My Amazing, Portable, and FREE Drying Rack

Late last month, my husband and I made the dramatic decision to simplify our lives. The decision happened within 48 hours. One day, we lived in our condo with no plans of moving until our daughter was in Elementary school. 48 hours later, we were sitting in our new small apartment, 30 miles away (but just 5 minutes from our family). We are now in the process of selling/donating 75% of our belongings in hopes of removing clutter from our lives and gain a little control. We just needed to simplify our lives. We were swimming in crap.

Our new goal is to not spend money on extra crap. We’ve learned our lesson there (I wish I were brave enough to show you pictures of our old garage!). Any time I saw a gadget or something, I just had to have it. Or if I had a problem, I needed to run to the store to buy something to fix it…like now. 

So you can imagine my dilemma when I noticed that our dryer was EATING THROUGH my diapers, including my Ragababes, the one diaper I most definitely want for babies #3, #4, etc (OK, I don’t plan on an etc.).  So I knew I had to start hang drying. So I researched, antsy to buy any kind of drying rack. I have been itching to go to Target (which I have found to be my deathtrap store) so I could get a drying rack.

But it hit me. I am going against everything I believed in when I made this move. I looked around my house to see what I could do. I don’t have a string and clothespins….so I did this:

The best part is…it was free. I just grabbed some hangers. The other great part is it is portable. I can have it both outside and inside.

I’m sure someone out there has done this before too. I just think we need to share these discoveries a little more. I worry we give off the perception that cloth diapering necessitates a bunch of necessary gizmos and gadgets. Sure, those things are fun, but if we need to simplify for some reason (i.e. finances or avoiding being featured on Hoarders – my biggest fear), I encourage you to take a second and think of what you would do if you absolutely couldn’t get that item. You may be surprised!

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
  • Mallory T

    I used to do this all the time, then I bought this http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80189663/ at Ikea for $5, now I just take it outside or hang it up inside

  • Heather

    I have a sweet drying rack now but before I did I just hung the diapers off whatever was around. Chairs, tables, the fence if it was outside. For the flats and handwashing challenge last year I took a piece of rope that we already had and strung it up from the shower stall to the towel bar and back to make a clothesline. When we went to Cuba on vacation and had to handwash and hang dry diapers I was hanging them off lamps, every surface available in the hotel room. The cleaning people must have thought we were insane.

  • http://idontrememberwhatiforgot.blogspot.com/ Megan

    I don’t know what events led you to make that decision of simplifying your life but I think it’s great! In my house, if we don’t use it or it doesn’t have major sentimental value it’s out (even then I might take pictures and then donate if it’s in good shape)! I realize I know where pretty much everything is because it’s not cluttered and easily accessible. And for me, physical clutter is mental clutter.

    Also, I really like your drying idea! I’ve been using a drying rack that is falling apart (but being held up with rubber bands)! It may not look pretty but it works (and didn’t cost me $20 to fix or replace)!

    Good Luck!
    Megan

  • http://www.shakymommy.com Brandi Elam

    LOL at avoiding being featured on hoarders. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad!

    I agree that we don’t need gizmos. For example, I was sure I’d need a diaper sprayer when my son started solids. But then he started and I’ve made do with dunking and swishing and sometimes rinsing in the bathroom sink. I don’t think a diaper sprayer would save me too much time over what I’m doing, and around here, time is as precious as money is and I’d like to conserve both.

    I’m grateful to someone who posted a blog about making fleece liners for diapers. I don’t remember where I read it, but even I was able to make them from an old fleece blanket that was no longer being used. Mine don’t look as nice as the Bummis liners we bought when I first started using cloth (I can’t cut in a straight line to save my life!!), but they work just as well, and the best part is I have plenty of them now and it didn’t cost me a thing!

  • Sarah

    I also do the hanger trick but hang them from the shower curtain rod.

  • http://blessdmomof4-blessdmomof4.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    This is a great idea. I use hangers in my basement too. I like the ones w/ clips for pants best. I hadn’t thought to use them outside too.

  • http://www.ahandinthenow.blogspot.com Heather

    That’s a GREAT idea!

