Pegging Out

Wednesday, 24 September 2014




To 'peg out' is one of the many British euphemisms for dying* but it also refers to drying, the drying of laundry on a washing line outside. Ali wrote a wonderful post about pegs and other domestic matters. She has an enviable collection of pegs. Mine is simpler, wooden pegs only for me. If I had coloured pegs I might be tempted to colour match them with the items to be pegged out, and as Ali says that would be taking matters too far and I am already enough of a laundry control freak as it is. I am reminded of my control-freakery every time I ask someone else in my family to hang the laundry and ten minutes after they have done it I'm out there re-pegging it properly.

You wouldn't believe the number of rules I have about proper pegging out behaviour.

1). Items must be thoroughly shaken before pegging to minimise the need for ironing. This particularly applies to tea towels.

2). Items must be turned the right way out. Exceptions are for jeans and other bulky items which must be turned inside out half-way through drying to ensure all the pockets dry properly.

3). Items must be folded over the line with the bare minimum of fabric to ensure quick drying.

4). Unless it is a really good drying day duvet covers must be looped on the line, ie a peg at each corner so that air can circulate.

5). Tops are pegged at their bottom edge and bottoms are pegged at the top edge. There is no reason for this other than because I say so.

6). Socks must never be pegged in pairs. They will take ages to dry. We don't have issues with missing socks in our house and I have never understood why people do -put them in the washing machine, take them out of the washing machine, where else are they going to go?

7). Take items down as they dry to prevent overcrowding on the line and consequent slower drying.

8). Be very happy when there is a warm breeze and blue skies and all three loads are washed and dry before 3pm.

You'll be relieved to know that I don't impose my pegging out rules on my family, I am properly grateful when they help, but I do find it hard to understand why they can't see the logic and sense of my method. Sigh. Tell me I'm not the only one.


*To kick the bucket
  To fall off your branch
  To rub out (this one may have been peculiar to my father-in-law)
  To pop your clogs
  To shuffle off this mortal coil
  To join the choir invisible




77 comments:

  1. Thats they way I do it! And I'm the same, if I ask someone to do it, I have to check to make sure its done MY WAY! Well thats they way I was taught to do it from my mother!
    I use wooden pegs for washing, and coloured plastic pegs for packets in the cupboards and freezer, like rice and frozen veg
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:43 pm BST

    Oh, I understand all your rules and actually follow them all - as long as I am pegging the laundry outdoors. If I dry them indoors (as I usually do Finland being covered in snow for most part of the year), there are slight amendments in effect... For me, it is also necessary to flap the T-shirts loudly to straighten them, while holding the item exactly from the shoulder seams. This ensures no distortion caused by uneven stretch :) Childrens clothes also need to be pulled lengthwise, otherwise they shorten and widen over time. Unlike you, I cannot bear my family members doing the pegging wrong so there is no other option than do it all myself! (They can cook and clean. I do the laundry)
    Oo the lovely smell of clean laundry. MmmmmmMMmm. -Terhi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love to flap things loudly too, I think one should find something fun in every mundane task.

      Delete
    2. Yes, absolutely. Love flapping the laundry too.

      Delete
  3. I peg my washing out in a very similar way, save the duvet covers and I do hang socks in pairs on a separate hanger as they won't all fit on the line. I can, however, understand in hot countries such as Australia, that they might want to hang things inside out to prevent fading, but I don't do it myself.

    On the subject of laundry, I always remember pulling sheets from diagonal corners with my mum as a child, before they were folded once dried. I don't often do this myself though. I guess with the advent of fitted sheets it's not so necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm almost as bad, big things first, underwear near the end and always socks last. Had some colorful plastic pegs, but they fell apart, couldn't take the heat here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous1:33 pm BST

    I have never heard the term "peg out" refer to dying before. Here (just north of London) people "peg it"!! I love seeing washing on a line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's more used in the north and to be truthful I don't really use it myself being a midlander, I usually say 'hanging out the washing' but it made for a better title.

