Friday, July 02, 2010

Radical homemaking

On Wednesday of this week, Alternet published an article entitled "10 Easy Steps for Becoming a Radical Homemaker". Here are the steps:

* Commit to hanging your laundry out to dry.
* Dedicate a portion of your lawn to a vegetable garden.
* Get to know your neighbors. Cooperate to save money and resources.
* Go to your local farmers' market each week before you head to thegrocery store.
* Do some spring cleaning to identify everything in your home that you absolutely don’t need. Donate to help others save money and resources.
* Make a commitment to start carrying your own reusable bags and use them on all your shopping trips.
* Choose one local food item to learn how to preserve for yourself for the winter.
* Get your family to spend more evenings at home, preferably with the TV off.
* Cook for your family.
* Focus on enjoying what you have and who are with. Stop fixating on what you think you may need, or how things could be better "if only."

Now here's something I really appreciated about the laundry suggestion:

Take hanging out the laundry as an example. At the outset, it is deceptively simple: It saves money and resources, and it’s easy...But many people don’t do it. They’re too busy. Thus, the commitment to hanging out the laundry represents a commitment to slowing down—it means starting to align one’s daily household activity with the rhythms of nature. In my mind, hanging out the laundry moved from being a simple chore to being an act of meditation and reflection on a deeper, more profound commitment that a person wanted to make. Thus, draping shirts and socks on a clothesline wasn’t just about getting a chore done; it represented the new, sane world so many of us are working to create.

I've been doing this for some time now and I'm fortunate that I have a screened in back porch with clotheslines. That way I don't run afoul of the homeowners association. I also went to the trouble of ordering a seriously cool drying rack for hanging things inside. Take a look:

And here it is closed up for storage:

I like the fact that this is American made. It is also excellent quality and much better than those accordian type racks that are so easily knocked over.

It's called "Best Drying Rack" and you can order one right here.

I highly recommend this rack. It's wonderful. Beautifully crafted and very stable.


  1. I've got an accordian rack and have never knocked it over. But I tend to stick it in corners where it's not in my way. I probably dry clothes in the dryer about once every year, I think, if that. In the UK there's not much point hanging them outside, though.

  2. I remember my mom hanging out the wash when I was little. It's not an option for us because Dear Husband is allergic to all sorts of pollen. We can't even have the windows open. But we've been using the reusable bags for grocery shopping. A vegetable garden, though, is never going to happen. I would definitely rather buy it from a nice local farmer.


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