  • Heidi

    Hey I do this too! I use clothespins and can fit 5-6 covers on one hanger. Most of the time, they hang right above my washing machine. Doesn’t get any easier.

  • Shayla

    You can go to a dept store (jcpenney, macy’s, etc) and get their pants hangers, with the clips, and dry easily that way too. The hangers are free. They like to give them away :)

  • amanda

    I often just lay the diapers over our patio chairs. Works amazing and only takes about an hour to dry and get the stains out! I put them over the shower door at night when I don’t want to put them outside.

  • Michelle

    We have done this also. I have my covers outside on a hanger stuck to an old porch swing chain! As far as Hoarders, every single time it comes on or I see a commercial for it- I tell my husband “see, I’m not that bad!!!”

  • Lissa

    Christmas 2010, my dryer stopped working mid cycle. I panicked a bit at first. I even cried! But then I came to my senses and discovered how liberating I found using my old drying rack was. I forgot about it, sitting in my basement until then. I get the kids involved in it too. Great learning experience for them. Not only are they learning to do laundry, but they are also learning how to conserve energy and money. I’ll admit, I never thought of using hangers. I think I will try that now!

  • Jenn

    We are in the process of doing the SAME thing! Lucky for me I have more than 48 hrs. I applaud you in your move! I’m reading a book called, Simplicity Parenting, in hopes that by simplifying our home and lives, my child(ren) will benefit! I swear this book has been quite a help to me. I have it on my Nook if you want to borrow it! Btw, I know you don’t want to spend, but I bought a circular drying rack thingy from ikea for $4.99 and it works awesome! You know the kind that looks like an octopus with clips? Just a thought!

  • Tiffany T

    Your statement, “I worry we give off the perception that cloth diapering necessitates a bunch of necessary gizmos and gadgets” made me think about one of my classic arguments against how cloth diapering is perceived to be so extremely less expensive than disposables. You hear all these numbers about the price of diapers, but I think sometimes those who cloth diaper are not honest about all the accessories they buy in order to cloth diaper – wet bags, cloth wipes, wipes solution, diapers in their stash that they don’t really need but the pattern was too cute to resist and on and on. Those things add up too! Probably not to the price of diapering with disposables, but it definitely needs to be accounted for. And once accounted for I bet the margin is narrower then you think. But then again I didn’t pay to put my daughter in disposable diapers for the first two years of her life or my son for the first 6 months! And even now with two in diapers, I might only pay for every third box! Oh and I have never paid for wipes! So of course I am a cynic when it comes to the cost of diapering in general…. :-)

    • Tara
    • http://twitter.com/LeettleBaby Leettle Baby Blog

      Actually, when I first started…I went “old school”. Here is what I spent :

      24 prefolds seconds – $40.00
      3 (2 qty) packs of waterproof pants – $6.00
      2 (4 pack) pins – $2.00
      1 pail liner – $10.00

      So, for under $60 I bought my son’s entire diaper stash, which was entirely funded buy returning case of Huggies that I received as a gift.

      Of course, as my baby grew, I had to upgrade to one size covers which were between $7-$11 each depending on brand. However, if I really wanted to (because I did develop a small fluff addiction) I could have spent UNDER $200.00 for my son’s stash from birth to potty including all accessories…which were passed down to his brother :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/LeettleBaby Leettle Baby Blog

    I did this once when my dryer died…my neighbors thought I was crazy, they were like “you actually WASH and REUSE your kids diapers?” ;-)

  • Laura P

    Love this… so simple, yet I never thought of it! I think this is a great option for me… I just need to install a clothes rack (like in the closet) above the washer and then I can hang dry my diapers! Thanks!

    We live in a one bedroom apartment, and everyone always asks us when we’re moving… But we love it here! We’re forced to simply, like you said… and it’s awesome.

  • Renee

    I’ve hung diapers and inserts on hangers to dry before as well. It works! I may have to do it again when I visit my parents for the holidays.

  • Renee Ashley

    great idea!

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  • Samantha

    I don’t have any sort of drying rack or clothes line but I hang dry things all over the place with clothes pins and it works just fine!

  • Laura

    We live in a teeny tiny place, too, and try to make do on one income. I got a drying rack for $5 from Craigslist and it’s awesome! I often see them in thrift stores, too.