Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Clean-Up

As part of the YAWYK challenge, I've been working my way through all those tedious chores you avoid for as long as possible, like sorting through old clothes and cleaning up the random things in the far reaches of our backyard that we've managed to ignore until now. So into the trash pile this week went:

- 1 blue plastic kiddie pool (had been sitting in the 'utility' area of our side yard, a gated spot where tools and the lawnmower are kept, for over a year and was cracked to pieces)
- 5 foam floor mat pieces like this, which were strewn in various places in the yard and covered in dirt, leaves, and ewww-ness
- 3 plastic coat hangers that were broken

For the donate/give-away pile:

- 8 baby clothing items (just found out our neighbor's 19 year old is having a baby boy soon, so all boy stuff will go to her)
- 1 old phone with built-in answering machine
- 2 pairs of maternity pants
- 1 pair of maternity shorts

Of course, you might remember this post where I talked about making some more significant changes in our lives in order to simplify, streamline, and be more earth-friendly. So during yesterday's thrift store trip, I bought some glass jars which are replacing the plastic drinking cups, thus tossing 5 plastic cups but replacing them with 5 glass jars. My husband laughed at me a little, but they are durable, cute, functional, and I feel like they are safer than what we used before. We're not entirely plastic-free in terms of cups because we still have two toddlers in the home, but it's a move in the right direction:

*I forgot to mention, we only buy natural peanut butter these days, so we plan on saving those empty jars to use in the same manner.

Also in an effort to be more green, we totally thumbed our noses at the archaic HOA rules stating we couldn't have a clothesline and hung our own. The whole project cost us less than $10 and we think it will significantly reduce the costs of drying the many loads of clothes we wash each week. It's technically against 'the rules' but we figure as long as we follow the cardinal laws of clotheslinery (1. No UNDIES, and 2. Remove dry items promptly) the few neighbors who can see it shouldn't have much to complain about. We do have a neighbor behind us with a 2-story house and a clear view of the part of our yard where the line is hung who happens to be the HOA neighborhood President...but she's got two big yard umbrellas that also violate HOA rules so I'm hoping she doesn't complain.

It was kind of amusing, actually, because after hanging this today I went to get the load out of the wash to hang it. I noticed Darrick watching me, curious about my methods. His parents and mine both have clotheslines, but I wondered if maybe he had never been made to hang clothes.

Me: "Did you ever have to hang clothes when you were growing up?
Him: "Oh yeah. All the time. You?"
Me: "Yep. We didn't own a dryer until I was almost in high school. I hated hanging clothes when all my friends used the dryer!"
Him: "Yeah, I thought it was totally white trash growing up."
shared silence
Him: "Funny how things change when you're the one paying the bills."

Things seem to go sort of full circle, though. Whereas when we were kids and teens, the dryer was way less nerdy than the clothesline and the microwave was the hot household appliance to own (I still remember my mom talking for months on end about saving up for a microwave), now families like ours are moving back to grilling and eating fresh foods as well as using a clothesline. But we're happy to embrace simpler things in our lives.


Tabitha said...

I love that you are making such great changes. I will admit that I am afraid of a clothing line because I am afraid I'll forget about the clothes out there, the dogs will pull them down.... or the sun will completely bleach them out...

... any pointers?

Muffin Cake said...

Hey Tabi! Our clothesline is right across the back of the porch, so I can see it out the patio doors. Easiest way to remember the clothes! Also, we typically only do laundry one day a week all at once (not the best method, I'm sure, but no way I'm doing some every night with my schedule) so it makes it easier.

Added bonus: it takes well over an hour to dry a full load in our dryer. If I hang a full load (minus undies!! ha!) it takes less than an hour in summer heat!

Colleen B. said...

There lies your lucky-ness (is that a word?).... Down here in the deep south, those wet clothes would mold before they dry with all the humidity....

So jealous!! And I LOVE the glass jar idea.

Muffin Cake said...

Mold? Really? I never would have even thought of that! In AZ in the summer cotton shirts are dry in minutes!

Crystal said...

Our bungalow, which was built in the 50's, has an incredible, huge, rotating clothes line. I love it. I admittedly don't use it every time we do laundry, but I use it a lot. Love it for big items like blankets.

Brandi said...

I use mason jars (or really any glass jars I have around here) religiously! I also have one that I keep on my counter next to my coffee maker to throw my spoon into after I stir the sugar into my cup each morning. That's the Bend way! :)


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