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The 3 Best Reasons to Pay Attention to Your Bed

make your bed

We spend lots of time on or in our beds, but we typically don’t pay that much attention to this piece of furniture. Admiral William H. McRaven, author of the book entitled: Make Your Bed: Little Things that can change Your Life… and Maybe the World, said that when you make your bed in the morning if you do nothing else of note during the day you can at least say you accomplished something. When you pay attention to your bed, you do more than just organize part of your bedroom you can improve your relationships and your health.

Here are the 3 best reasons to pay attention to your bed.

Improve your health

Pay attention to your bed and plan to change your sheets once a week. Yes, once a week not once a month or once a quarter. Research shows that we sweat while we sleep. Not only that but we also shed some skin. This contributes to fungus, bacteria, and dust mites gathering on our sheets. YUCK!

Washing the sheets in hot water once a week reduces the ability for the fungus, bacteria, and dust mites to collect there. Remember to also wash the mattress pad periodically and the blankets, duvet cover, or comforter.

This website recommends showering before you get between the sheets, even if it is just for a nap. It also suggests that you avoid applying lotion just before going to bed.

Does your bed have a divot in it where you sleep? You can remove those peaks and valleys by rotating your bed every three months. You can go one step further and flip the mattress every six months.

Accomplish one thing

As the Admiral said, when you make your bed in the morning you accomplish something. Start your day off with an accomplishment and pay attention to your bed.

Make it a habit to make your bed. It sets the tone for the day. You’ve already completed one task, why not make it 2 or 3? How long did it take? Probably not long at all. Once you get into a routine of making your bed after breakfast or after your morning walk it will become a habit. It will start you thinking about what’s coming up next in your day.

Motivation to tidy your room

When you look at your nicely made bed, what else do you see? Is your bedside table littered with tissues, lotion, books, or magazines? Does this present a restful invitation to you? Are you comfortable with letting someone else see your bedroom?

Paying attention to your bed is the first step to tidying your bedroom. Take a few minutes and remove anything that doesn’t belong on the bedside table. Put the half-empty glass of water in the kitchen, the tissues in the trash, and the books or magazines where they go. Leave the one you are currently reading. The others will be there when you are ready for them.

Making your bed look like a lovely and restful place to be may motivate you to put away any clothes lingering about. Clean clothes go in the chest of drawers or the closet and dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

You will sleep better in a tidy room. Lots of clutter in the bedroom can bring a chaotic feeling to the room which, in turn, may make it hard for you to sleep well. Take the first step and pay attention to your bed. There’s little better to give you a good night’s sleep than climbing into a bed with freshly laundered sheets.

To review the 3 best reasons to pay attention to your bed are:

  • Improve the chances you will stay healthy when you sleep on clean sheets.
  • Make your bed every morning to accomplish at least one thing every day.
  • Paying attention to your bed may motivate you to tidy the rest of your bedroom and you will sleep better in a clutter-free room.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Sign up to get Diane’s newsletter and receive short weekly tips every Monday.

18 Comments

  • I do make the bed every morning. I tried to pass this along to my kids (and husband), but I seem to be the only one who truly appreciates the “made” bed. I completely agree that it makes a huge difference in the way a room looks, and it also just feels good to crawl into a bed that has been made. In fact, getting into bed each night is something of a highlight. Not sure what that says about my days, but there it is!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      I love that, Seana. It is for me, too! I get into bed and sigh a deep sigh knowing I’ve done my best all day long and now I can truly relax.

  • My mom instilled the daily bed-making habit in me at an early age. She was one of the fastest bedmakers I’ve ever seen. I remember watching her make her bed. And not only was she fast, but she enjoyed doing it, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of seeing the room look “put together” so quickly. She also loved getting into a nicely made bed. I think her joy of bedmaking rubbed off on me. I derive the same pleasure in smoothing the sheets, taking a crumpled pile of bedding, and making it look lovely and day-ready! I also like washing the sheets weekly and enjoy how newly washed sheets smell and feel.

    The idea of getting not just the bed but the rest of the room ready and clutter-free also is one of my daily habits. All of these habits help me to face the day with open arms because I’ve begun with a certain level of organization and order. As a result, there are fewer distractions and stresses.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Exactly! For me, it sets the tone for the entire day. I love the way the bedroom looks and feels when it is put together.

