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Making the Bed

May
19


I used to be in the habit of making my bed every morning. Not particularly the first minute I bounced out of it (bounced could be a slight creative exaggeration), but at least sometime in the morning. It was like my house felt undressed if the bed wasn’t made–even if nobody was going to see it. Even if kids were running around tossing action figures left and right, a sippy cup was spilled across the coffee table, and the sink was full of dishes, if the bed was made, I felt tidy. Inside. Secretly. It made me feel organized and together. I was proud of my made-up bed, which made me feel good about myself. And at night, when I was tired, I didn’t have to face a twisted pile of sheets and covers that needed fixing before I could flop into it.


Nowadays, mornings are my busiest time of the day. I’m up somewhere between 5 and 6 a.m. If I have time before the kids have to get to the bus, I start taking care of milk from the day before. If not, I take care of it after getting home from the bus. I skim cream, dividing out the light and heavy, and decide what I’m going to do with the milk. I wash dishes and get ready for milking. I make butter, if there’s cream ready for it. I set up the milking machine, milk the cow, wash up after, and see about the other animals. Morning means a couple hours of busy farm work. By that time, sometimes I wish somebody had made the bed so I could just go get in it! But it’s usually about 8 or 9 a.m. so it’s probably a good thing it’s not made because I’ve got other stuff to do and a whole day yet ahead of me. It’s actually a good time to make the bed–because later, much later, I’ll be much more tired.

And I want to walk around smug all day knowing my bed is made. I want to feel organized and together. Secretly. And I don’t want to face a twisted pile of sheets and covers at night.

Making the bed is akin to doing the dishes–you’re going to have to do it all over again, and soon. It’s an impermanent act. However, I also think it’s one of the most simple yet satisfying things you can do each day. It only takes a few minutes to go from rumpled disarray to serene order. Not much else straightens up that fast, and somehow in that miniscule accomplishment, you can find the seed of larger accomplishments. “I made the bed. Now what?” No telling what you might accomplish next now that you feel so productive and disciplined.

And even if you don’t do anything next, you still get to feel productive and disciplined!

I’ve started working on getting myself back into the habit of making the bed early in the day. I have a lot to do all day, and I need all the encouragement I can get. Making the bed encourages me. It says, “You can get things done.” It gives me a sense of order, even if I’m the only one who knows about it. Making the bed not only provides–literally–a soft place to land, it’s a positive affirmation about your entire day. It’s a calming, methodical procedure that can’t be rushed. You can only pick up one corner of the sheet at a time. And when it’s done, it says, “This is today, and it is good.”

Go make your bed!
Hospital corners not required.

P.S. I also, always, keep an uncluttered bedside table. Lamp. Clock. Kindle. Nothing else. What’s on your bedside table? (It’s probably subconsciously interfering with your rest. Clean it up!)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 19, 2011  

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  1. 5-19
    3:38
    am

    I couldn’t have put it better myself :D (Other than all that milking, seeing to the animals and school bus of course!) :lol: :lol:

  2. 5-19
    5:55
    am

    I think the bed is more comfortable when it’s been made all day and not just before I get in it. Crazy, and probably all in my head, but it gets my bed made :)

  3. 5-19
    6:32
    am

    :sun: My whole house could be a mess but my bed must be made!
    It just makes me feel better.
    On my side basket table is my coffee, kindle and purse.
    Got to have a made Bed and all is ok in my world. :)
    Granny Trace
    p.s you are on very very busy woman!!

    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  4. 5-19
    6:37
    am

    Thank you, Suzanne, for writing this explanation about bed-making. I have ALWAYS felt this way but could never pinpoint why that early morning act of making the bed felt so good and so right! I just thought it was because I come from a long line of women who made the bed before they left the bedroom each morning. My grandmother rose at 2 am every morning (I’m not kidding you) and if you wanted breakfast, you better be up at 4 am ’cause it would be on the table at that time. (Miss it and you didn’t eat til lunch.)Her bed was MADE before she left the bedroom. Not just straightened but MADE. My mother learned from her (she didn’t rise at 2 am, tho) and I learned from my mother. There are some things that must be done and this is one of them.
    My very small night stand has a lamp, a stack of books (old-fashioned Kindle) and that’s it.

