Why You Need to Make Your Bed
How we choose to start our day matters.
My husband and I have an unwritten rule that whoever gets up last is in charge of making up the bed. The entire bed. Decorative pillows and all.
For a long time, I would get up and contemplate if anyone was coming over during the day who might wander in and see my unmade bed. If not, there would be no harm in leaving it undone, right?
We’re only harming ourselves when we take shortcuts and avoid making small efforts.
Does it matter if we make our bed or not?
Starting the day off with this one simple accomplishment sets you up for success. I walk past my bed many times a day and notice when it’s pretty and pulled together. Simple efforts do make a difference.
Once I saw this video, we’ve made our bed every morning since and encouraged our kids to do the same. It is an excellent reminder of the payoff of simple daily efforts in our lives.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
There are enough tasks for our teens to complete on early school mornings that making the bed in our home isn’t required, but its importance is a subject of conversation in our family. Some mornings I check the kids’ bedrooms and shoot off a text on our family chat stating 3/5 taking note of how many kids accomplished the morning task on their own.
I don’t need to battle my kids when it comes to the simple task of making their beds, but I do want them to understand the importance of accomplishing minor everyday tasks. Our youngest son makes his bed every day without fail because it was a habit ingrained in him from living in his foster care group home for years.
If we begin shortcutting the simple things, how will we ever be successful in the big stuff? It’s a great topic of conversation to have with our kids for sure.
Do you make your bed first thing in the morning? Do your kids?
This is one of the few topics I disagree with you on. I totally get the concept, and sometimes on weekend days when I’m home all day, I will make my bed. And it does make me feel better to see my room looking nice and grown-up! But, it simply is not a day-to-day expectation in our household. With one tween with ADHD who has been generally defiant forever, and another kid who walks to the beat of his own drum, the extra effort it would involve to get them on board is just not something I have in me each day. I’m sure it wouldn’t create much goodwill with my husband either, as he’s usually last out. We’re lucky to get up and out on time, and keeping the kids on task is exhausting as it is. Those extra 5-10 minutes of sleep (again, staying on task is tough) is currently better used as sleep! I’m chalking it up to self-care for myself to not choose that battle. And given that we all have allergies, it’s actually better (per scientists) to leave the bed unmade as it allows moisture to evaporate and that kills the mites!
As a kid my mom always preferred the bed was made, though like you was flexible. It was probably about 50/50 looking back. I did make it in college since I practically lived on my dorm room bed and preferred it made to resist too much temptation to nap while studying, and when I lived in a studio apartment post-college I think I tried to make it more often then since it was visible in the main living area. But since…nope. I’d like to one day instill in my kids that it’s a desirable thing to have a made bed to feel a bit more “put-together”, but for now I will save all of us the time and effort to make it/unmake it each day and just focus on the battles I know will make them better people now and down the road. For me, it just seems like very small stuff in a very big picture. But by all means, please enjoy your made bed 🙂
Absolutely agree with you, Amy, that it’s certainly a little thing and knowing if it’s a battle worth fighting or not. I never thought about it really until I watched this video! I’m going to remember on the days that I choose to not make it that I’m actually doing a good thing with allowing the moisture to evaporate! Thanks for always reading what I have to say and commenting your thoughts 🙂
William H Macraven (I think?) wrote an entire book going further in-depth after he made this graduation speech. It’s a quick read and then we downloaded it to listen to as a family on one of our drives. Lots of good thoughts….life isn’t always”fair”, you need a partner in life, etc.
I think your other commenter was getting a little too literal about your message. For Fly Lady it’s “get dressed WITH SHOES and clean your sink every day”….it’s forming a habit and sticking with it. Taking care of the “small things” so you have the discipline to tackle the “big things”. We tell our kids that God *expects* us to shepherd them and teach them good habits….we are being disobedient to Him when we don’t teach good habits….when they are on their own, they will have earned the privilege to do what they want. But in this house, when possible, it is respectful and obedient to Him to try to keep the cleanliness level something their parents can live with – ha!
If I lived alone, I would have a fitted sheet, one comforter with a washable cover, and some pillows – it would be so much easier to make the bed!!!
Totally agree , Amy, that it is a small matter and it is important to know whether it is a battle worth fighting or not. I never really thought about it until I saw this video! Whenever I do not make it, I will remember that I am actually doing a good thing by allowing the moisture to evaporate. Thank you for reading my posts and commenting on them.