Life is full of the mundane—boring chores that must be repeated; those things that if not done make life a misery. Things like grocery shopping, cooking meals, washing up dishes, running the vacuum, and of course, washing dirty laundry.
This morning the promised sun was unveiled as the grey skies cleared. The warmth has come with it. It’s the perfect day for spending some time outside; or to hang out washing. This morning I sorted the dirty laundry into colour appropriate loads. Two have chugged and churned in the washer and now hang on the line on the balcony. I told myself that since the weather forecaster has suggested several days of warmth and sun, that I would wash only two loads. I would do a couple of loads tomorrow. However, the first load I hung out is nearly dry. By the time the third load has suds-and-spun through the cycle, I can take down the first lot I hung up. Therefore, I conceded to putting in the third load.
Ignoring the growing mound of dirty laundry over the past few weeks has been justified, as the clouds always held great dampness—not to mention the prolific rain. The clothes just didn’t get dry hanging outside. And I resent the sight and smell of wet laundry hanging around the flat, waiting to dry. The flat feels cluttered when it has to be a drying facility for clothes. So, it was easier to do only a load of washing when necessary.
Most Brits are accustomed to hanging out laundry to dry year round. But I was born in America. People usually dry their laundry in dryers—especially at a laundry mat. You get the laundry done in a time efficient manner—washer, dryer, fold or hang and put away. I can usually get the laundry done in just one day. If I have to hang it up, I have to wait for it to dry. By the time it is dry, I just don’t want to be bothered with collecting it from the line and putting it away.
In the winter, when a clean load of clothes comes out of the washer, and the lounge becomes a drying room, it isn’t uncommon for the clothes to take a couple of days to dry. And if The Maverick hangs it up, well, I can’t reach it to take it down.
Why don’t I just use the dryer then? Well, our finances have been tight over the last couple of years. The Maverick has been working diligently to reduce our debts. Through determined disciple and sacrifice, we are making good progress. Because we are committed to eliminating the debt all together, I have done what I can to support his hard work. For instance, I use the kettle to boil water to have my morning wash. This eliminates the boiler coming on to boil only a ½ litre of water. And we both will put on a second jumper/sweater as that way we can leave the heating off as long as possible in the autumn and Spring.
Regarding the clothes dryer, my mind rebelled at suspending the use of the clothes dryer.
Then I sat down and thought about it. The average load of clothes takes about 80 to 90 minutes to dry. If we use the dryer twelve times a month that is 1,080 minutes a month that the dryer will run. Multiply 1,080 minutes per kilowatt, times the cost of a kilowatt—and over time that adds up. What if those kilowatts cost about £3.50 a month? Hmmm... I realised that line-hanging wet laundry did make a difference in the budget. The Maverick knows I am not keen on the idea—but he also knows that I take seriously his desire to be wise with our money; by practicing fugal habits.
It could be worse, I know. At least The Maverick isn’t asking me to wash all the clothes by hand in our bath tub!
While I would rather be using the dryer, here’s to saving money and taking advantage of sunny weather to line-dry those clothes!
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith