My mom taught me to make my bed early on. Somewhere along the way I let go of the habit. I guess I just came to see it as a pointless chore. Why spend the time and effort to make the bed if I was just going to undo it in a few hours? I was usually rushing every morning and the last thing on my mind was making the bed. I reserved the bed making for when we had company.
Right about the time when I was preparing to launch as a professional organizer I was in the process of regaining control of our master bedroom. I made the decision to get back into the habit of making the bed every morning. The decision came from the idea to set up a system for myself that would help me maintain our master bedroom in order. The bed in most rooms is the largest piece of furniture. Therefore, it also becomes the focal point of the room.
I knew I had to reprogram myself to make the bed every day. Whenever you are in the process of building a new habit you also need to create an accountability system that will help you track progress. To keep myself accountable I added the task of making the bed to my daily routine list. It’s a simple system that allows me to see my progress on a weekly and daily basis. Since it’s low tech I also get the satisfaction of checking off the completed task or action.
Making the bed now is an automatic task for me. I didn’t notice at first but this humble task has helped me in ways I didn’t expect.
It gave me a small win every day
Making the bed every morning gave me a sense of satisfaction in accomplishing something every day even if it was something so small.
It made me keep the room tidy
If the bed is made then anything else out of place is much more noticeable. I am less likely to leave things out of place.
It helped me develop other habits
It feels so good to go into a tidy bedroom at the end of the day. I feel like weight just rolls off. Once I was familiar with that feeling I wanted to feel that in other areas too.
It made getting in bed at night easier
I really didn’t think that making the bed could make a difference in getting in bed at night. It actually does. I don’t tuck sheets because I like the freedom to wrap my feet with them. In the morning the sheet and the blanket are usually tangled. If I don’t make the bed it means I am having a kicking fight with the sheets to straighten them out so I can tuck my feet. It’s exhausting and it’s the last thing I want to do when I go to bed. If the bed is made I can just go into bed without having the wrestle with the covers.
Start making your bed (if you don’t)
- Just start. Don’t wait for the perfect conditions. Maybe your bedroom is in disarray or it doesn’t quite function as you would like it to. Set all that aside and just start. Like a puzzle, the pieces will start coming together. Once you start experiencing the satisfaction of a made bed your brain will kick into gear and start thinking up ways to address the other issues.
- Forget perfection. It’s not about the best made bed. It’s about getting into the habit and challenging yourself to grow. Once the habit becomes second nature then you can start getting fancy and creative.
- You don’t need a headboard or all the extra fancy pillows for the bed to look complete. Use what you already have.
- Want to feel happier? Start making your bed. Apparently there was a study that showed correlation between making your bed and feeling happy overall.
- U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven has a great take on why you should start making your bed. Some of it goes like this: