Clothesline


CLOTHESLINE
ETIQUETTE and RULES
from 1940


 
1. Hang the socks by the toes….not the top.
 
2. Hang pants by the bottom cuffs….not the waistbands.
 
3. Wash the clothesline before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. Hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang white clothes with whites, and hang them first.
 
5. Never hang a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail!
 
6. Wash day on a Monday.  Never hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday.
 
7. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your unmentionables in the middle.
 
8. Hang clothes sub-zero weather to freeze-dry. 
 
9. Gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Do not leave pins on the line.
 
10. For efficient use of space and pins, each item shares a clothes pin with the next item.

11. Clothes are off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed. 
 
A clothesline was a news forecast,
to neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep,
when clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link,
for neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by,
to spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the fancy sheets
and towels upon the line;
You’d see the company table cloths
with intricate designs.
 
The line announced a baby’s birth,
from folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung, 
so carefully with pride!
 
The ages of the children could,
so readily be known. 
By watching how the sizes changed,
you’d know how much they’d grown!

It told when illness struck,
as extra sheets were hung;
Then night clothes and a bathrobe too,
haphazardly were strung.
 
It said, “On vacation now”
when lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged, 
with not an inch to spare!
 
New folks in town were scorned upon,
if wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows
and looked the other way. 

But clotheslines now are of the past,
for dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home,
Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life,
it was a friendly sign, 
When neighbors knew each other best…
by what hung on the line.

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