  5. 5-19
    6:42
    am

    One more comment….I get up at 4:15 am four days a week to go to work. My husband leaves later and, God bless him, he makes the bed before he leaves. We’ve been married just 7 years and I think he thought my bed-making was a bit odd but he’s come around and he’s a darn good bed maker now.

  6. 5-19
    6:45
    am

    I make my bed as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning. I get a very satisfied feeling when I’m going through the house and happen to glance in my room and see the bed all made up. I love the bedding we have, (I’m a sucker for quilts of all forms)it’s simple, but pretty, and comforting both to sleep in and to look at.

  7. 5-19
    8:03
    am

    On my bedside stand I have a box of tissues and a stack of books and bookmarks. That’s all that’ll fit.

  8. 5-19
    8:29
    am

    I’m with you, Suzanne. I’m a bed-maker from way back. If my bed doesn’t get made, it gives me the impression that something is WAY out of order, like if someone came into my house they’d think, “Hmmm, something is WRONG here….” And that’s exactly the way it makes me feel! WRONG! I’ve wondered if I was maybe a little crazy for feeling this way, but now thanks to you and the posters I feel quite normal!! And yes, my whole house can be a wreck but if the bed’s made, there is hope!

  9. 5-19
    8:34
    am

    I make the bed as soon as my feet hit the floor. My husband thinks it’s humorous. He says that several years ago when one of my kids got sick in the middle of the night, I hurriedly jumped out of bed to take care of her, but pulled the covers up and straightened them before leaving the room. In the middle of the night! I wasn’t even conscious of it.
    My night stand has a lamp and stack of books…sometimes ear rings and hair clips I remove just before going to sleep.
    I’m happy to learn that others do the bed making thing.

  10. 5-19
    8:36
    am

    I too agree that having the bed made just makes everything FEEL better in the house. My mother taught us to make our bed as soon as we got up, and one NEVER left the house for the day with the beds unmade.

    All that is on my nightstand is my alarm clock and a small flashlight (we have lots of power outages in my rural KY area).

  11. 5-19
    8:51
    am

    I would make the bed first thing in the morning if the dog would deign to get up when I do. And, if once I make the bed, the precious furry beast would not remake it to suit her whims. I know I could ban her from the bedroom during the day, I did that with previous dogs, but this rescue is still healing from emotional scars and I just don’t have the heart. (Yes, she has her own bed which she does use. And toys on the floor… ) So I’d have to say up until Portia arrived, I was an early bed maker, but no more.
    Lamp, phone, book(s) glasses.

  12. 5-19
    8:51
    am

    Last one out of the bed makes it. Not as soon as we are out of it, but usually shortly after getting up and getting COFFEE. I agree that it lends for a “tidy” kept up feeing, even if there are other states of choas from daily living!

    What’s on my nightstand? A lamp, the tv remote, and of course, cat hair. I can not dust enough to prevent THAT. :)

  13. 5-19
    9:15
    am

    I make my bed first thing, right after I get out of it. The cats have been waiting for me to get up so they can take it over you see. Then I put an extra blanket out for them to lay on, so they aren’t laying directly on my bedding. It’s easier to wash that than my duvet cover every week. My nightstand holds a reading lamp, a coaster for my water, a pencil, a small tablet of paper, and my Kindle. :yes:

  14. 5-19
    9:17
    am

    I need to make my bed, too. When things get hectic, it is so much easier to deal with when I feel I am operating from a place of order. As you say, it’s a mental thing. When I’ve created order in one place, I feel confident in my ability to handle much bigger things. Some people seem to thrive on chaos, but I’m not one of them. Sometimes I’ve wondered if they don’t simply have some underlying system of order that I don’t see from the outside. On my bedside table: a lamp, clock and box of tissues. I use the top drawer for anything else I want to keep handy.