  • When I first read Admiral William H. McRaven‘s speech, about making your bed being the first really important task of the day, it made a big impression on me. I never really thought of it that way. I agree with you that you feel so much better when you make your bed. Seeing a beautifully made bed is uplifting and feels good!

    When I was a child, my dad would say how he loved fresh crisp sheets. It made no sense to me then but it sure does now. And when I do shower before I crawl into bed, feeling good multiplies.

    The reasons you shared on the importance of making your bed are basic. But isn’t that what organization is about? It’s the basics that really count.

  • Great advice from you and the Admiral (who probably had to make his bed every morning while in the Navy). Making the bed can be an accomplishment–especially for those who are not well and have trouble getting out of bed or for those who don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve been working with my boys on teaching them how to ‘make the bed.’ They’ve had to practice because everyone on ‘Zoom School’ can see their bedrooms in the background!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thanks, Stacey. Check out the book: Make Your Bed. It’s short and full of all sorts of sage advice.

  • I do all of these things, mostly because I want my bedroom to be an oasis when I go to bed and wake up. I love that you mentioned making your bed. My grandmother used to say if the room was a mess and the bed is made, it doesn’t appear as messy. Lol. She was right.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Love that, Sabrina. I agree completely. A made bed changes the whole feel of the bedroom.

  • Making my bed a space that’s clean and comfortable is my ONE absolute. Even if I do NOTHING else good or productive in a day, I always make sure my sheets are clean and the bed is made. It truly sets a different tone. Great post!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Melanie. I’m with you on that one and it’s something I really enforced with my children.

  • This is very timely for me. I’m redecorating my bedroom with emphasis on the bed. NEW pillows, sheets and blanket. other things I’m doing is getting better lighting (I love to read in bed) and new TALLER box springs (so it’s easier to get in and out of bed). I think it’s important to take the time to focus on your sleep environment. Thanks for the tips.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Janet, it sounds like these changes will make a wonderful difference for you!

  • I think this is the one area where I’m the most contrarian. When I was younger and when I was in college, I always made my bed first thing in the morning, but I’ll admit, as an adult, nowadays I *don’t* as often as I *do.* I think that’s because when I lived in my family’s home and then in college, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom, but as a creaky, old adult, if you add up all the time I’m awake in my room each day, it probably amounts to less than thirty seconds (except on the days I’m stripping the bed and changing the sheets)! I get out of bed in the morning and usually don’t return until bedtime and don’t even turn on the light — I just cross from the doorway and get right into bed. (My mother would add, “Like some kind of animal!) Because I’ve read that you shouldn’t make the bed immediately upon getting out — you should air it out — and because I’m not returning to the room again until bedtime, the bedroom is a forgotten space.

    That said, I appreciate the potential a bedroom has as a serene oasis of calm, and think it’s an excellent skill to teach children how to care for their personal space. When I work with clients in their bedroom spaces, I always suggest we start with a freshly made bed — it’s tidier and perfect for sorting clothing. And I still remember an issue of Seventeen Magazine from what must have been at least 40 years ago, recommending getting a comforter larger than your bed size (so, a queen for a full) so that you could just flick it upward and let it settle down to cover the entire dorm room bed without much effort, making it all look tidily put together. And I’ve heard that GenZ eschews top sheets to achieve the same effect. So, all said, your advice is spot-on, but unless I get a new bed (and bedding) or a reason to spend more waking time in there during the day, this might be one area where I’ll be a bit of a disappointment to the admiral. 😉

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Julie, my younger son feels the same way. He gets out of bed pulls the comforter (or duvet) down to the foot of his bed to air it out and leaves it that way until he’s ready to go to bed at night. Like you, he doesn’t spend any time in his bedroom at all outside of sleeping. This may change when he moves in a couple of months. I’ll let you know.

  • Lucy Kelly says:

    Duvets make this possible for me. It takes less than 30 seconds to shake a duvet out and have it land smoothly on the bed, so it’s definitely doable. Since nothing in life is free, I do have to wrestle the duvet back into the cover when I wash the cover, but I don’t remember that in the morning as I’m easily breezily “making” my bed.