Do you ever wonder if you could do without something you’ve always been dependent on?
Last June our dryer died! We had planned to get it repaired until we discovered that the problem was the motor. That pretty much meant it would be cheaper to buy a new (used) one, which is what we had planned to do. I, however, decided that since we were barely into June, we could probably last the summer without one.
Well, Summer turned into Fall, then Winter and Spring — and now here we are.
A year without a dryer.
Why would we not want to have a dryer? Well, honestly we do want one. But I wanted to see what it would be like for us, if we didn’t have one. Could in fact survive it? Yes, I know, we could “survive”, but as a society, we’ve become very used to the conveniences we have nowadays. So used to them that if we suddenly lost them, I have to wonder if we would know what to do.
The reality is: we could lose that convenience quite easily. So in a way, going without a dryer was a challenge in self-sufficiency.
What it took for us to do this successfully were a few clotheslines — one outside and one inside — and a drying rack. Sure, drying clothes this way takes a little more planning. If someone wants something washed quickly, it’s not going to happen.
There are many benefits, but these are the top two:
Slowing Down :: In a world where everything is pretty much at your fingertips, easily and quickly accessible, it requires us to slow down a bit. We have to plan ahead and remain patient. I also find it fairly meditative to walk out into the yard with nothing more to do than to hang the laundry. I find to be relaxing. I also love to just look at the clothing in the sunshine and blowing in the breeze. It really makes me feel connected to my life.
Eco-consciousness :: I don’t consider a dryer a necessity. It’s definitely a convenience, but not a necessity. By not having one, we consume less electricity, which not only saves us money but also saves our precious resources.
Will we ever buy a new dryer? Probably. But not having a dryer has taught us that we can do without. When we do buy a new one, we will be putting our clothes out to dry on the clothesline or drying rack more often than not.