  15. 5-19
    9:18
    am

    I agree completely. The day just goes better if the bed is made. I put a clean sheet over my comforter or bedspread because I have 2 cats who love to lay on the bed. So, there can be a lot of cat hair there. It is easier to launder the sheet when it gets covered with cat hair, than having to launder a big comforter or bedspread. Funny, even the cats don’t sleep on the bed unless it is made. I think they secretly feel better if the bed is made too. However, it does not help them to be more productive! :lol:

  16. 5-19
    9:22
    am

    I feel “undone” all day if my bed is not made. I get up before my husband, and I always straighten my side even with him still in there! Lol! I love taking care of things first thing in the morning, then I can contently get on with my day. :purpleflower:

  17. 5-19
    9:51
    am

    My bed gets made half way whn I get up with BO still in it and Ellie (our dog) on top of the covers. Keeps Ellie off the sheets on my side and when I take him coffee and get them up I can make the rest of the bed.
    My night table has a bottle of face cream and a clock on the top and deoderant and kleenex on the bottom. I completely tore up the room about 3 days ago and moved and cleaned so it is tidy. I feel the same except I have to have the kitchen cleaned also. I can’t stand to work outside all day and come in to cook and the sink has dishes in it or the counters messy. I have too much kitchen stuff to do and milk to care for just like you do. I now have 4 cows and have customers to care for with milk, butter, cheese and cream. I have to have a clean kitchen for me even if not for them.

  18. 5-19
    9:57
    am

    And herein I find the core of what makes me different from so MANY of the women on this site. It’s not that I have no cows, it’s not that I don’t raise goats, or chickens, and it’s not that I love to use box mixes instead of cooking from scratch.

    I HATE TO MAKE THE BED. I USUALLY FLAT OUT REFUSE TO DO IT. I like my sheets aired out during the day, and it doesn’t even make the list of “crap I gotta do” unless the inlaws are coming over for dinner.

    All of the wonderful things that you write about Suzanne make me a HUGE fan! But in this case I must glory in our differences. :wave:

  19. 5-19
    10:12
    am

    I prefer our bed to be made, but it rarely happens. Our room is a disaster area right now, with no hope for it being clean anytime soon… and I would probably sprain an ankle trying to make our bed right now.

  20. 5-19
    10:20
    am

    Ideally, I like to make my bed first thing, too. The cats are not always on board with that idea, however, giving me dirty “You don’t seriously expect us to *move*, do you?” looks the minute I start fluffing the pillows. Eventually, though, I run them off, make the bed, then — like someone above mentioned — lay a folded up blanket across the duvet so it doesn’t look like a fur throw after two days. :no:

    But I agree — I feel so much more put together if the bed’s made. And when my “office” was still in my bedroom making the bed was mandatory — I work so much better in an orderly environment.

    My nightstand: Lamp, clock, box of tissues, reading material.

  21. 5-19
    10:44
    am

    I do love a freshly made bed; it does feel different somehow to slip between sheets that have been smooth and neat all day than rumpled ones that get straightened out just before hopping back into them. That said, it’s a lovely old habit that I rarely keep to any more. With the lovely bedding I dress it with, I really should enjoy the simple pleasure of making it up daily. Thanks for the inspiration.

    My nightstands are fairly large, and I have one on each side of the bed. One holds an antique wash basin and pitcher, lamp, and my current knitting project. The other has my late mother’s jewelry box, a stuffed toy from childhood, a beautiful old china night lamp that was my mother’s and then mine as a child, water, books, and cell phone.

  22. 5-19
    10:50
    am

    Before getting a dog, I *never* made my bed. I always had to as a kid, but never did as an adult. I like letting the sheets breathe…the human body puts out a lot of moisture over the course of the night, and I don’t like to encourage the dust mites by hindering airflow. ;)

  23. 5-19
    10:57
    am

    Well forget Flylady, all I need is Suzanne and her commenters to get me going :happyfeet: thanks for the inspiration this morning ladies! :hug:

  24. 5-19
    10:59
    am

    I make my bed before I do anything else–I think it feels good to stretch across it first thing–I have trained hubby well too–he leaves way earlier than I do and he makes his side with me still in bed!!! :snoopy:
    My nightstand is an antique dresser, so it has a lot on it, photos of the kids, lamp, bowl for hair scrunchies and reading glasses, weather radio (this is tornado alley!!) phone, cell phone plugged in, books, and a flower arrangement flower arrangement

  25. 5-19
    11:07
    am

    I need to make my bed every day. I wait until after I have my morning coffee and computer time. I throw the blankets back when I crawl out to let them air. When I go back to get dressed, I make the bed. You can see my bed from the back entry door. I wouldn’t want anyone to see my unmade bed. I learned from my mother to make my bed everyday. My daughter learned it from me too. The night stand holds my lamp, an angel, and books.
    MN MONA

  26. 5-19
    11:08
    am

    MADE!!! And my nightstand is the same as yours but I have a Nook and a bottle of water.

