Hanging Up Laundry Is Not For The Vertically Challenged

I am the first to admit that I love the smell of freshly hung out clothing, especially sheets.  There is just something so comforting about the smell of sun-dried sheets when you go to bed at night.  My husband loves to have his work clothes, and, for that matter, his everyday clothes too, hung up so that they don’t shrink and last longer.  We even have lines strung in our basement so that we can hang up the laundry all winter long.  It saves energy, and it keeps the dryer from being overused.


Actual Picture Of My Outdoor Clothesline

So what’s the problem?  It’s me, the queen of the vertically challenged(at least in our household).  I am 4’11″, and hanging up laundry is torture to me. I am not kidding, it is!  It’s not bad when I am hanging things up outside, because I have a pole dryer, and it’s not super tall.  It’s when I need to hang up things in the cellar that things get dicey.


Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that I have a home, and two places where I can get my laundry hung up.  I love doing things that make my husband happy and content.  But having to use the step stool all the time to hang things in the cellar is such……work!  The routine goes something like this: piece of clothes out of basket, shake vigorously, go up the step stool, hang the laundry, down the step stool, move the step stool and repeat the sequence.  I guess I could look at it in the angle that I am getting some cardio in as well.  And toning(if that was really the case I would have a rock hard posterior), too.  Nope, that rationale just doesn’t cut it. 


Being on that step stool when you are as short as I am is just plain hazardous.  You move the wrong way, and BAM, you are on that well padded posterior, usually with the piece of clothing you were trying to hang draped on your head.  You also run the risk of stepping on the many cat toys that conveniently find their way to right where you are working.  And then there are the multitude of kids’ toys that congregate there as well.  It can be a minefield.  And last, but certainly not least, is the clothes pin phenomena that occurs.  You know, the one clothes pin that decides to snap while you are stretching your absolute farthest to get that one final shirt hung up.


I have tried many things to get out of hanging things up.  Misplacing the clothes pin baskets, hiding the hangers, and forgetting where I put the step stool.  Nope, doesn’t work.  Whining about it doesn’t, either.  And not washing for long periods of time just make it worse. I suppose I could make my almost 6′ hubby hang them up, but he works hard all day, so hanging laundry shouldn’t be what he needs to do when he gets home.

So tell me, blog readers, what do you do to make hanging clothes safe and easy?

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  1. Grams says

    I'm also vertically challenged at 5'1". The answer seems obvious to me. You have learn to work within your own limitations. Have your husband lower the clotheslines. It's just not safe for you to climb up a step-stool to hang clothes to dry. Personally, I would just use the dryer.

  2. {K} says

    Hi, I'm a new follower from the weekend blog hop.

    I have friends who have had a pulley clothesline which allows them to stay in one spot while hanging up clothes. If you were able to have a little platform to stand on (as opposed to a tiny stool) a pulley system might work well for you too. :)

  3. ermaitsaubree says

    I am a couple inches taller than you and I hung all the little rings on a shower curtain once and was sore for 2 days!

  4. Frugal in WV says

    I wish we had space for a clothes line, but I dry all my laundry in the dryer. Plus our house stays damp so I have to do about two loads of laundry a day for my family of four. I can't imagine hanging all that on the line :) New follower from blogaholic, have a great weekend! You can find me at
    Stop by my blog when you get the chance :)

  5. Shirley says

    Unfortunately, we live in a community that has restrictions forbidding the hanging of clothes outside. :( I love the smell of sun-dried sheets. I've wished our fence was tall enough for me to hide a clothes line. LOL! Alas, it is what it is.

  6. PJ says

    Hey Jen! I would be the wrong person to ask. I love the smell of outdoor dried clothes, but I can't do it very often as my back won't handle it. Not only that when I first got the "urge" to hang clothes out, my hubby went to the trouble to set up a regular clothes line cemented in the ground and everything. That first spring and summer I used it, I learned really quick that our area is not good for that. If it didn't rain (this was several years ago), then people driving by our house 90 to nothing would stir up the caliche so bad it would end up re-washing because the caliche clung to my clothes. It was like a wall of white dust landing all in my house and settling over my clothes. Needless to say I now use a dryer most of the time.
    God Bless,

  7. Lovingmama says

    I hang 80 % of my clothes up and use 2 different methods. 1 is the collapsible clothes drying rack we bought at Target (has lasted 8 years of heavy use) and the 2nd is a traditional retractable clothes line that is hung at whichever height you prefer. Hanging clothes is one of my all time favorite chores!

  8. Teresa Wilkinson The Storyteller says

    I no longer have this luxury, but when I did I remember my neck getting so stiff and my arms aching from the hanging. I am 5'3" so tiptoes outside were a must. During the winters I kept my batches small and hung things from the curtain rods. That was easy because of well placed furniture, but still hazardous. One suggestion is a pole with a hook. Hang the clothes on hangers then hang them from the hook onto the line. If the line is the same level all the way across the basement you should be able to space them out and leave them without worrying about them falling to the cellar floor.

  9. Hannah says

    Poor thing…height is not my problem, but I am Polish…have to admit to nearly choking myself on my clothesline.

    Ever try stringing up a hillbilly line between a couple trees or something? That's how I do mine, because I was too lazy to install a nice one. You can make it whatever height you want!

  10. Dawn K Apps says

    I would love to be vertically challenged. I've got the opposite problem since I'm 6'1" and female. No I don't play basketball.

    I really like the look of your blog, makes me want to change mine.

  11. Sara says

    I hang my clothes my arms always hurt after I am done. So does my back but i think thats just because I am tall.

    Hoping hanging your clothes gets easier for you!

  12. Sandy Keith says

    I just had to chuckle at your vertically challenged blog. I know exactly how you feel. I am just a bit over 5' tall and hanging clothes outside has always been a "stretch." Pun intended. I finally bought a dryer. Short people don't have too many choices in the laundry world.

  13. says

    I absolutely loved this post – describes me to a T! It seems like I’m always having to climb on something to get what I need (I’m only 5’2″) and I agree that it seems as though what should be regular day-to-day activities turn into a circus balancing/tight rope act. The only thing that makes me feel better about being vertically challenged is wating the show The Little People on TLC about a family with dwarfism…the things those people are forced to do in order to just live a normal life SHOCK me! Thanks for sharing…and for the smiles :)
    Rachel recently posted..Maybelline New York Colossal Volum’ ExpressMy Profile

  14. says

    I love this post!!! I’m 4’10” and the hubby is 6’5″ I have to climb to do everything. Before we got married, I had these kitchen cabinets that (unless I was using the bottom shelf) I had to climb on top of the counters to reach. I loved them, but it made life difficult. Now, the hubby doesn’t like me climbing – because I’m clumsy- so I end up having to get him to reach things for me :( I understand, because I hate having to ask him. But, he’s the one that insists I don’t climb. I think we all need to start a short housewives club!!! I do love sun dried sheets, but we have to watch pollen count :(
    Cari recently posted..Southern Charm Sunday: Teaching Kids to Eat HealthyMy Profile

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