Clothesline Ideas

Laundry dried on clotheslines is freshened by the air, and brightened by the sun's rays. It is a rather rewarding experience to return to the basics of drying clothes as it was done many years ago. There are several clothesline ideas that can transform any outdoor or indoor space into a natural, laundry-drying center.

Put up a clothesline.

Clotheslines and Pulleys

The most basic clothesline idea is to stretch a rope or plastic line from one support to another. Eye hooks are often used to attach the ends of a clothesline. Eye hooks can be screwed between a house and a tree, between two trees or between two wooden posts. The rope is then attached for hanging the laundry.

Pulleys are used to add a bit more convenience to hanging laundry. A rope or clothesline is inserted over the two wheels of a pulley on each end. The two ends are knotted together to close the clothesline into one large loop. A clothesline tightener can be used to get a tight pull on the line in order to prevent sagging once the laundry is hung out to dry.

There are two advantages to the pulley system. First, there are two rows for hanging clothes, rather than one. Therefore, clothes can be hung at both ends at the same time. Second, you can stand at one end to hang the wet clothes or collect the dry ones, rather than having to walk along the length of the clothesline.

Rotary Clotheslines

Rotary clotheslines are composed of a single, large post that supports several cross bars that fan out to support the clothesline. These clotheslines condense the drying floor space because the clothesline is wrapped around the cross bars to make several rows. Rotary clotheslines are portable; they fold up like an umbrella for easy storage. Some come with a sleeve that is inserted into the ground that allows the unit to spin as you hang the clothes. This makes it easy to remove the clothesline for mowing.

T-Post Clotheslines and Fold-Away Models

T-post clotheslines are permanent solutions for drying clothes. T-shaped posts are inserted into the ground several yards apart, and the clotheslines are suspended across them. Some models support five lines across, and can dry several loads of laundry at one time.

Fold-away clotheslines retract the lines into the unit when not in use. The clothesline is attached to the wall, then a bar is pulled out to extend the clothesline to the desired length. It is hooked onto an opposite wall, then the lines are tightened for a secure clothesline system. These units are designed for both outdoor and indoor use.

Free-standing clothes racks are portable and convenient. They can usually support one full laundry load. They can fit in a large bathroom, in the tub, or used outside. Clothes-drying racks are convenient for use on terraces and patios.


Have a few laundry baskets on hand so that you do not have to carry the same one back and forth. Also, purchase a few clothespins, as these will secure the clothes to the line, especially on windy days. Since you will be hanging your laundry outside, pay attention to the weather and avoid the rain.

Another potential obstacle could be rules set by your local community association on whether or not hanging laundry outside is allowed. Some rules restrict clotheslines to an area in the backyard that is not visible to neighbors, while other associations completely ban the use of clotheslines. Check for any local restrictions in your area.