Making the bed is good for my mental health

When I was a kid there wasn’t much I loathed more than making my bed.  I didn’t see much point in it since I’d be getting back in it that night.  Fortunately, I had a mother who didn’t give me a super hard time about this.  Of course there were times when company was coming and the bed had to be made.  But, for the most part it wasn’t a source of contention between us.

My first year of college nothing changed.  My dorm room was a double-L shape and my bed was in the back of the room, so nobody ever saw it unless they came all the way into our room.  That didn’t happen very often.  My second year of college, my roommate and I switched sides of the room, so my bed was now near the door.  When people stopped in to visit, they not only saw my bed, but often sat on it.  I started making my bed that year.  It wasn’t dramatic.  It was just pulling up the comforter, but it worked.  After all, in a small space with limited seating, you take advantage of what you can.

The next year I got married.  Our first apartment was a townhouse style with the bedroom on the second floor.  Our queen-sized bed took up most of the tiny bedroom, so making it was a challenge.  And, again, people seldom ever saw our bedroom.  My husband never complained.  I went back to my old habit of not making the bed most days.

Life stayed that way for years — through our next apartment and even into our house.  Then last year we got a new mattress.  I fell in love with it right away.  We’d been sleeping on the mattress we started our married life with back in 1999.  When I was pregnant with my daughter and miserable, we bought a foam topper for it in hopes of making life better.  It made only a slight improvement.  But, last year we were blessed to get a Sleep Number bed.  I’m not all about making commercials and promoting products, but dang, I love this bed.  It makes me happy.  We upgraded to a king size as well.  Out of respect for the bed — and because it now took up more space in our bedroom so leaving the comforter and pillows on the floor was more of an issue — I began making the bed again.

And I noticed a difference in how I felt.  It’s not dramatic.  I’m not going to tell you that making my bed in the mornings has made me a better person, better mother and better worker.  But, it does make me feel like I’m doing something right.  I’m not the best housekeeper in the world.  I battle with my inner slob sometimes.  I battle with my toddler’s stuff all the time.  And I just plain don’t pay attention to some things.  I often joke that our house is decorated more like a glorified bachelor pad.  I think decor is nice and I appreciate that others are good at it, but I’m not good at it and mostly I plain just don’t care.  The most decorated room in our house is the kiddo’s.  It has a decoration scheme, though it’s still in flux from when we switched to a twin bed (ahem, back in January).

Making my bed just feels right.  One of the things we were told with the Sleep Number bed, which uses air pockets to adjust its firmness level (one on each side so my husband and I can pick the setting we like), is to re-inflate it most mornings.  So, while I’m waiting for the bed to fill up, I easily have time to pull up the comforter and toss on the pillow shams.  The kiddo likes to help me with the pillows.

Sometimes the pooch likes to nestle into our toss pillows and take a snooze. I don't mind -- after all, it's hard to be mad at that cute face!

An added bonus to this whole bed making revolution in my house is that our dog is no longer getting in trouble.  He loves the taste of my husband’s hair product.  I don’t know why.  I’ve smelled the stuff.  It smells good, but it definitely doesn’t smell appetizing.  Poor Buckles would often get caught and in trouble for licking my husband’s pillow when the bed was unmade.  We love our dog; however, sleeping in his saliva isn’t something we want to do.  So, my making the bed has worked well for the dog, too.

I’m not sure if this will continue for the rest of my life.  I just know that for the last year about five days out of seven in any given week you can come to my house and find my bed is made.  There may be toys on the floor.  And there may be some clothes piled by the hamper, but by golly, I’m sure you’ll think I’m a together woman and excellent housekeeper when you see that I’ve made my bed, right?

I don’t do it for visitors, though.  I really just do it because it makes me feel better.  That said, I also know many folks who don’t feel that way (and I was with them for years).  People tend to fall into one category or another.  They either must make their beds or they seldom make them.  Very few people fall in between.  What about you?  Do you make your bed every day?  Why or why not?

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