Inventive Clothes Line and Post Straightening

After many years of high washing and drying bills, I wanted to go back to a clothes line outdoors, even though I have devised a series of clothes line "poles" for one storage hallway adjacent to my laundry area indoors from 4-5' tension poles that local folks have tossed on their curbs over the past couple of years, their likely having upgraded their old homes to glass sliding shower doors.


Being my age, I well remember that the old clothes lines sag, rust, stain, and that it's almost an art or craft to get a clothes line that's sturdy enough to hold heavy wet laundry up, plus I am extremely limited on extra money for such things. Here's what I finally did that works so well:

At the dollar store I found two long vinyl wrapped dog leads that are 25' each ($5 each and I needed two) with wonderful chrome swivel heavy duty clasps on each end (originally designed and sold for exercising dogs, which is now illegal in our state!) I had two 6" heavy duty eye bolts, a large nail, a screwdriver and a hammer.

Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, I knew that I had to do something about a leaning fence post or risk getting a fine from the city who is rather strict with their codes. So, I noticed that the only path available for the clothes line was also in line from the leaning fence post (luckily it was leaning towards the alley, away from my house) to a very old single but medium and sturdy tree and then to another thicker older tree.

I had my grandson to go to the back side of the fence and wait to push the post while I screwed one eye bolt into the fence post (started a hole with a nail) turning it with a thick screwdriver through the bolt eye hole, as he pushed the post towards me.

Then I attached the first lead wire's clasp to the second lead wire's clasp and walked it to the middle tree in the path between the post and large tree, wrapped it around the medium tree once, following on to the large tree with the line in one hand and the other screw-type eye bolt and tools in the other, then wrapped the vinyl line around the mature tree's largest head-high trunk branch and held it while I screwed the second eye bolt into the large tree, at approximately the same height as the other end, then attaching the chrome clamp to the eye bolt.

In testing the tautness of the line, I saw that it needed tightening a bit, so I went back to the fence post and noticed that it was not yet straight enough. I began to slowly turn the large eye bolt more and more until it both straightened the post and tightened the clothes line.

It is thick red vinyl wrapped, making the line easy to see for walking under it, hanging clothes from it, and is weather resistant and a classy cheap addition to my yard, considering the alternatives. It cost about $11.65 for the whole clothesline of approx. 50 Feet. It should last for several years and be a cheap and easy thing for me to replace one day in the future, requiring no ugly metal poles at great expense, no ropes to rot, no rusty wire.

Now I can hang our thickest clothing and linens to be air and sun dried, especially after we've been sick for so long. It saves money, smells delightful and fresh, and is just what I truly needed for laundry on dry warm days.

For me, a third advantage is that the mature rose bush I have hoped to be able to train on some sort of arbor, won't have to go yet another year without support. Even it can be supported by a segment of the clothesline near the fence as it arches towards the sun in great anticipation of coming days.

Source: source: me and none other

by Lynda from Richardson, TX

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By Jean (Guest Post)
March 20, 20080 found this helpful

Lynda, that is such a good idea. I also have a pole that is leaning and will use your tip to straighten it. With your method it will only take one person to do it.

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

Please keep an eye on that tree so that it doesn't grow around the wire and get choked and weakened. This happened to me and we had to cut that part of the tree down.

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

You're a clever lady. In the winter I sometimes hang wash in my upstairs hallway.


It's out of the way and warm. I wish I could hang wash outside in the summer, but I get too much dust and dirt from the road.

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February 28, 20100 found this helpful

I am fortunate as I have a lovely back yard in the country complete with clothes line. When it's too cold to hang the wash out, or it's raining, I use a wooden clothes rack in an unused bedroom. This hand made rack was bought while on a Maine vacation many years ago. When not in use it folds flat for storing. With towels I take them off the rack when a little damp and toss them in the dryer with a fabric sheet. The end result is a soft towel, but less energy used.

Also my husband put plastic coat hangers on my outside line. They are fixed in place with plastic zip ties, which you can find in home depot type stores. The clothes are "hung" on the hangers and dry wrinkle free. I just bring out extra hangers for the dry laundry. This way things don't become wrinkled and are ready to go in the closets. I can still hang sheets on top of the hangers. This system works great for us!

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February 28, 20100 found this helpful

My mother used to hang clothes on the line, and she had a long, straight stick (about 8 ft long) with a nick carved out of the top. She used this to hold the line up and the clothes from sagging on the ground.


A 1 x 2 would do the job. I have lines out back, and I now use a stick to keep the line up also. I never found a line that would stay taut, but the stick works fine.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

I have a folding wooden rack I use and in addition to that in my backyard I have a swing in which the canopy is missing. It's ideal for hanging blouses, shirts, etc. from the top where the canopy was. I hang them from plastic hangers. I also have folded sheets and put them on the swing. After awhile I unfold and reposition.

I have an extra shower curtain rod in my bathroom for hanging things when the weather is bad. To prevent wrinkles I put most of the clothes in the dryer for no more than 10 minutes before hanging. That seems to prevent the wrinkles and prevents the clothes from being stiff. I just started being serious about this a couple months ago and along with turning off the TV when I'm running around the house not watching it's saved me nearly $50 a month.

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