanging. I always fold as I unpick – I only iron the essentials which thankfully is rare. we bought our first dryer just last winter when #3 was a bub and I couldn’t keep up with the burp cloths and bibs with all the rain – it really only sees towels, sheets, socks, jocks and bibs. hubby is an excellent student and has mastered my routine. though he tried the kids pjs in the dryer once without telling me. yep, they shrunk x

  30. My husband doesn’t use pegs. Our backyard was demolished during renovations, and the clothes line is currently over some bare earth. We live in Tasmania where this time of year there is lots of wind and rain. Can you see where I’m going with this?

    If ANOTHER load of washing has to be REWASHED, so help me, he’ll be rewashing it in his new house. Alone.

  31. I have no idea what those colourful plastic items are as I put every single item of washing ( cashmere, silk, dry clean only) into my spin dryer.

    Because it is faster than hanging stuff up. It may be more ‘spensive but I am frankly unbothered by it.

    I luff washing- has to be a top loader and I always use cold water and the fast cycle.

    I iron and fold immediately as leaving piles of washed clothes around is the Devil’s Work.

    Am always amazed by people who find washing “hard”. Because I have a machine and don’t use a wringer or have to beat clothes on rocks in a river I find it easy.

    I wash every day. That’s just how I roll emotionally. xxx

  32. leaving your pegs on the line is just stupid…. other than that I don’t really put too much thought into it.

  33. Laundry is SUCH a guilty pleasure! To the point where I feel my blood pressure rising at the sight of my husband piling clothes into the machine. And don’t get me started on his pegging technique – mismatched socks, scrunched-up sleeves…you name it he does it! I like to shake, order and group as I peg. And I only use pegs of the same colour. Pedantic as hell I am! Ooh, and then as I climb the back steps I pause briefly on the verandah to turn around and admire my handy work. BUT I would never admit that to anyone. Once dry, it’s quickly folded and put away – no ironing going in this house, that’s for sure. Although I did drag the board out a few weeks ago to give Poppy’s winter uniform an iron. And it took me more than 5 minutes to work out how to put the damn thing up!

  34. a few more items to add to my earlier post:

    – crunchy towels, i see this as bonus exfoliation time.

    – can i also tell you that i’ll happily move to the next line if i can see an upcoming item in the basket that will fill the gap perfectly.

    – oh, and getting a load of washing done (and not on the 30min cycle) and hung up and still make it into work by 8am brings a smile to my face.

  35. ps – i don’t even own an iron 🙂

  36. I am deeply scarred by my mother’s habit of leaving piles of washing lying around, literally mountains of it. Then she would fold it and leave it there all there in piles, piles of piles.

    I get twitchy if I can see a basket of clothing unfolded. It must be folded into its piles and then put away immediately. Immediately!

    I must admit though I am burning a hole in the ozone with my dryer habit. I love soft fluffy towels, not crunchy ones. So I rarely hang things out. Mind you, when I do the undies (knick-knacks??) must be on the inside so the builders can’t see them and the pegs must be the same colour for each item.

    God, I love this series. It brings out all my cray-cray OCD into the light. Bless you, Beth.

  37. I love hanging out washing. I do section everyone’s clothes to their owner. I don’t on a dryer so everything is always air dried. I HATE putting clothes away, HATE it. I currently have 6 loads waiting to be put away, but I just can’t do it. It’s a fault I know.

    My pet hate? I hate people who just throw the clean clothes straight into the basket from the line. You must fold from line straight to basket. MUST!

  38. I avoid ironing at all costs, and like to hang shirts on their hangers too. We recently invested in a clothing ‘airer’ that is suspended from the ceiling in our laundry…pulley system down for loading, and back up for drying! I love it, and I strive to fold each load as it is dry instead of throwing it in the basket…may I emphasise ‘try’…and I take my hat off to organised laundry people out there…I hear you, and shall try to show greater focus…and commitment!

  39. Anonymous says

    Thanks for these posts Beth, confirms that I am either normal or at least not the only crazy one!

    … and I just love crunchy towels.

    Its windy out right now, maybe I can get something on the line and in before it gets dark.

    Gotta go …

  40. What a great post Beth….I feel like I have found my long lost family here. Everyone thinks I am cray cray for my laundry obsession. I have been known to go and rehang a whole line of washing if it isn’t done to my strict standards – colour matched pegs, towels sheets outside, smalls inside. I have a front loader machine – oh another post entirely( front vs top loader), but it requires that I iron. Lucky I love ironing! I love to see freshly ironed piles all ready to return to their homes….. now if I could just be bothered to carry it all back upstairs. I need a laundry chute!

