The first thing I did this morning after waking up and visiting the loo was make my bed.
Did you read that? THE FIRST THING I DID WAS MAKE MY BED.
Growing up, I was encouraged but not required to make my bed every morning, so of course I never did. I was far too preoccupied with the important things in life like naming each piece of my rock collection or squeezing my eyes shut so tight that I’d see fireworks (and I wonder why I’m so dadgum blind). Making my bed was the absolute least interesting thing I could possibly think of to do, and consequently I never did it.
Fast forward a couple of decades and you have me—a grown(ish) woman, married and living far away from home, old enough to have a credit card and life insurance and just a few months away from being able to rent a car without paying triple—and I still never make my bed.
That is, I never did until a few months ago.
That was when I came home from a really miserable day of school to teach a long string of piano lessons and come up with something semi-edible for dinner. After all of that, the only thing I wanted to do was drag myself into our bedroom and crawl into a cozy bed.
But instead what I did was drag myself into our bedroom and collapse in a heap onto an even bigger heap made up of sheets and duvets and pillows and brownie crumbs. (I’m joking about the brownie crumbs.) (Or am I?)
Our bedroom was no sanctuary; it was a dungeon and I hated the sight of it.
The funny thing was, the room wasn’t really even messy. The dirty clothes were in the hamper. The clean clothes were hung in the closet. The only thing truly out of sorts was the bed, and that’s when it hit me: make the bed and you can make the room.
A MADE BED MAKES A ROOM.
And an unmade bed breaks it.
I cringe a little bit to read those last two sentences. They are just a little bit too old-school-housewife-barefoot-in-the-kitchen-y for my personal preference. I feel like, in writing them, I am becoming everything I ever dreaded about the ultra-conservative mothers of my childhood playmates (you know the type—the ones who never allow their children to have sleepovers or even to stay up late on New Year’s Eve, the ones who don’t let their daughters choose their own outfit for school picture day, and yes, the ones who strictly enforce the make-your-bed-daily rule).
Still, as much as it is my nature to kick against those Pricks, the fact remains: I am a happier person when my bed is made (though never quite as happy as when I’m in it fast asleep).
So I made a resolution that day: I would take the Challenge of 30 (you know how they say it takes 30 days to make a habit out of something) to see if I could learn to love to make my bed.
The next day I forgot and didn’t get to it until 5:00.
The day after that, I remembered right before I had to leave for school.
The day after that, I really didn’t WANT to make my bed, but I did it anyway.
Day after day I smoothed those sheets and fluffed those pillows, and before I knew it I’d stopped dreading it so much. I’d stopped putting it off until right before it was time to get back in bed. I actually kind of looked forward to it.
I’m fully aware of the risk I’m taking in admitting this here. I know it makes me sound smug, and there’s nothing I hate more than smug girls bragging about crap like having super fast metabolisms or naturally curly hair or perfectly-made beds. But don’t worry, because I’m not smug. There are plenty of horrible habits I still maintain, like leaving used-up tissues lying around throughout the house, waiting until I literally can’t see my face in them before I clean the bathroom mirrors, and general clutter blindness.
But I can honestly say now that I make my bed every day.
I am the kind of girl who makes her bed every single day.