Clothesline Bans – Your Right to Dry

You learn something new every day, and I just learned an interesting little legal tidbit. Did you know that many housing developments and condominium complexes ban the use of clotheslines? I did not know this, and my first response was absolute outrage. Well, maybe not ‘outrage’. That would be overreacting. But I did not like the idea one little bit. Who is anyone to tell me that I can not dry my clothes on a clothesline?! Then I got to thinking about it a little more, and I guess I can see where such a seemingly ridiculous ban would come from. I am guessing that at some point, some protective parent decided that their young ones were seeing too many ‘delicates’ for their innocent little senses to handle. After all, heaven forbid that our little boys understand that women wear bras.

Right now in New Hampshire, Representative Suzanne Harvey is trying to bar the bans on clotheslines in our fine state. It is not simply a matter of being able to ‘live free or dry’. Ten states already restrict the use of clothesline bans. And Representative Harvey’s idea of overturning clothesline bans – and barring new ones from being put in place – would have the codicil of allowing housing areas to restrict the ‘offensive’ clotheslines from being installed in front yards. While there is the issue of allowing the fine citizens of this state the right to decide how they are going to do something as mundane as drying their laundry, there is also the issue of environmental awareness. A full 6% of the nation’s energy consumption can be chalked up to the use of clothes dryers. That is a whole lot of energy being wasted on something that can be done for free courtesy of Mother Nature.

Gas or electric dryers certainly do have their place, especially in states such as New Hampshire where Mother Nature not only provides sunny, windy days to dry clothing, but also snowy or rainy days that would hamper the entire effort of saving energy by hanging laundry in the great outdoors.

Of course, there is another option to hanging laundry outside. Back in the day, when we were absolutely dirt poor and had three little children dirtying clothing at an astounding rate, I used to hang laundry in the basement during the winter months. Not only did this save on our energy bills, but it also provided some much-needed humidity in a basement that was extremely dry during the winter months.

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