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Living Without a Clothes Dryer During the Winter Season

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Can you believe that I committed to living nearly entirely without my dryer during the winter? In Michigan? Needing to focus on being as frugal as possible, this was my challenge last winter. Wondering if it is possible? Looking to have a huge savings in your budget? Stay tuned.

First, yes it can be done. I had used my dryer on a limited basis during the warmer months for years (which means above freezing) from April through November, but I wondered how in the world to do this during the winter. I pondered it for awhile, and then jumped in when reading that your dryer is your most energy-sucking appliance.

However, I will say that it is not easy and it is time consuming. It also takes space, but you can make it work with whatever space you have, and you also have to be willing to look at it. Laundry hanging everywhere 24/7 that is, especially if you have a large family.

Here’s how to make it work without a clothes dryer – even in the winter!



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I purchased a drying rack for more space

I already have a large shower bar installed in my laundry room for hanging a few things on as well as a laundry line hung in my storage room. The shower bar is about 4 feet in length while my clothesline is about 10 feet. Between these things in addition to the occasional shower door, towel bar, and door knob to hang things on I have been able to make it work. Also note, I have open ended towel bars that pivot outward from the wall into the room.  I have found these to be the perfect place to hang underwear and onsies.

Here are my drying rack and my swiveling towel bars. Just click on them.


It didn’t take long to realize that the days of only doing laundry twice a week were gone, and laundry every day would be a necessity

There always needs to be a load or two drying. Establishing this “schedule” takes some time. Discovering whose laundry needs to be done with whose to best optimize the drying space. Be patient during this time and switch things up till you find something that works.

The second thing I discovered to work well for me was to invest in a ton of hangers so I could hang as many things as possible on them

Hangers take up much less space while allowing you to dry several items. Just make sure you have a heavy duty shower bar installed in wall studs for the weight.  Do keep an eye on the weight, too. At times I have adjusted where I dry things if the bar was too full.

You do get what you pay for with hangers. Cheap ones break. These are the ones I use. They cost more, but it’s worth it.

A unique challenge that I have that may not apply to you is the fact that I also have 2 in cloth diapers

If his is not your reality, that will help. So, I have diapers taking up space every 2-3 days.  Without this, you will have more flexibility than I do in how you get things done. You too may find unique challenges, but you too can find a way to make it work with a bit of determination.

I find it helpful to do a load at night that is ready to be hung out first thing in the morning

In my home, things take about 24 hours to dry, just as a general guideline for you. I do run my dryer for towels once a week, as well as for all the socks. Most times I am able to hang sheets to dry if I just don’t have the ability to get through them all (I do have 8 beds that get slept in), but I figure on average I am running my dryer 10 times at most in a month. This is a huge savings over running it for everything, which means about 70 times a month for me with the diapers.

Although not easy, it is possible, and once you figure out what works for you, it becomes just a bit more exciting to open your gas or electric bill each month. The savings were definitely worth the time and effort for me.

Here is my youtube video that shows you exactly how I do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HGoRO4rkzk

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  1. I have been able to dry my clothes in our basement under a vent for the past couple years. It makes the drying time so much faster! I hate running the dryer no matter the time of year.

    1. I know. It makes such a huge difference in our electric bill. I am blessed that I have two heating vents in the rooms I line dry in. I bet that really helps, too!

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