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!)