  27. 5-19
    11:34
    am

    I at least smooth my side of the bed when I first get up….often DH and the doggies are still in it at the time. Sometimes he finishes the job when he gets up, sometimes I do it when I see everyone has vacated the area. I positively HATE crawling into an unmade bed at night. Might as well try to sleep in the laundry basket!

    My nightstand has a lamp, two ‘real’ books, my e-reader, a pair of reading specs so I can take out the one contact lens I wear during the daytime to read when I get into bed, and a bottle of water.

  28. 5-19
    11:57
    am

    I don’t have a side table… it’s a bit spartan in my bedroom (not on purpose.
    )

  29. 5-19
    12:01
    pm

    Ever since I was a little girl I’ve made my bed when i first wake up (unless I’m washing the sheets that day). It just feels like a great way to start the day to me!

  30. 5-19
    12:04
    pm

    I would like a made bed but I get up and leave long before my husband. He doesn’t make the bed. I do try to fluff the covers before I crawl in at night, making them all nice and smooth. My bedside table is two barstools right now. I have the phone, a lamp, my Kindle, my cell phone which doubles as my alarm clock and my glass of water.

    I have no clue why I still have a landline! Well, yes I do. My father is older and set in his ways. If he needs something he much prefers to call the landline. I’ll keep it as long as I need for him.

  31. 5-19
    12:14
    pm

    What a delightfully reminiscent posting!

  32. 5-19
    1:09
    pm

    I love a freshly made bed, but only get it when I put on fresh sheets. Once I leave the room in the morning, I rarely enter it again until bedtime. Out of sight- out of mind, I guess.

    My nightstand contains a lamp, lotion, remote, and glass of water.

  33. 5-19
    1:37
    pm

    I’ve always told my friends and family that if they can’t find me, and my bed’s unmade and there are dirty dishes in the sink, ALERT THE AUTHORITIES, because I’ve been abducted!

    I agree 100% with this post. The laundry basket may be overflowing, you may be able to write you name in the dust, and there may be a herd of wild dust bunnies under the bed, but if the bed is made and the dishes are clean, all is right with the world. :sun:

  34. 5-19
    2:48
    pm

    I have my bedmaking routine down to 30 seconds tops. I make it while I’m still in it. I pull the sheet, blanket and comforter up to my chin, straighten them out then slide out the side of the bed. Then I just put the comforter up over the pillows and done. No throw pillows to slow me down or clutter it up. It may not be perfect but at least it’s done.

  35. 5-19
    2:48
    pm

    There is nothing like crawling into crisp sheets at night…so the very first thing on my list is make the bed. Get out of it and put all the covers back, stretch the sheets and then do the other side. Then put on slippers and exit the room. That also gives me time to remember what day it might be and what’s on my schedule.

    There is only the alarm clock and a flashlight on the table. Now, if I could only apply this system to the rest of the house.

  36. 5-19
    3:32
    pm

    Well I will say I am one of those people not very good about making it every day. I admire these people that can get up and get chores done right away. I am a night person so mornings are not me. I keep hoping someday I will be one of those people with all the energy first thing in the morning. I don’t drink coffee, I wish I like it to get caffeine, might give me energy after a cup.
    Thanks for your inspiration Suzanne. :happyflower:

  37. 5-19
    3:53
    pm

    I make my bed as soon as I get out of it.

    On my bedside table–lamp, clock, phone, and tissues.

  38. 5-19
    4:21
    pm

    Yes, it gets made every day. Not always right away, but within an hour or so. As a kid I hated making my bed and it was always a struggle between Mama and me. Then I lived in an apartment that was part of an old Victorian house and it was “shotgun” style where to get from the kitchen to the living room you had to go through the bedroom. Broke me of that nasty habit right quick because I didn’t want anybody to see my unmade bed. And the new habit has stuck. Dust and dust bunnies don’t bother me at all, however!!!

  39. 5-19
    4:47
    pm

    I’ve always made my bed first thing….my kids never seemed to pick up that little habit! Though they sure seem to mimic every bad habit I have! I finally taught my hubby of almost 27 years to make our bed! YAY ME!! I most always get up before him, so it’s now his “job”….it may not be perfect, but it’s made and it’s one less thing I have to do before I leave for work!

