I think I started making my bed on a regular basis around 2005 when my husband and I bought the cutest blue house you ever saw. It was built in 1920 and was around 1,000 sq ft. It was a tiny little square shaped home that was separated into 4 rooms that was perfect for our little family of three. The layout was a little wonky- through the front door was the living room, straight from there was our bedroom, turn to the left and you were in the kitchen, take another left through the kitchen and you were in the kids’ room, and left again you were back into the living room. We gained two more little boys while we lived there and they would run that circle for hours of good fun.
What does this have to do with making my bed? Everything. I couldn’t close the door to my bedroom and hide the mess because it was part of the flow of the house. I started making my bed every morning because I couldn’t stand the extra stimulation of the messy, unmade bed along with the chaos of children in a small space. The more I got into the habit, the more I noticed the difference it made in my life as a whole.
Life looks very different 15 years later. We sold that cute little dollhouse, added three more children to the mix, and my youngest isn’t a baby anymore. This stage of life still has its own chaos and messes. I continue to make my bed every day and encourage everyone in my life to also make theirs.
I’ve listed a few benefits of making my bed and broken them into stages of life that I’ve experienced so far.
A houseful of babies and toddlers:
My sister and I had babies about the same ages. She once told me that she started making her bed after I made a comment that even if I didn’t accomplish anything else on any given day, at least I knew I made bed. I accomplished one thing that day and that felt good. It made my room feel cleaner and brought my anxiety level down.
Having a houseful of babies and toddlers is hard. The days are long, the nights are sleepless, and there is endless food making. So many days I looked around my house and felt overwhelmed by all of the things I didn’t get to – again. Keeping tiny humans alive is time consuming! Making my bed made me feel like a somewhat functioning adult.
I hear a lot of mamas with littles say they don’t make their bed because said littles make their way into the bed and destroy their hard work. I totally understand this and I made a strict “no kids on my bed” rule. It remains the one space in my house that small children aren’t allowed to be (except at night, they are welcome to crawl in our bed if they need extra snuggles).
A houseful of toddlers and bigger kids:
As kids get bigger, keeping them alive takes less time but cleaning up after them and teaching them to clean up after themselves takes more time. I don’t even know where all of the random junk comes from. I think the toys must summon new, crappier toys to join the ranks in the night while we are sleeping. It’s the only thing I can come up with because I don’t buy all of this stuff.
But my bed remains made. It’s the one thing I can control. I lovingly adjust and smooth the sheet, the afgan my grandmother made, and the white bedspread. I carefully fold it back to reveal the clean, sleek sheets. I stack my pillows one in front of the other on each side of the bed and my decorative pillow that says “darling” showcased in the very front. My bed is made – cute, cozy, and perfectly undisturbed. In the chaos of my daily life, my bed is my sanctuary.
A house full of big kids:
My room is often the place where people come to find me and want to talk. I like that my room is a safe place for my children to gather. Most are welcome on my bed now that they are bigger (some are still too wiggly!) and I enjoy the conversations we have and the time spent together.
This is where my children were born and where I first got to know them. This is where we slept, snuggled, and I kept them close to my body. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow and learning about them at every stage of their childhood and a few of mine are now in their teens. I love that I’ve made my bed a special place throughout the years. A place that I could escape to when needed, a place I could control, and now a place of comfort and ease that I can welcome them to hang out with me away from the other children and demands of the day.
I had no idea how making my bed could impact my thoughts and stress levels when I first started all those years ago. My goal back then was just to eliminate the mess and not have to search and untangle the sheet every night when I was an exhausted mama of babies. I wanted to be able to fall into bed and sleep when night fell. It felt like my bed was welcoming me, a small piece of solitude just for me and I liked it. I still feel that way actually. Not much has changed except for the size of the humans that roam around my home. Making my bed only takes a few minutes but brings me so much peace. My favorite part of the day is slipping into the sheets with a big sigh of relief and finally falling asleep.
Have you seen this great video about making your bed?