How to keep up with the washing when raining

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

South east Queensland has been wet on and off for the past month or more. Listening to the news this morning I hear that most of the eastern coastal suburbs of Australia are also experience rainfall.  I hope we see an end to all the flash floods, water spouts and damaging winds soon.  However, with all this wet weather it’s hard to get the washing dry.

I had a very busy week last week helping my Dad move into his new home so I didn’t keep on top of my washing, today is wet and my dirty washing pile is overflowing.

How to keep up with the washing when raining

The clothes dryer would be the obvious choice if you have one, but it can easily and drastically increase your electricity bill.

I have a little wall mounted clothes line in the laundry, Grundtal from Ikea.  I use this mostly to dry school uniforms and swimmers, usually whatever I put on this is dry within 8-12 hours.  However, during the wet weather it does take longer and this isn’t big enough for a full load.

I keep a clothes airer next to my washing line, I find it easier to peg socks and underwear on here and I always seem to have more than what will fit on the line so having this extra space is great.  When it’s raining I bring it into the garage to dry the clothes, they usually dry the same day.

In our old house we had an old hills hoist, it was at the back of the property also up a few steps from the patio, too far from the house, I couldn’t hear the babies if they were to start crying.  So hubby installed a extendable clothes line under our patio.  This was great, close to the house and also handy when raining as the clothes were protected from the weather.

Hills 4 Line Extendable Clothesline

So when we have continuous rain I will leave the sheets on the bed for an extra few days and only wash what is really necessary and  what will fit on the clothes airer.  When I wake in the morning and see a glimpse of sunshine I head straight to the laundry and start washing so I can get it onto the line.  As my mother in law always says when the sun is shining…. it’s a good drying day!!

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Rae February 26, 2013 - 11:12 AM

Totally impossible to get anything dried! A weekend away has not helped.

Katrina February 26, 2013 - 5:39 PM

This weather here on the Gold Coast is so on and off, raining one minute sunshine the next. Hope you can get it dry soon.

Catherine Nolsie February 26, 2013 - 6:20 PM

I mentioned on your facebook post…try tumblemonkey dryerballs…they cut your clothes dryer time drastically (if you have to use them)..and lets face it..doesnt matter how organised you are sometimes you just need to use your dryer to get things dry in time…I have a facebook page and website

Rachel February 26, 2013 - 6:46 PM

I love your organised laundry but want to know where you got your baskets from, as all the ones I find are too small (I have four children).

[email protected] February 26, 2013 - 10:28 PM

Our climates are so different! In my part of Canada, we have a few months where drying outside is impossible … how I would love to use a clothes line all year long!

Melissa February 28, 2013 - 11:18 AM

I use 2 of those Ikea drying racks in my laundry and it holds a full load from my front loader. We don’t have a clothesline at the moment and these are working great. I dry our towels on a clothes airer, only issue I have is drying sheets but I’ve found a portable clothesline in Bunnings and will get one soon.

Nat March 1, 2013 - 1:32 PM

I am renting so only have a standing airer, but whenever I have to dry clothes on it in the garage (our undercover area is tiny and would get wet) they take a long time to dry & are a bit smelly?

DonnaE May 12, 2014 - 12:38 PM

I dry on the airer overnight and only do 15-20 minutes in the dryer with ones of those Fluffy brand dryer pads. That tends to release the wrinkles AND makes them smell nice!

Angela March 1, 2013 - 10:11 PM

I have always used a clothes airer inside the house for clothes. My outside line only ever gets used for sheets, large items and my hubby’s work clothes. I hang anything that needs hanging on a hanger as soon as it comes out and they hang on the ironing rack I have. Unfortunately, my laundry isn’t big enough for these but my bedroom is plenty big enough for both. Comes in handy in rainy weather and if you leave the ceiling fan on it dries in a few hours just like normal or you can leave on overnight while asleep if you want to conserve the electricity. I can leave them here for a couple of days if need be or too busy and the kids will just take what they need straight off the line. I have a couple of different sorts, but the one I use all the time is available through Big W, Kmart and the Warehouse. It consists of a frame that folds flat vertically and when you swing out one part of the frame it forms an X from the top. You pull out up to 3 arms with several rails on each and hook over the hook on the main frame. It’s perfect when your kids are really little and have heaps of washing to hang up. Now I only use the top and bottom arms on each side. Bottom is great for smalls and shorts, etc. and top is for longer things. Since it’s also on wheels it’s moved around easily too.

Angela March 1, 2013 - 10:14 PM

Oh. And towels go in the dryer. Only way to dry those well and keep them soft and fluffy. Sheets just have to go a bit longer in this weather and jump on it when the sun is out or hang on a line I’ve rigged up in the carport/patio area.

Aismama March 3, 2013 - 8:36 AM

gosh, try living in rainy Ireland!

