MAKE YOUR BED. EVERY. DAY.
I remember it like it was yesterday… I had to be around 7 or 8 years old, waking up from my slumber to the smell of eggs, grits, toast, and turkey bacon (b/c we never ate pork)… and hearing my mom yell up to me that breakfast was ready. I hopped out of my bed and hurried down the stairs to try and beat my brother and sister to the table… Then my dad comes down the stairs last and before he even sits down; before I can even take a bite out of the meal, he stares at me with terrifying intent, “Marti! I know you are not about to take a bite out of that food without your bed being made! Get back up those stairs right now and MAKE YOUR BED!” I drop the fork and run back up stairs and do as he says.
My dad was not a military man, but by the way he ran his household, one would think different. We were washing dishes as soon as we were tall enough to reach the sink, and doing laundry as soon as we were old enough to say the word “clothes.” Making our beds in the morning was a requirement before we could do anything else. And for the longest time, I didn’t understand why. I thought it was just my dad trying to keep his house in order while annoying me at the same time. I would complain to myself and rationalize thoughts in my head like, “Why make up the bed if I’m going to get back in it later? What a waste of time! I don’t have time for this… Who cares? No one is going to see it but me, so who cares?” In spite of my lazy-mindset I continued to make my bed every morning and it became an unconscious habit that I carried with me through college, and will do for the rest of my life. I will never leave my house or even start my day if my bed’s not made. It is the first thing I do in the morning…even if I’m running late.
Why is making your bed such a big deal? Besides the obvious reasons of how it makes your room look 10x better, cleaner and tidier… can an act that takes about 3 minutes at most (yes I timed it, and I have a LOT of pillows) really make that much of a difference in your life? The answer is YES! It's the first finished task of the day that you can check off your list! I like to start my day off with a win right away, and although it may be minor, you can feel a small sense of accomplishment when you make your own bed (I know some people whose beds are made every morning, but they pay someone else to do it for them…now that’s just a-whole-nother story that we won’t get into right now). You can ask any navy seal and they would agree…
Making your bed can help start you off feeling confident every morning and affect your self-esteem throughout the day.
It will encourage you to finish another task, then another, and so on…increasing your productivity! In the book “The Power of Habit,” author Charles Duhigg describes the simple act of making your bed as a keystone habit (like cooking your own food or exercising), which is essentially a minor feel-good habit that serves as a catalyst for other good habits.
According to a recent study, 60% of people don’t make their beds, 28% do, and 12% pay a housekeeper to make it for them. But get this… 71% of the bed-makers consider themselves happy, while 62% of the non-bed-makers admit to being unhappy. Bed-makers were also more likely to enjoy their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly and feel well-rested while the non-bed-makers were likely to hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym and wake up tired. All you non-bed-makers out there, calm down…I’m not saying that you can’t be happy or successful in life because you’d rather have rumpled sheets; that is far from the truth! These factors are not causation, just correlation. But it’s the little things in life that matter most, for they add up to the big things.
So if you’d like to live a happier life, be more productive and develop better habits that will increase your success…I suggest you start with making your bed every morning and go from there. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Blessings and Love,