Friday, 23 November 2012

Drying Clothes In Winter

I think every winter most families struggle to find enough drying space to hang all their laundry. We certainly do, and with a 10 month old baby this year hasn't got any easier! All round our house the radiators are covered in clothes, which in turn doesn't help the heat spread through the house, clothes "horses" that take up space (something we haven't got huge amounts of) and we don't want to use the tumble dryer if we can help it.
Radiators covered in clothes
 I came across a solution the other day when taking to a friend about space saving devices and he mentioned the kitchen maid type airer. Why I hadn't thought of this before is beyond me, especially as my mother has always used one and loves it (memories of trying to jump up and knock off socks in the morning before going to school come to mind).
Trouble is our house has normal height ceilings (not the 14ft ones in my mothers house) so there was only one place I could think to put it, the useless space above the stairs.
I had thought about putting in a high level cupboard in this space, accessible from one of the bedrooms, but that would involve a lot of work and encourage us to store more junk. Modern houses now include this space into a bedroom, normally by having a large shelve and the underside slopping with the stairs maintaining headroom.
A big empty space
 Fitting the airer was much easier than I antiscipated, luckily for me there was a ceiling joist running straight down the line where I wanted to attach the pulleys, giving me a perfectly sound fixing without having to go into the loft and add noggins.
New Airer fitted

It's not as hard as it looks to load up with washing
It didn't take me long to put up (the joys of benig a carpenter) and it's given us drying space for another load of washing, right at the top of the house, and as heat rises I'm hoping it should prove a good place for our clothes to dry.
Anyone else got any tips for drying clothes in the colder months?

23 comments:

  1. such a good idea
    I am going to copy it for sure

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    1. Thanks, I can't believe more people dont do it!

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  2. Thats a great idea but watch out for condensation issues, leave a window on the latch nearby and you should be fine

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    1. Shouldn't be a problem as the front door is at the bottom of the stairs and I'm always in and out of the house loads of times!

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  3. I had one of those when we lived in Scotland.I loved it. Here, we have no space for one so I use clothes horses all winter. I do dry sheets and towels in the tumble dryer over winter....they'd never dry otherwise.
    Jane x

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    1. Sometimes we resort to the tumble dryer but the washing we're getting through is unreal! When the baby is sick it's never just on her - one of us normally has to get changed as well!

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  4. That is such a good idea! I have not used a dryer in years, in the winter I have a couple lines I run across the room (about a foot from the ceiling) near where the duct from our outside wood stove comes into I hang them at night then by morning they are dry.

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    1. An in door clothes line is a good idea but I'm 6ft tall and the ceilings are only 8ft in this house so I'd be walking into them the whole time!

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  5. What a pretty airer, and what a good idea. Can't offer any other suggestions, but I do remember the same predicament of how to get clothes dry when I had young children and lived in the UK. We had terry nappies then, and they took ages to dry. Didn't even have an automatic washing machine either. Just a boiler and hand washing, then festoon the wet clothes all around the place. Hope your dryer works wonderfully well. Will file the idea away in my head for the time when we have ceilings on which we can also hand a dryer!

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    1. We used non disposable nappies for the first 6 months and you're right we had them dryying everywhere - it's not been a very hot summer for drying things outside either! Don't fancy it with a non automatic washing though - that sounds like a lot of hard work!

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  6. Also brilliant for hanging pots and pans in the kitchen or utility room, just buy some 'S' hooks and you are away...
    Lou

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    1. My mother has got a rack like that in the middle of her kitchen over the island, it looks really good as well. Our current kitchen is far too small to do that, I'd love to have a big old kitchen with the meat hooks still in the beams!

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  7. Your solution for that area is a fine idea. Looking forward to pics of your dryer in action.

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    1. I wash going to put a picture of it full of washing online, but then relised all my wifes underwear would have been on it and I might not have been in her best books!

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    2. Oh Kev, you ARE a card! :-D (And a gentleman... *heh*)

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  8. Overnight I can hang a lot of the shirt type stuff on hangers from high architraves so it is getting the rising heat and dry next morning. I don't know how your water heating is set up but here I have a hot water cylinder and I have installed drying racks over the top enabling me to dry smaller things from the rising heat there too.

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    1. Yeah we dry in the airing cupboard as well, lots of hooks on the door and to the side, we dry thick things in there like the babies sleeping bags or stuff that we need in the morning. Good tips though thanks!

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  9. Brilliant! We also have a little baby, and we cloth diaper- my electric bill is starting to skyrocket! I admit to resorting to the dryer more times than not, but this idea might just be the ticket, thanks!

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    1. Yeah try it I'm loving using it. We also bought some multihanger type things and hang them from the curtain rails - perfect for the cloth diaper (nappies we call them) as it hold lots of little things off one hook, also great for bibs.

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  10. So smart - very clever use of space - well done! :)

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  11. The polytunnel is a fabulous way of drying clothes in the winter. Liking your idea too but have nowhere to put one :(

    Linda

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  12. Brilliant use of space and exactly what we want to do too - but how on earth did you set up your ladder over the stairs when putting in the ceiling fixings? For the moment we hang shirts etc on hangers on door frames on the upstairs landing - looks messy, but as you say, warm air rises and they do dry quickly, even in winter.

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    1. Well lets just say I'm glad the helath and safety man wasn't watching! It wasn't too bad as I could reach the one bit just off a bench and the otehr was just a ladder up the wall from half way down the stairs and a board across from the landing to a rung in the ladder. Mind you my plasterer mate came round and said he wouldn't have done it! Just be careful and never do more than you feel you can handle. If in doubt get someone in to do it. Thanks for your commment

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