    • We had a laundry chiute in our house growing up – my mum was seriously the cleverest mum ever designing that into our house, we just chucked it all down there! It went from the kids bathroom upstairs to the hallway downstairs 🙂

  41. I love this post, and the whole series!
    I just got up off my 8 month pregnant bum and put a load of washing on, because it is a good drying day indeed here (in normally-not Belgium)and I am inspired 🙂
    Thank you!
    Reminds me of an argument I had with my Mum when I was a teenager though – she had asked me to hang out the washing and I was in some terrible mood (not sure why) and I did the most awful job of the washing – eveything crooked, crumpled, upside down… hideous. I am still embarassed by my childishness to this day 😉

  42. Pegs much match.

    Pegs and clothing also must match (or at least complement each other).

    Pegs must be removed from the line when washing is not hanging, and returned to the peg bag.

    Pegs are very serious business.

  43. -always shake.
    – I dont match pegs but they come off the line, but not inside the house.
    – clothes with asymmetrical hemlines hung by the top or underarm
    – undies on the inside, heavier clothes on the outside
    – In winter, clothes out before 10, and clothes come in before 3 so they dont get damp.

    but here is where we differ… I can live with living out of washing baskets. I LOATHE DETEST AND HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE putting clothes away. I would rather pull off my nails with pliers.

  44. I love washing almost as much as you lady… ALMOST! Love a sun shiny day and getting the clothes all hung out and nice… of course with a good shake to rid them of wrinkles. I could wash over and over again on a warm day. BUT I DO have piles of clean washing in my house. Granted, always on the same chair and sometimes only for a day, but there is normally a steady flow of crispy clean clothes on that damn chair… as much as I try to avoid it.
    I don’t have a conventional clothes line, but I still love the five lines running the length of my yard… that’s approximately 30 metres of drying space I tell you… be still my beating heart.
    Great post lady xo

  45. OK, I have a rotary line (UK), and I also do not iron (don’t even own a board, although have an iron for emergencies. think the last time it was used was before a wedding a few years ago!). Washing smells so much better after a good line dry, although 10 mins in the dryer afterwards to fluff up towels is always a nice touch.

    My variant on shirts (as taught by my mother) is to hang by the yoke. At risk of teaching to suck eggs, the yoke is the seam about 4 inches down from the collar. If you hold it by its corners by the sleeves and shake (gotta shake!) the back of the shirt looks like a rectangle. hanging up thus both avoids peg marks and helps avoid creases.

    In the winter I have a brilliant shirt hanger from Lakeland, hang shirts etc up on hangers on it and no ironing required either!

    On the subject of folding my mum taught me how to fold fitted sheets (otherwise a total pain) to turn into reasonable squares. 🙂

    • ………..then place both sheets in the pillowcase for neat storage and easy identification. Let’s talk about linen cupboards………

  46. When we renovated our house the architect kept trying to remove my original Hills Hoist from the plans (which had been placed by the previous owner in the BEST drying spot in the garden). Needless to say, I got my way and the Hills is back where it started and is still doing its thing very well (including holding small children as they swing around on it). I won’t go on about my anal ways as they are much the same as those discussed, but having recently sustained an injury that has left me unable to walk for 8 (!!!) weeks, I have had to hand over the wash to by husband and mother in law. Hubby is pretty good (he actually left having coffee after a ride because it was a good drying day), but the MIL is so unbelievably bad that even hubby says ‘please, just don’t look’. It is an exercise in ‘letting go’ I guess? Not an enjoyable one though!
    Love the post; I showed the husband to prove i am not the only crazy washer woman around.

  47. I follow pretty basic rules. Pegs are always used, bottoms are hung from the top, tops are hung from the bottom, pairs of socks never make it to the washing machine together let alone the clothes line. Since we have been travelling the ONLY rule that must be abided by is that my undies are not hung where passing people can see them.The thought terrifies me. I also get embarrased when I see other travellers undies. Particulary old man Y-fronts. It’s just a little too intimate. Weird?

  48. Anonymous says

    Love this series – so many other anal – no sensible – people in the world to bond with. What’s next?

