Why Making Your Bed Matters
Nicole LaMotte for Parachute
The world is divided into two kinds of people: Those who make their beds, and those who just…don’t. If you’re part of the latter group, it’s time to get your act together! Why, you might ask. Well, besides the fact that your mother said so, everyone from feng shui devotees to sleep researchers has found good reasons to keep the sheets neat. Here are some of them…
It Ties the Room Together
Your bed is kind of a big deal. It’s probably one of the largest pieces of furniture you own, and as such it has the power to make or break the mood of the room it’s placed in. An unmade bed in an otherwise tidy room creates a sense of chaos and disorder. And since a bed is so personal, its appearance reflects directly back on you. Messy sheets equal messy personality. A nicely made bed, however, signals that you’re balanced, grown up and completely in control.
It Contributes to Better Rest
It’s not all about the vanity factor. Your environment is crucial to a good night’s sleep. This includes room temperature, lighting, noise and the overall cleanliness of your space. Keeping these variables consistent encourages solid sleeping habits. Twisted sheets = tossing and turning. Neat sheets = solid zzzzs.
It Keeps You Healthier
Straightening up your bed in the morning prevents dirt and dust from joining you under the covers at night. This is important for those with allergies and people with pets…or general city dwellers who bring in the dust of a long day. Sounds pretty unappealing, right? To avoid it, swap your sheets out frequently for a freshly washed set. There’s a long-standing rumor that Jackie O had hers changed daily, but for those of us who make our own beds, a weekly bedding change is perfectly acceptable.
There are a few studies floating around the internet linking happiness to bed-making. Admiral William H. McRaven once delivered a commencement speech, in which he told University of Texas graduates, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.” His logic: You can’t do the big stuff right if you can’t do the little stuff right. Plus, if you’ve had a bad day, coming home to a perfectly made bed provides a sense of relief and encouragement.
It’s a Minor Commitment…
If you hit the snooze button even once before you get up — you have time to make your bed. The full sheet change may be a bit of a process, but a simple straighten and tuck takes three minutes tops. This morning ritual builds momentum for tidying up the rest of the room…whether it serves as a surface for folding laundry or simply inspires a quick pick-me-up.
…With Major Payoff
If we’re defined by our habits, then what’s to be said of those who don’t make the bed? Are they slovenly sad-sacks doomed to messy lives and sleepless nights? Absolutely not! First of all, you’re not alone. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (who literally wrote the book on the topic) found that making the bed was the most common habit that people wanted to add to their routines. Like Admiral McRaven, Gretchen believes that the simple act of bed making can lead to greater positive change: “Picking one little task to improve your situation, and doing it regularly, can help you regain a sense of self-mastery.”
What Are You Waiting For?
As for the actual act, it’s pretty simple: Strip everything but your fitted sheet, then straighten and tuck it as needed. Next, if you use a top sheet, make hospital corners at the foot of the bed — whether you tuck or un-tuck the top sheet depends on your personal preference. Flip your duvet cover inside out – it’s the easiest way to slip it onto the duvet – then use the ties from all four corners of the duvet cover to secure your duvet (Visual learner? Our Founder and CEO demonstrates how to put on a duvet cover in this video). Finish with pillows and pillowcases — and boom! You’re done. It took us longer to type this paragraph than it takes to make a bed.