10 May 2010

The Price of Hot Water, and Some Hot Air

Early this year I experimented with my laundering practices. I resolved on the New Year that I would have the policy, "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." As part of my experiment I decided to hang dry all of my laundry on a small chrome rack in my house which only fit about 3/4 of one load, and took a day and a half to dry.

Prior to my decision, I laundered on Mondays. I washed all loads, and piled them high on the couch. In the late afternoon and evening, I watched Emma or some other chick flick to ease me through the torturous monotony that is laundry. I usually finished on Monday or Tuesday.

After my decision, I started laundering on Monday, and finished laundry on Friday or Saturday, arduously hanging my items on the rack, with no Jeremy Northam / Mr. Knightley to say, “Indeed we are not,” after Gwyneth Paltrow, the best Emma, said, “After all, we are not brother and sister!” I folded the items, staring at my curtains made out of ugly sheets that need replacing, and wallowing in depression, without so much as a Mr. Woodhouse to distract me.

After three months of this dreadful ordeal, I was able to assess from my utility bill that I was saving approximately $7 to $10 a month on my bill. I decided that my peace of mind was worth $10 a month, and that my labor was worth more than about 50 cents an hour. So I am now back to my Monday laundry-thon. In fact, my first load is in the wash at this very moment. So if anyone needs me this afternoon, I will likely be picking apples with Emma and Harriet.

15 comments:

Linz said...

Good. Go watch that awesome flick!

My5wmd said...

Look into a backyard clothesline (says the lady who still dries her laundry in the dryer.) Perhaps you could wash all your clothes in one day, hang it out to dry and take it all in the next morning to fold and put away. Folding could still be done to the accompaniment of dry wit and heaving bodices.

Gina said...

Remember drying our clothes in Kaunakakai? They would dry in like 30 minutes on the clothesline-it was so hot and windy!
Enjoy your dryer and your sanity. :)

Marie Says Yes said...

gwenyth is totally the best emma. all other emma's bother me.

and your peace of mind is DEFINATELY worth more then $10 a month. good heck, it's probably worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS. and so i say, go jenny. you use that dryer, girl.

sammygrace said...

I hate laundry. It is the plague of my life. I end up doing it about every other monday haha or when i run out of underwear....dont know whats gonna happen when i have to do laundry for more than one person...........

Tigger said...

What can I say to this post? I love you my dear sister! I am so glad you chose sanity over the savings of $10. Love you bunches.

The Yoder's Four said...

Jeremy Northam! Swoon!

Jesse said...

When I decided to hang dry my clothing on my mission, including my underclothing, I had a big surprise one morning when my underwear started crawling up my leg after I put it on. Oh wait, no, that was a huge beetle. The joys of spring air and hang-drying in Rathdrum, Idaho. Wahoo.

Project Maniac said...

I think it is sad that being frugal usually is more labor intensive. For some things it might not matter, but being sane is definitely one thing that matters.

angela michelle said...

oh I think you're making the right choice.

Mary said...

How funny that you posted this since I have decided to stop using my dryer except for emergencies. But you sound like you had it all worked out before so you should just stick with that.

Brittany said...

Hmmm. You always give me things to think about/ perhaps feel guilty about that I hadn't thought of myself....

The Rookie said...

Sanity and British costume dramas are, frankly, priceless.

P.S. Word verification: "torken" as in, "Doing laundry all frackin' week long really torkens me off."

Mary Q Contrarie said...

I have not used my dryer for about two years. I dry every thing on a couple clothes drying racks. We are a family of four and my husband and I both work full time. So here is the method that works for me.

After supper I throw a load of laundry in the machine. While I clean up the kitchen the washer does it's thing. The last thing I do is set up the rack in the middle of the kitchen. I then go to the laundry room and run the spin cycle a second time. That gets as much water out as possible. I then take the clothes out and hang them in the middle of my kitchen. Those clothes are then dry by morning.

I start the second load of the evening right after the first. I let it sit in the washer until right before bed. The second rack gets set up in the middle of the living room and on this rack goes my heavy hard to dry clothes. I help them out by using a little extra energy by running the ceiling fan all night.

You may find a happy medium between your Monday marathon and air drying a little to help the environment.

Jen said...

Thanks for the tips, Mary Q. I will probably be rack drying again, soon, because it gets up to 100* and more in the summer here, probably as fast as my drier!