      Delete
  6. I am also exactly the same, all your rules also apply to me - as does the "big things first, small at end" rule. :o)
    I use plastic pegs but have several types and they are each used for a different purpose.
    So glad it isn't just me

    ReplyDelete
  7. My mother insisted on screen folding sheets. I don't know why. Do you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of screen folding Lucille. I used to enjoy folding them with my mum though, now I have fitted sheets which are easier all round.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous4:35 pm BST

      My Domestic Science teacher c.1950 taught 'Screen fold of three' when ironing tablecloths - this supposedly helps them to lie flat when unfolded.
      Also vests are pegged sideways. I don't think we were ever told why.

      Delete
    3. Well this is interesting, do you mean fold it like a business letter?

      Delete
    4. My ex's mum insisted on that fold for towels; yes, like a business letter. Weirdly, it seems to get a smoother fold, which is great for my tiny linen cupboard (I am v grateful to have a linen cupboard). My line: socks pegged in pairs on the furthermost part of the line, so they are taken down & paired immediately, which saves oodles of time

      Delete
    5. I peg out the socks in pairs and then pair them together before I unpeg them. Never lost a sock yet……….:-)

      Delete
    6. But, but, fitted sheets, nightmare to fold, even after watching a Youtube video on how to.

      Delete
    7. Screen folding tutorial: Fold in half lengthways. Turn horizontally with folding partner. Fold top layer in half towards the folded edge in the other hand, and grip. Pass the three layers to other hand. Pick up dangling fold ... oh heck I'm going to have to do it and draw the stages. It's too difficult to explain.

      Delete
    8. I think it deserves a blog post Lucille.

      Delete
  8. You could trust me to hang your washing properly as well!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wooden pegs are the best ... and I admit to nipping out and re-hanging certain items if they are not done 'properly'!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hear you!
    I 'peg out' and I'm from North Staffordshire. I am so OCD about it that I've been known to absent-mindedly re-peg a friend's washing while we've talked. I live in a Very Windy Place now, where washing will dry in the rain - provided you can keep it on the line - so a whole new avenue of pegging out behaviour has opened up to me....

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read your post this morning, I realized that your rules for 'pegging out' the laundry were the same as my Mama's rules. My sisters and I learned that doing the 'pegging out' right the first time meant we weren't sent out to do it all over again properly a 2nd or 3rd time, if need be. And, the most serious rule was to never leave the pegs on the line after taking in the dry laundry ! Thank you for your post - it brought back memories of growing up in Southern Oklahoma and made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my God Sue! I have been publicly ridiculed lately for my washing/pegging out/ironing ocd. I no longer allow anyone else to peg out for me. Apart from my mother, who taught me in the first place. I always hang my bedding in the same manner. Ditto for jeans etc. There is nothing better than a line of whites hung properly, and whip cracking in the breeze. As for three loads dry before the school run......
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Does sticking it on top of the radiator count as a domestic skill? I think my mum ironed tea towels which possibly explains my aversion to ironing anything at all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely, Sue. Hanging out the wash is one of those foundational things for me. An everyday occurrence (week-days) and something I turn to with relief when life feels too complicated.

    As I took yet another photograph of my wash on the line yesterday, I realized that I have a blog post within me with all of those photos and all of my favorite "pegging out" scenes from various books I love.

    I will be pinning your top photo to my clothesline board, with admiration that your clothespins are so fresh and new looking. I am sorry to say that I am sometimes neglectful with my laundry and don't always bring it in before a rain comes...so my pegs that start out so brown and golden end up with a greyish cast. When they get too dreary looking, I look for a new set of vintage ones on ebay, always optimistic that I will take better care with the new batch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have added to my list of rules 'always bring the pegs in'! I like what you say about hanging out the wash being a foundational thing. So many everyday tasks have the power to keep us sane don't you think? They may seem trivial but for me they are a the backbone of of a happy life.

