How to Dry Clothes Outdoors in Small Spaces

Do you want to hang your clothes to dry outside but don’t have the yard space for a clothesline? We have the solution to drying clothes outdoors in small spaces!

How to Dry Clothes Outdoors in Small Spaces

I love the fresh, clean smell of clothes hung to dry outside in the summertime. Not only do the clothes smell nice, it saves energy by not using the electric dryer in the house. One of my favorite things about summer is being able to use the sun’s warm rays to dry our clothes outside.

Growing up we always hung all our clothes outside to dry on the traditional metal T poles with the long wire lines strung between them. Unfortunately the traditional T poles take up quite a bit of space and aren’t really compatible with small yard space. When living in rental houses with small spaces during college and graduate school, I would string up long ropes wherever I could across my tiny yard to hang clothes to dry. It was a temporary option that worked but my roommates were never too pleased to have the yard taken over for a few hours  while my clothes dried.

Then a few years ago on a trip to Germany to visit my husband’s family, we saw the most amazing gadget: a durable, portable outdoor clothesline! When it came time to do some laundry, they went into the shed and carried out this nifty folded up round clothesline and inserted it into a base they had buried in their back yard. They opened it up and we were able to hang our clothes on the lines to dry and it took up such little space. When the laundry was dry and we removed our clothes, they simply collapsed the arms and carried it back to their shed until the next laundry day.

How to use a portable clothesline to hang clothes to dry outside

As soon as we returned to the states we went on a search to find one. We found one at the local Home Depot and immediately came home and installed it. We decided to put it on our deck at the side of our house since we didn’t want our laundry hanging in the front yard for all the neighbors to see and our back yard does not get enough sun.

Unfortunately the portable clothes line from the Home Depot lasted only one season until one of the plastic arm braces broke. In our house we like to call this store the “Home Cheap-o” for this very reason, they typically don’t sell high quality, long lasting items.

Because we loved the portable outdoor clothesline so much, my husband hopped online and began searching for a more durable product. Although we had to pay almost double what we paid at the Home Depot, we invested in this amazing clothes dryer. It is made with durable steel arms and a much higher quality than the cheap one we bought at the Home Depot. We have had it for several years now and it still works as well as it did the day we bought it.

It comes with a plastic base to install in the ground that the metal pole is inserted into. At our old house, my husband drilled a hole in the deck this size and used screws to mount the holder to the deck. The top opening of the holder was flush with the deck boards so when the clothes line was put away in the garage the holder wasn’t a trip hazard. I actually leave my clothes line outside all the time and only put it away in the winter.

Even though we have a lot more land at our new homestead and could install the metal T poles with clothes line, we continue to use our folding clothes drying line. We put it near the back door so I don’t have to carry a heavy load of wet laundry far to get to the clothes drying rack. Don’t let the size of this thing fool you though. I just hung up two large loads of laundry and there is still a little bit of room left on there!

Do you hang your clothes to dry outside? How do you do it?

This post shared on: Natural Living Monday, Homestead Barn Hop,

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  1. says

    I remember when I was first married we lived in a trailer park that had a very tiny yard and no room for even the portable ones like you showed. I used the railing on the small attached deck to lay clothes over to get them dry. In the winter I would use a small portable clothes rack and place it over the register to dry clothes. Whatever I could do to not use the dryer I would. When my kids were in diapers hubby would string a clothes line in our living room from corner to corner and there was always diapers line drying over head. I think back on it and have to laugh at the sight:)

  2. Sue D says

    The house we live in came with the traditional clothes line so we were all set. On days when it looks like it might rain and I am not going to be home we strung a line on our deck where it has a roof. This has helped a lot but I can only do hang one load. I also have a couple wooden drying racks.

  3. says

    I have been wanting one of these so bad. I am glad your hubby did research. I have seen similar ones that had bad reviews. I just put it on my wishlist. I will go through your site when I buy it!

  4. Amanda @ Erickson & Co. says

    Great idea! We have a huge clothes line that I use all the time. But we also have a smaller clothes drying rack that has 4 layers that we use in the house in the winter time.

  5. says

    Great idea! We are so excited to get into our new home and put up a clothesline. My grandma used to hang everything to dry. I loved the smell and the feel! Can’t wait:)


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