I don’t make my bed every day. Many years ago I wrote about the fact that I often don’t make my bed in my weekly newspaper column. I was surprised how people responded. Some seemed shocked, others judgemental. They said things like…..”Why making the bed is the first thing I do in the morning.” “I practically make it before I get out of it.” “I would never leave the house without making my bed. I just couldn’t! “
I exempt my mother from all blame for my laid back attitude to bed making She taught me how to make my bed. It was a required chore. Perhaps as a teen I was less than diligent about it, but I was raised to believe in the virtue of a tidy bed.
It was my husband Dave who corrupted me. After we were married in 1973 I felt we should take turns making the bed. Dave,whose mother I suspect, had always made his bed for him, just laughed. “Go ahead and make the bed if you want to,” he said “but don’t expect me to do it. What’s the point? Why would you waste time making a bed when you’re just going to crawl back into it again in a few hours?”
For a few weeks I didn’t make the bed in protest. Surely Dave would take on the job if it was left undone. No way. He simply wouldn’t make the bed! The unmade bed didn’t bother him at all. Finally I decided, I too, would stop worrying about our unmade bed. So for most of the forty plus years we’ve been married I’ve only made the bed when I do laundry or when I know we have guests coming over. Perhaps this is a sign I still feel somewhat guilty about not making my bed.
Polls report that anywhere from 21% to 59% of North Americans don’t make their beds everyday. Marriage counselors report that arguing over which partner should make the bed is a frequent point of contention between couples. Apparently an efficient person can make the bed in about 90 seconds so it really isn’t time consuming.
There are some people who believe a ‘made’ bed changes your life and makes you feel more organized and peaceful throughout the day. Zen and feng shui experts say if you don’t routinely make your bed you should try it for a week and you will become a completely different person. A room looks chaotic when the bed is unmade and you will sleep much more restfully if you get into a neatly made bed. Apparently if you persist and make your bed for 21 days it will have become a habit and you will do it almost automatically each morning.
The only words of wisdom I’ve ever heard about making the bed are “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it. ” The proverb’s message is clear. You have to accept responsibility for the choices you make. I guess I’ll just have to live with the consequences, whatever they may be, for my many years of delinquency when it comes to making my bed.
I first published this on my blog five years ago and it remains one of my most popular posts ever.