      Delete
  15. I love this post, I'm also a laundry control freak, although my freakiness comes out toward the end of the process when I'm folding clothes. My Aunt once told me my folded clothes piles were the flattest she had ever seen. I took this as a compliment but I think she was trying to tell me I spent way too much time on my laundry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, with you on the careful folding - have always referred to this as 'hand ironing' 'whispers'...sometimes, just sometimes, means I can get away without proper ironing! at risk of revealing myself as a laundry slob...

      Delete
  16. Ha Ha, Oh Sue please forgive me for laughing I didn't realise it was a control thing,but i do the same things too, there's a lovely old lady that lives around the corner from me and comments on my lovely pegging out as she can see it from her upstairs bedroom window, she would know when our son was home from uni (without seeing him) as there would be load after load of his stuff pegged out very nicely!
    Thanks Sue
    Sue xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Me too! All of those, plus I hang big things on a line stretched across the garden but it isn't long enough for everything so smaller items go on a rotary. And the 'smalls' go on the inside and are shielded by teatowels hung around the outside to spare onlookers sensitivities, LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I put my knickers behind tea towels. I don't care about everyone else's pants but mine I try to hide, it's not always easy given the size of them.......

      Delete
    2. Me too! And I put my husband's where everyone can see them - and use many more pegs than are strictly necessary, per pair! lol

      Delete
  18. This gave me a giggle. I love hanging my wash in the Shropshire breeze--more like a hurricane if truth be told because we're on a hilltop. I've learned something about hanging jeans-- thanks for that. Your other rules are pretty much mine as well. My mother used the solid wooden pegs without hinges. I see you have some of those as well. My Northern mother-in-law calls it "pegging out. I'm American so I just "hang the wash" to dry. My socks do go missing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who has pegging 'rules' xxx

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like very much that English wooden pegs (those in the second picture), but unfortunately I can't find them here in Italy. Yes, I have my pegging rules too and my famiky knows this.
    Ciao, ciao,
    Miriam

    ReplyDelete
  21. I never peg out washing. Too many awful childhood memories of trying to hang washing when it's 20 below and bringing in clothes that are so frozen they can stand up by themselves. The summer had it's own miseries, as then you had to contend with finding earwigs in the dried clothes and sheets. So ... I use the dryer for everything. But I am just as fanatical about properly folded clothes and about snapping clothes before they go in the dryer to minimize wrinkling. Also, like you, I never lose socks. Not in the washer and not in the dryer. I don't understand how others do. (And I love the phrase, "to join the choir invisible."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh Dear, count me in please, I am, a stickler for pegging out correctly. My undies go in the middle with all the small things and as the washing moves out from the middle so I graduate to bigger items. Things with pockets go inside out, socks are pegged at the opening on one layer so the air can get in. I hang pillow cases inside out as well, I hate the little bits of fluff that get in the corners. If I have to use coloured pegs I can not mix the colours on a single item. There's nowt as queer as folk.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wish I could get my DH to read this! I think he's had enough with just me banging on about it, though.

    ReplyDelete
  24. And I thought I was the only person with pegging out rules. My 5 year old daughter has always helped out when drying clothes by becoming a "peg lady", which means that I ask her for a certain amount of pegs and she counts them out for me, but she does insist on matching colours which does slow me down somewhat. I think I might invest in some wooden ones to stop this happening in future!

    I can highly recommend the IKEA Pressa for hanging out socks on, in the event of a rain shower it saves time un-pegging (is that a word?!) all the many socks, by just unhooking the whole thing in one go.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I thought my pegging was quite neat and logical but I feel like a slacker reading this post, and all the comments. I have my own set ways of hanging out the washing but I don't impose my rules on family and I don't ever re-peg if I am not satisfied with their standards, life is too short and in the end, stuff dries no matter. I do explain the logic behind my pegging and hope for insight.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well they all sou d most perfectly sensible to me! Sadly I have to rely on the work at home other half who deals with the laundry these days and avert my eyes!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a laugh, very similar rules here too, poor hubby is the worst 'hanger outer' going, sleeves still rolled in, one leg in, one leg out!! Especially when it is raining and the indoor aired has to be employed....pegging out is definitely a job for me to do......only x

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have very similar rules and include the hiding of smalls as described above. But I am very very fussy about stretching and straightening because I really really dislike ironing and I have found good pegging out technique makes it possible to avoid it altogether. A lazy ironer makes a fussy pegger :) and with this comment, a bad typist first thing in the morning makes a fussy editor!

