Why Making the Bed Makes a Difference

29 Aug

This year, I renounced my former bed neglect and became a daily bed maker.

Previously, my bed making was sporadic, at best.  “There Is No Point in Making the Bed Since it Will Just Get Messy Again” was my motto.  Well, now I need a new motto.

It’s Peter Walsh’s fault.  In one of his anti-clutter themed books, It’s All Too Much, I read that the bed sets the tone for the room.  (What??  My room has a tone??)  It sounds silly, but it’s true.  I know because I experimented with made bed days and unmade bed days, and there was a distinct difference.

I am typing this while sitting on my bed–and, yes, it is made.

I am sure my mother told me many times to make my bed, but it didn’t stick.  I don’t recall any discussion of the psychological benefit I might receive from bed making…I suspect she was thinking more of the benefit to her.  Anyway, she was right, and now I finally understand why I should make the bed:  because it will relax me each time I walk in and see the made bed.  It sets the tone of the room as “restful”.

With the bed made, I see a place to sleep, rest, sit down, read, or even write.

Unmade, the bed was a place for none of those things.  It was more like a place to unload whatever items I was carrying.  These unsorted items often led to a discouraging sight later on, when I wanted a place to sleep.

Visually, less is more.  A made bed is a clean surface, an open space.

A tangled bed, on the other hand, looks like a stack of dishes that need washing, or 517 emails that need answering.  It looks like work.  It makes us tired just to see those twisted covers.  It might seem that by leaving the bed unmade we are escaping work, but simply looking at an unmade bed can feel like more work than actually making it.

Would you enjoy a hotel stay quite as much if the housekeeping crew didn’t come and make the bed every day and hang the towels so straight?  There is something very relaxing about that, not just because someone else did the work, but because a made bed looks relaxing, like a beach at sunset.

I like the restful feeling.

I haven’t spent too much time thinking about the “tone” of all the other rooms, because I might start to worry that my whole house is off-key.  But my bed is made, and that makes a difference.

3 Responses to “Why Making the Bed Makes a Difference”

  1. Lindsey September 20, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    This post totally inspired me – I was a non-bed-maker too, but started after reading this post. It has made such a difference in my mood and how I view the bedroom. I’m converted!

    • acleansurface September 20, 2010 at 10:29 am #

      I’m so glad, Lindsey! In your current living situation, you need a little bit of visual serenity.

    • Emily January 23, 2011 at 4:50 am #

      Exactly! I feel the same way. Thank you for sharing that little piece of happiness with us!

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