  40. 5-19
    5:31
    pm

    Guess we who don’t really care about having the bed made are in the minority here! I always kinda toss the sheets and covers up and over the pillows so that any house criters deciding (against the law of the land!) to spend time there aren’t directly on MY sheets!

    The nightstand has a radio, a pair of sox, and a couple of unmentionables…don’t ask… ;)

  41. 5-20
    2:54
    am

    Obviously, I’m a total heathen!

    I HAD to make my bed growing up – with hospital corners. Then 3 years in the Air Force STILL had me making the bed – with hospital corners. Then I went to college and worked 3 part-time jobs to pay for it and bed-making went out the door. I’d sleep until the last minute, jump up, shower, dress and run out the door.

    The bed gets made in the morning about 6 times a year. And I’ve even been known to change the sheets. And put in hospital corners. :yes:

  42. 5-20
    11:09
    am

    I was one of those who used to think making the bed was really silly. Who is going to see it but me? Then I began making my bed every morning after coffee and now if it is not done by then it’s like the house is messed up…so I go make it. Having allergies my bed consists of sheets and a cotton blanket. While I love seeing the fancy beds with all the pillows and such…to me they are dust catchers that I cannot deal with. My bed may be plain but its made and clean! :happyflower:

  43. 5-20
    12:00
    pm

    I just love to come home and see my bed made. Every morning I spritz a little fabreze on the sheets (very light) and make the bed. My bedroom suite is very old and I use a quilt that my sister and I made, its such a good feeling to see it on the bed. On my night stand, lamp, books, tissues and hand lotion.

  44. 5-20
    4:46
    pm

    You are SO right! I feel so good when I know the bed is made! There is nothing like crawling into a inviting bed when you are exhausted!

  45. 5-20
    9:32
    pm

    I make the bed before I leave the bedroom. Usually after teeth brushing and getting dressed. I used to make it as soon as I got up, but I heard that mites like a nice warm bed, so I delay a little! If the bed isn’t made, I just feel like the whole house is a mess!
    The night stand holds the clock/radio, lamp and one book. I’m a neat freak….sorry!

  46. 5-21
    12:48
    pm

    I make my bed first thing, too. I feel like I have actually accomplished something before I get started on my day! Great feeling! On my nightstand : Fan, lamp, clock, coaster for water glass.

  47. 5-22
    5:47
    pm

    I hit the floor running when I get up, an hour or so before hubby, so my bed doesn’t get made. Hubby doesn’t make it. Does anyone’s husband…

    Anyway, I can’t remember the last time I made the bed! Maybe at Christmas 2009 when we had a big Christmas dinner here.

    No bedside table but a headboard with a shelf with alarm clock, lip gloss, emery board, body lotion and pen and paper for middle of the night ideas.

  48. 5-24
    12:01
    am

    Making the bed up first thing in the morning is just one of the many obsessive things that I MUST do! My husband usually makes it up when I am in the shower before he gets his shower. Also, if the kitchen isn’t clean I just cannot go to bed.

  49. 5-25
    6:52
    am

    And this post…OHMYGOODNESS – are you inside my head Suzanne?

  50. 6-10
    12:53
    pm

    OMG this so speaks to me. I love the feeling of accomplishment that a made bed gives me too! C’mon now…..it’s the darn biggest thing in the room. Also, the last thing I do before going out of town is change my bedsheets. When I climb into bed upon my return the sheets smell and feel sooo yummy and clean. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get back home and snuggle into bed.

  51. 1-27
    11:52
    am

    Surfing this snowy day……this reminds me of my mom who tried to convince many many years ago to make my bed, to no avail. She loved daytime tv shows in the 70’s, and one day she told me of an interview with Cher, who said everyday she makes her bed, and if she accomplishes nothing else…..at least she accomplished one task. I of course flipped my long hair, rolled my eyes and told her I doubted Cher did housework!!!!! I have rebelled ever since…….but after reading this post…..it reminded me of my mom, who passed 14 years ago this month. I’m ready to try this, starting tomorrow morning, and will clean up my tiny cluttered night stand as well. You’ve inspired me!!!!

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