    ReplyDelete
  29. our GP suggested not drying laundry outside as one of the ways of controlling the dreadful hay fever both children suffer from. it seems such a shame but I do think it works......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I am feeling guilty about George's hayfever. Have I been making it worse?

      Delete
  30. Nope, you're not the only one, I do it just like you, I am most particular. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous11:05 pm BST

    I peg out the same as you, but a tip my mum gave me was to turn clothes inside out before pegging so that the sun won't fade the colour or pattern.

    Tasha T

    ReplyDelete
  32. You are definitely not the only one! What a lovely post... And as for stacking the dishwasher......

    ReplyDelete
  33. My mum could beat that, Sue, she insisted on the RIGHT COLOUR PEGS for each item. It drove me mad! But she got so much pleasure from standing at the kitchen window watching the washing blowing dry on the line. So sad that now she is in a care home none of this happy domesticity is hers any more.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Alas Sue, I don't have any outdoor laundry drying possibilities. But...if I did, every single one of your drying rules seems totally logical, and full of common sense.

    Wooden pegs, definitely the way to go.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  35. You are not the only one...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh yes - all that and more - if I've plenty of time and the sun is shining I like to colour co-ordinate, so maybe start with boring black items then end those with black socks with red in them so then red stuff, and so on. I love to see plastic pegs for sale in rainbow packs, but resist buying them as they break so easily - and I love my wooden ones. What I really have a problem with is whirly-gig washing lines - they drive me nuts - back-breaking to put up, and I'm prone to throttling myself at the putting up or down stage, and if it's windy they whip round and whack you on the head. I much prefer a line, if I have space.
    Another thing my mum used to do was wipe the line before she hung anything out - in the days when everyone had a coal fire - and she had a fit if someone had a fire that sent 'smuts' into the air and onto her damp washing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Dad still wipes the line every time he uses it, even though it is totally clean!

      Delete
  37. They sound like reasonable rules to me... Ones that I adopt but the rest of the family don't. I have learned to resist the urge to say anything or re-hang items because then I find they stop helping.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree with everything except bottoms are pegged up side down but the legs on my line! I am such a laundry freak I almost miss having nappies drying in the sun...

    ReplyDelete
  39. I didn't realize my Mum held pegging lessons outside the home! I do all those things and more. Bath towels must have three pegs in them. I never hang white synthetics in the sun, as they 'burn', being made from the by-products of petrol, and I am in Oz. The one rule I break is that I hang socks by the top, not the toe, as I think if there's a breeze they will balloon in it. And I always, always fold my washing at the line as I un-peg. Pegs must not be left on the line!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous11:33 am BST

    I am so sad. When I am hanging out the washing, as well as your rules, items must be facing me if you see what I mean! Also tea towels etc with images on must be upright! No upside down cats here!! Offf for therapy now!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have coloured plastic pegs, they must not clash with the clothes they are holding on the line. I also put underwear on the inside of the rotary line and tee shirts on the outside. so pleased to find I'm not the only person with washing rules.

    ReplyDelete
  42. One day I was driving by a house where the owners were obviously moving and had put out hundreds (literally!) of plastic hangers for recycling. I threw about 200 in my car and now I can hang all shirts on hangers, then hang the hangers on the line using pegs as spacers! They can then go right into the closets - happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous4:20 pm BST

    I think you should go back to teaching. That way you can teach others about your ways and also give yourself something to think about. Only joking. I know it's important really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only pegging out was on the national curriculum, I'm sure it's the answer to all our woes.

      Delete
  44. My father in law is going to "snuff it" . We know this as he reminds us daily!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew I'd miss one. Sadly my father-in-law has rubbed out.

      Delete
  45. i'm afraid i disagree with point 5. all trousers and shorts have to be hung by the bottoms of the legs, but skirts by the waistland.