  49. I am not as passionate about washing but I do take pride in placing clothing on the line. Firstly I must pile my washing as I take them out of my front loader. Then pile them in the basket in order. I place the bigger things on the bottom and then the smaller items socks and undies at the top as I like to hang them first and place bigger items to the front to hide the underwear. I also have to have everything else strategically placed. Like tops in one section, then bottoms, pants, skirts etc on another. I also like to place my towels in order and colour. Is that weird or not???? The only time I ever change it is if I have too many loads to hang and run out of room.

    I have also been thinking of posting about washing on my blog and you have inspired me to do so.

    V xo

    • I also place the bigger items to the front tp hide the underwear. I also section items. My biggest thing is having specific type pegs for specific items. Is this strang? I really enjoy washing when it is sunny.

  50. My very organized friend recently made over my washing routine. Shirts, dresses, and tops straight onto hangars. Ah the joy – from the washing line straight into the cupboards!!!!!

  51. Washing is always dried on the line and the pegs have to be sun-faded and almost brittle!! And I never re-hang washing that has been hung out by the husband…even if it hasn’t been hung to my specifications. Having one less job to do around here means ignoring his hanging technique. It’s the only way. xx
    Brismod from

  52. Oh i hear you, my husband banned me from coloured pegs as i could only use the same colour (dare i suggest coordinating colour) on the line so now it’s only wooden pegs (which is fine as i’d rather die than leave washing out on the line in the rain, overnight, until late afternoon – you get the drift, my only OCD trait is washing) & it has to be on the line, or airer (we do live in Canberra) only the dryer if i’m desperate & never for good things, just socks & knickers. Yesterday after than blizzard & gale i put out 3 loads of washing, they really only got colder on the line, not dryer, however, an evening of Tshirts & towels on the dining chairs, i’ve woken to everything dry, yay. I also crack washing before i hang it, have an order like small things on the inside, larger on the outside & always fold as i get washing in so even if i’m distracted by 4 children, the washing is flat while it waits to be sorted & put away. My mother would hang things in personal groups, she was the queen!! Love Posie

  53. I hang things in each person’s groups definitely.
    Plus – I always hang shirts inside out.
    This is particularly useful for husband’s pongy long sleeved work shirts! Sunshine on armpits is always very useful.
    cheers Wendy

  54. I do hang each person on a set but as then when I take off and fold it is all for the right wardrobe in one pile..

    I do join on occasion and always finish of towels and sheets in the dryer… NEVER leave the pegs on the line…oh my!!

  55. 79 comments? Wow, can of worms here, the big issues indeed!

    I leave my pegs outside and now think of you every time I do. Yes, they’re brittle. Yes, they break regularly. I am a peg rebel, with only myself to pay the price for such rebellion. But I just. can’t. make. myself. bring. those. pegs. in.

    I scheduled a post over the weekend and it went up this morning, suggesting this very topic for discussion on Baby Mac. THEN I logged in to update myself on Baby Mac and you HAD ALREADY WRITTEN ABOUT IT.

    Mind. Blown.


    Post. Updated.

  56. Anonymous says

    I am totally jealous of all the Hills Hoist owners. I live in inner city Melb so just have a clothes rack to dry on.

  57. This is such a great topic! I grew up with a hill hoist out in the country and damn straight there is nothing like sheets flapping in the breeze. When we moved to the city, we had one of those retractable lines, but meh – just not the same.

    Now I live in Singapore, everything gets hung on aluminium poles and popped into holes of the wall outside the kitchen window. We live 11 stories up, and I still get a little vertigo when I heave wet sheets out the window! The poles are good because you can loop them through sleeves and skirts etc with no pegs for a dentless dry!

    But I’m with you all the way for technique 🙂

  58. Great solving the big issues.

  59. Lynn @wanderlynn says

    Ok. So I’m an American living in England and my compatriots think I’m insane for enjoying hanging my wash. I mean, HELLO, there are these things called dryers? They dry your clothes in like, an hour? And they come out fluffy and warm? But… I totally get the satisfaction of hanging in the sun, the method of the arrangement (baby pajama tops and bottoms next to each other so you don’t have to hunt them down to match while folding!), the smell of the detergent in the breeze, the chirping birds. Seeing all the tiny Thomas undies in a row. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who finds some beauty in it. Know this, though: I do not iron.


  1. […] me wondering if this really was madness? I mean I have written about how to hang out washing before and I know that my mismatched peg business is quite unsavoury to many of you out there but I […]

  2. […] I wanted to discuss with you. I’ve dabbled here before with peg discussion, and how I hang out my washing  and we have discussed the clothes horse, but allow me, if you will, to probe a little […]

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