It’s funny how something as simple as an old-fashioned pulley clothesline can bring back incredible memories of childhood. But that is exactly what happened yesterday for both Mary and I.
We spent a few hours in the afternoon installing our latest addition to the farm, a pulley clothesline. All the while, all we could talk about were childhood memories of fresh clothes!
What is it about the scent and feel of clothes hung outdoors to air-dry that simply overtakes your senses?
That incredible smell of putting on a t-shirt just taken off the line. Or better yet, the amazing aroma and feel of fresh, soft sheets as you climbed into bed at night.
Growing up, my mom had two outdoor clotheslines. One on the screened-in back porch, and another that stretched across the width of our backyard. The backyard clothesline was a staple in our lives. Not only did it air-dry all of our sheets, shirts and pants, it also served as the home-run wall for backyard baseball games with my brother, nieces and nephews. Even at 92, my mom’s screened-in back porch clothesline is still in use today.
And for Mary, the memories fly back as well. She can remember first having an old-fashioned T-post line that was eventually replaced with a backyard clothesline tree. Their clothesline served a dual purpose as well, doubling as a great hide-and-seek spot between the hanging sheets.
Whether it was longing for that fresh scent again, or perhaps a little nostalgia, we have always wanted to put up a clothesline of our own at the farm. Last weekend, while driving through Amish country, we noticed house after house with clothes hanging out to dry. I think it finally made us realize it was time to have our own. One thing we noticed while driving was that almost all of homes used a pulley clothesline. It allowed the user to send clothes out and bring them back from a single point. We loved the system and the look, and set about creating our own at the farm.
Creating Our Old-Fashioned Pulley Clothesline
Installing the pulley clothesline was actually an amazingly simple process. We used a basic kit that came with two pulley wheels, a tightening ratchet, spacer, and a 150′ of line. Product Link : Heavy Duty Pulley Clothesline Kit
We started by sinking a 6″ x 6″ a 10′ post at the edge of our side yard about 50′ away from the edge of our back porch. We then attached a pulley wheel at the top of the post, and a second pulley wheel on the porch post at a matching height. Since our post is elevated, it will keep the line high enough that it can easily be walked under in the yard.
Once the wheels were installed, we ran coated steel line in a loop and installed a small ratchet link to combine and tighten the line. We added a few rolling spacers to keep the line straight – and we were in business! All in all, it took about two hours, and most of that was in sinking and putting the post in concrete. Total cost – $60.
Now we can hang and send clothes out right from the back porch, and reel them back in when dry! Isn’t funny how its the little things that can make you happy. 🙂
Here’s to the fresh smell of clothes hung outdoors – Jim and Mary! If you would like to receive our DIY, Gardening and Recipe articles each week, you can sign up via email at the very bottom of this post. You can also like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to receive all of our latest tips and articles. This article may contain affiliate links.