    Hubby has an annoying habit of hanging tops by the shoulders and folding dresses in half over the line (i often conveniently adjust when i go to 'check theyre drying'... at least he tries

    ReplyDelete
  46. I started to get a bit freaked out reading this as my pegging out is exactly the same. But then reading that many others do the same, think that perhaps it is just the most logical way of getting the clothes dry and flat fast. I am so controlling I fold and pack the basket in order of the bedrooms I visit, dropping off the pile at the door for the owners to put away. This is still work-in-progress for the SmallBeans...
    To slide off the dish is my favourite. Turn up your toes is another.
    Really enjoyed this post, ax

    ReplyDelete
  47. I always 'hang out the washing' the way that my Mother taught me.It is the same as yours, but we do have coloured pegs as well as wooden ones, and they have to be matched to certain items which is a nightmare but I can't stop doing it.Never leave the pegs out on the line because that is what lazy,dirty people do,my Mother's words I hasten to add.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think you hit the nail on the head Sue - injecting a bit of fun into all the mundane everyday tasks is definitely good - I too like a bit of tea towel snapping before pegging out. Your laundry pegging rules make perfect sense to me and are pretty much the same ones that I follow, maybe it just takes years of experience to appreciate their honed effectiveness!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I don't know how I missed this post Sue. How reassuring to know I'm not the only one who has these rules. I've found it quite tough over the last few weeks as I had a foot operation and had to leave the laundry to my husband. He has been fantastic at getting everything done, but I was quite pleased to get back to "proper" pegging out! It's the little things in life! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  50. Chuckling to myself, your rules are my rules! Even down to to the re-arranging of others' attempts at washing line artistry!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Pati from London1:43 pm BST

    Love this post, Sue! I am not that strict with the laundry but I am with the ironing.... Apart from undies, everything gets ironed here, like my mum does..... I love the feeling of sleeping on a perfectly ironed bed even if it only lasts a day..... Most people think I'm a freak when it comes to it but I do enjoy it...:-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh, this did make me laugh because I am exactly the same! I have my washing line etiquette and must stick to it. Also, I have to hang like things next to like ie all pants together, all T shirts together. woe betide if I find a stray item at the bottom of the laundry basket. I have been known to rearrange the whole washing line to accommodate it next to its fellows. I also re-hang my daughter's washing line when I'm visiting. I once called in unannounced only to find her not in. She telephoned me later and said sorry she was out but she knew I had called round because the washing line had been rearranged!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Oh Sue, I know I'm late to the party here but I just had to say YES and that you are right on all points, especially #5. It pains me that my parents peg things out the opposite way when they come to stay and I'm afraid I do walk behind them re-pegging things. I am also very fussy about how the dishwasher is stacked as (obviously) my way is most efficient.

    An altogether excellent post. It's great to take joy in the humdrum, domestic chores that we all must do.

    ReplyDelete
  54. What a great post though obviously I am a complete loser with socks, lol, as wherever we have lived, UK or US, I have had a basket of odds. I have one of those sock holders, very useful. Most of the drying is done in the machine here as just too cold in the winter to dry properly.

    ReplyDelete
  55. This was a very apt post. I find pegging out washing hugely relaxing and soothing and love it when the forecast is good and I can plan huge amounts of washing. Little things like this make me happy.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh, I wish I still had the ability hanging out the washing! Nowadays, it all gets put on hangers and left on a rail in the studio to dry. Not allowed to hang washing in my area!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Fabulous Post Sue! I follow all of your rules plus if I'm pegging out a bunch of towels I use just 1 peg for the corner of towels that are next to each other, if you know what I mean. I'm frugal with my pegs and don't like to see a row of towels with a gap between them. Your euphemisms had me laughing out loud - I've never heard of the phrase 'rubbed out" but our Budgie "snuffed it" last week...Mel x

    ReplyDelete
  58. How lovely to find someone just as obsessed with the washing line as I am. All my rules are the same as yours but I must also have matching pegs on each item. Obviously my family think I am bonkers.

    ReplyDelete

The Quince Tree All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger