Making the Bed

I was never a bed maker. As a youngster, I did it under protest. Bed making was always a battle: I hated doing it and always did a piss-poor job of it.

Now I wonder if I hated doing it because I wasn’t good at it and the constant criticism made me defensive before I ever started. Or was doing a slipshod job of bed making just my passive aggressive way of protesting a chore I saw no purpose to.

As a young adult, I didn’t make my bed because I didn’t have to. So there!

My excuse in later years was that I worked nights and my husband worked days. There always seemed to be someone either in bed or getting ready for bed. It seemed silly to make it up for the few hours a day it was actually unoccupied.

As often happens, the older I got, the more cluttered I got. The more cluttered I got, the more books on clutter, cleaning and organizing I read. Everyone has their theories and methods of clearing out clutter. This one says purge, that one says sort. The one over there says dust first. The only thing they all agree on–and yes–even insist on, is making the bed.

Step one in having a clean, uncluttered, healthy, organized home is making the bed. Some of them even tell you how to make it. I think they must have known my mother.

Now that I’m retired, I make my bed. Usually. I don’t make it because of my mother’s voice in my head. My bed making still wouldn’t meet her standards.

I don’t make it because I’m expecting company or to be a good example for anyone.

I don’t make it because Peter Walsh and other organizing gurus say I should.

I make my bed because I feel better about myself when I do.

If someone asks me, “What did you do today?” I can answer, at the very least, “I made my bed.”
Making my bed lets me feel like a grown up. It sets the tone for the day. It gives me a flat space to do things on, such as folding laundry or sorting shirts for purging.

I still hate making my bed, but I love having a made bed. And it’s worth the two minutes it takes me to have that little ember of accomplishment.

A made bed leads to putting shoes away, to hanging up clothes, to emptying the dishwasher. It signals to the dog that the day has begun and a walk is in her near future.

I make my bed because there are squirrels to be chased and a cat to harass.

A made bed says, “You’re done with me for awhile—no sneaking back in. Go—do—live.”


2 thoughts on “Making the Bed

  1. I, too, have a become a bedmaker in my grown-up stage. I like it because it means at least one-third of the bedroom is orderly. Jo @ Let’s FAce the Music

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