Hayley Hitchings May 11, 2014 - 11:15 PM

I live in southern Victoria and getting washing dry used to be a constant battle! Until I invested in a mrs Peggs handy line, if you have the room for it I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Toni Rapley May 12, 2014 - 1:38 AM

Do any thing that needs to be ironed as soon as it’s out of the washing machine, it’s a breeze to iron, put it on a hanger, that reduces to drying time & putting then on a rail saves the drying space to.

K-Lee Mayes May 12, 2014 - 1:47 AM

I have a couple of ocky straps that I hang in a safe spot under the stairs inside and hang items on hangers to dry. Doing a lot of washing at the moment with 2 sick kids, so urgent items get popped in the dryer, everything else gets hung up on my makeshift lines. Usually only takes overnight to dry

Cassie Hall May 12, 2014 - 4:09 AM

putting things on hangers then onto the wall mounted line saves so much space therefore you can hang more. One of those “octopus peg rings” (best description i can give) are great for underwear and socks and again will hang on the wall mounted line. a travellers washing line that consists of rope twisted elastic will go well in any space and using the same tricks as before gives you all the space you could need. take these tips from a melbournian, you cant rely on the weather man down here

Amanda Browning May 12, 2014 - 5:47 AM

We are in a cooler climate in Australia and have a lot of trouble drying things. I have Dryer Balls that help the dryer get things dry faster and so saves power. They also reduce static (my clothes are never static-y) and naturally soften clothes. They are made from pure New Zealand wool. If you like to fragrance your clothes you can add some essential oil to a ball, which is great if you are reducing your chemicals or have allergies. Read more about them at
Or purchase from

Alexandra May 12, 2014 - 8:25 AM

Hi I am obsessive about not using the dryer unless necessary, and washing. I used to have a small pull out hanger which I used for underwear-so handy and accessible. now after a renovation, I have a pulley (vitorian style) clothes line in my laundry, a couple of racks I use on the verandah especially in winter as our clothes line doesn’t get enough sun and….a spin dryer. THESE THINGS ARE AMAZING. They are used in Argentina where mine comes from and spin much of the excess water from heavier items. Eg towels will dry in a winter day when without spinning they would have to go into the dryer. Most things easily dry in a day or overnight after spinning. I found it at the homeshow and bought when we renovated as I didn’t have a laundry fro 9 months. just put it in the bathroom, It is a KOH-I NOOR. I also have a hanging rack iamong my laundry shelves -from Howards Storage. With a big family it is great.

DonnaE May 12, 2014 - 1:54 PM

Hi Alexandra!
Wondering if the Koh-i Noor leaves the clothes very wrinkly? Wondering if it is really heavy to counteract the centrifugal force?
Have looked up some website reviews – looks fantastic! Might be my next purchase?

zeetra May 12, 2014 - 12:44 PM

I love my clothes line. Nothing gets rid of stains like direct sunshine can. But in the rain I use my 2 air driers or my drier. I only dry towels and sheets. I hate using up, but I dont have space to have undercover drying

Melissa May 12, 2014 - 2:09 PM

We are a family of 8 with 2 more every second weekend. I wash multiple loads everyday. If it’s warm enough outside line drying is a must, especially for towels, jeans and sheets! I have 2 inside airers but could do with another! Wish I had room in my laundry for a line like yours Kat. I have to keep up with it or we’d be covered in unwashed/unfolded clothes!

Kim May 12, 2014 - 3:03 PM

I have a rack that hangs off my dryer, great for drying delicates while the dryer is on but I also use it for socks etc when the dryer isn’t on. I use a 20 peg plastic hanger for all our socks & underwear, which I either hang inside, off the dryer rack or take outside when nice. I have a five rail rack that hangs over the door, and two clothes airers. When I’m desperate I hang things on hangers around the house.

Amy May 12, 2014 - 3:42 PM

I make sure to spin clothes super-fast before they come out of the washing machine, making them only damp and needing less time to dry.

It drives me insane having clothes hangers with laundry on them all around the house! I hate dryers though- noisy, expensive, spit dust everywhere and a fire hazard.

Nicola Townsend Murphy May 12, 2014 - 6:49 PM

I live in Ireland rain,rain,rain

Lisa August 19, 2014 - 7:48 AM

Last year we put in a coonara wood heater. Best Thing Ever!! I keep up to date with my washing all through winter, putting it over a portable clothesline in front of the fire over night & its dried the next day. There are days when in doing towels & sheets that the line is out during the day, but generally its only at night. We are a family of 5 & i hardly ever use the dryer except in emergencies. But as soon as there is a glimmer of sunshine the clothes are on the line!! Being in Victoria its more cold & wet than sunny so we had to come up with a better solution than the dryer. We’ve literally HALVED our electricity bill just by not using the dryer!!

