Laundry Lint: It’s For the Birds!

Laundry Lint

Mesh bag of laundry lint, high in a tree

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is just five weeks away.  Within three months of that, we’ll be enjoying spring.Time is wasting!

I save our laundry lint year round, but if you are just getting started you’ll have a few months to amass your collection. I keep a bag in a cupboard above the dryer.  After each load of laundry, I sweep the lint trap and add it to the bag.  It’s a great way to re-purpose what you might otherwise throw in the trash, and a fun way to attract birds to your garden.

As spring approaches, I fluff up the collection and fill the mesh bags I’ve saved from apples or onions. My boys loved this activity when they were young, but now I’m on my own!

Once you fill the bags with laundry fluff, secure them high in a tree. You can also wedge the bags near the top of the eaves.  One year I tied one to an empty swing frame. You lint bag should be sheltered from the elements and away from predators.  Locating them near feeders or water sources helps too.  Whatever you can do to make it easy for birds to find the laundry lint, the better.

A bright red bag of laundry lint, tied with a bow, also makes a fun and funny gift topper for your nature-loving friends.  They’ll think you’re crazy, then they’ll laugh and come spring they’ll be smiling and thanking you as they hang the lint in a nearby tree.

Laundry lint: it’s for the birds!

Mourning Doves

Nesting Mourning Doves

Additional Resources

A (Laundry) Room with a View

Lindy-Lu Enjoys the View

For most of my adult life I lived in rented apartments. Dingy laundry rooms and laundromats were the norm. I once spent an hour with a police officer outside a Santa Rosa laundromat trying to reason with the woman who stole an entire dryer-full of my clothes. I managed to get everything back.

In 1996, my husband and I bought a house together with a washer and dryer hook-up in the garage. I figured life couldn’t get better than that.  Sure, we had rats and cockroaches out there, and it got pretty hot mid-July, but I didn’t have to leave home to make clothes clean. Life was good.

When we remodeled our house seven years ago, the architect suggested an indoor laundry room as part of the expansion and my heart did a little dance. It would be a laundry room with a view! Our small-lot house is a mere five feet from the neighbor’s fence, but oh the possibilities. The windowed door looks out on three glorious vines, Hardenbergia and two Star Jasmine. Cyclamen grow along the side of the house and Baby Tears have infiltrated the walkway, their tiny leaves tucked in close to the stone.  The greenery keeps me company as I wash, dry and fold for my family of four, an earthy reminder of the bounty of life’s gifts.