Top tips for hanging out in small spaces this winter

If you live in a flat or compact-sized house, there is often much less space to hang out your laundry, leading to new and inventive ways to get clothes on the line during the cold and wet winter months.

"Now, more than ever, Australians are looking for compact solutions that are easy to set up, durable and will help avoid high electricity bills," says Natasha D'Cruz from Hills' parent company, AMES Australasia.

Here, Natasha shares flexible ways to do your laundry that won't put your home style on the line.

Use the elements

Whether you hang your clothes on a line or an airer, always consider two important elements, airflow and heat. In small houses, it's especially important to give your laundry, space to dry to avoid damp. Spreading clothes out across a few extra racks will help air pass between items and carry away evaporated moisture, reducing drying times.

Any heat will encourage evaporation, but that doesn't have to mean putting on the heater. Try lining up an airer next to an oven, or hot water system (if it is easily accessible inside). Alternatively, try under central heating vents - every little bit helps.

Design for Damp

Heated towel rails are ideal for drying clothes, especially overnight to take advantage of off-peak electricity pricing. This gives you the added advantage of having moisture in a room designed for damp conditions. However, wherever you choose to dry your clothes make sure air is circulating to avoid mould.

There's no rule that says you have to hang your clothes in the same space. Mobile airers allow you to move your drying around the home.

Squash into small wet areas

Placing an airer in the bath or a large shower unit will also avoid clothes dripping on the floor, perfect for hand washed laundry which tends to be more water logged. Options such as the Hills Premium Extendable Airer (pictured) are a perfect solution as their telescopic arms offer an adjustable width to squash down into smaller spaces.

Keep your clothes on the go

There's no rule that says you have to hang your clothes in the same space. Mobile airers allow you to move your drying around the home. For example, they can be set up in the living area while you're out at work and then wheeled into the bedroom with the clothes still on them when you want to watch TV. Better yet, the unit can be put on a balcony by day and quickly wheeled in if it starts to rain.

Prevent puddles

Retractable lines over baths or in shower units will stop messy puddles from forming. Hills double or single retractable clotheslines are easily installed at one end of the room, the line is then extended out to an opposite wall and retracts back out of sight when not needed. Additional wall fittings can also be used to allow the line to reach the opposite wall and then return back, doubling the hanging space.

Quick wash drying

If you do a small amount of laundry very frequently, such as gym wear or school uniforms, consider using compact retractable lines in alfresco areas, balconies or over kitchen sinks. Miniature, retractable options can be set up in go-to spots for regular use and are installed in just three easy steps. Twin and four lines are perfect for cosier spaces. They also work brilliantly as back ups when you have an extra-large load of laundry to get dry.

Look to the skies (or at least the ceiling)

For a really smart space saving solution, forget floor space and look up. There are now innovative clotheslines that open up ceiling space and are perfectly suited to garages and covered outdoor areas. These lines feature one frame with a number of lines that is hoisted up on all four corners by a central pulley.

Hills indoor laundry and clothesline range is available at Bunnings stores and online at bunnings.com.au.