Katrina August 20, 2014 - 1:32 PM

That is fantastic, Lisa! Love your idea.:)

kelly June 26, 2016 - 9:01 PM

Love the wood fire, i use to mine to not only dry the clothes, but the top of it is hot and flat, making it ideal to lay the clothes and linen on as you fold, and press out the wrinkles, saves a lot of time ironing 🙂

Jenni M. August 20, 2014 - 1:01 PM

On rainy/winter days when laundry needs drying I pop towels, jeans, T’s, work shirts in the dryer for 10 minutes for less wrinkles and fluffing up then pop them on the aider inside stadium get said aired over one of the floor vents of the ducted heating. Figure kills two birds with one stone as we are usually warming the house and trying to get rid of any possible damp smells from the weather.

Lisa August 20, 2014 - 5:01 PM

We gave away our electric dryer.

I use two clothes racks.
I have hooks on laundry walls for when I’m not using them.

I also hang selected items straight onto hangers.

I use two octopus hangers for socks and baby’s clothes.

If needed I have two poles that can hang between two open closet doors or two dining chairs.

We have ducted heating in roof so I put racks under vents.

Also the heater is strongest in two of our bedrooms. So poles and racks go in those rooms with door shut to get a good burst of heat while house is warming up.

Our outside clothes line is not covered so only gets used when it is not rainy or damp. At the moment hardly ever!

Carole Flynn August 20, 2014 - 5:15 PM

On rainy days and in winter here in England I use a clothes airer and put it in the conservatory to maximise any heat that may be around. I also plug in the dehumidifier and this helps to suck the water from the clothes. They dry fairly quickly this way.

Katrina August 20, 2014 - 8:19 PM

good thinking!

Cc August 20, 2014 - 10:24 PM

I have three air dryers which hang over doors. Bought from big w or Kmart. With central heating they dry clothes overnight. Otherwise it is a case of hanging things on coat hangers overnight throughout the house, a la Chinese laundry look

Katrina August 22, 2014 - 12:58 PM

Yes they are a great idea! I use them too.

Susanne Ferreira August 31, 2014 - 2:13 PM

Loving this blog and I life in Canada…YEs I have a dryer and I use it.often, although I have a washer dryer in the basement, the basement is high and dry..meaning it has high ceilings and heat vents..which I have to remember to close off in the summer as the basement gets all the air-conditioning..waste of hydr$$. So I start by using the front load washer on the right setting. If I have a load of shirts, I do quick air vent in the dryer and then hang items asap, better to iron that load while still damp, and then hang to complete drying. For towels I use the dryer, but I only do wash and dryer during the peak saver time period, only 1/3 the cost from 7pm-7am..might look into using the dryer less, but the dryer is large so easy to do mixed loads and unload accordingly. I love doing time to meditate. Maybe I need a hobby.

Kim January 10, 2015 - 1:46 PM

I choose not to own a clothes dryer so my big ikea clotheshorse is a permanent fixture in our house during the cold canberra winter. I put it over the ducted heating vent and most washing dries in 12-18 hours. I also cloth nappy so often have a second clotheshorse set up in my baby’s room for these.
We have hot sunny summers here so then it’s all out on the line.

melissa April 19, 2015 - 9:13 PM

A small clean dry towel in the dryer with a wet load will speed up the drying process by absorbing the moisture 🙂

Kat - The Organised Housewife April 21, 2015 - 8:48 AM

Wow what a awesome tip! Thank you for sharing, Melissa x

Danelle June 17, 2015 - 6:47 AM

DRYING SHEETS – My Dad lives in s unit (with no dryer) he drapes his sheets over the bedroom doors, to my surprise it actually works quite well and in Winter with some kind of heating they dry in no time!

Kate - Kat's Assistant June 17, 2015 - 8:33 AM

That is a great idea, Danelle!

Linda June 17, 2015 - 3:07 PM

We installed a ceiling fan in our laundry. I use hangers for my laundry to save space and a retractable line. The next morning, most of the clothes are dry. This takes care of laundry in our sub tropical climate in the Western Cape, South Africa.????

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 18, 2015 - 9:22 AM

clever idea Linda, I wouldn’t have thought about that!

Emily September 2, 2015 - 4:53 PM

Lots of rainy days are horrible. We only have a combo front loader washing machine/dryer so to usw the dryer it takes a whole day to do a load of washing and our laundry isnin a cupboard so the airer has to go in our hallway which then looks messy 🙁

Marcelle September 2, 2015 - 5:39 PM

Coming from western qld I don’t have any problems with sunshine to dry my clothes – I would give anything for some rainy days .

Vicky Porter September 2, 2015 - 6:37 PM

I don’t have a dryer (on purpose) but do have two airers from ikea when it’s too wet for the clothes line. They fit a whole 8kg wash on them and I wouldn’t be without!
If really desperate then I bring the airers inside and mostly they dry overnight.


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