Thursday, January 24, 2013

Listen to Your Mother - Make Your Bed!

In my younger days making the bed in the morning was not a top priority for me - much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure. She was a regular bed maker. But I felt like other tasks were more important - tasks that will be infinitely harder to do tomorrow if you don't do them today. Dirty dishes and dirty clothes multiply. If you don't take care of them today, there will be a lot more of them tomorrow. If bathrooms don't get a little bit of your attention today, they will be far worse tomorrow.

But the bed - that's another story. If you don't make the bed today, there won't be two of them to make tomorrow. The bed doesn't multiply. And besides that, I used to think, once I leave my bedroom in the morning, I don't go back until night time. It's not like I have to look at an unmade bed all day. This is not to say that I never made the bed, but it was not a regular occurrence.

Back then I was prone to think - how can making the bed be so important when there are kids to be supervised, fed, dressed, and transported to school and all their other activities? Is the bed really that important when there's grocery shopping to be done, bills to be paid, piano students to teach?

This order of priorities continued after the kids were grown and gone. It was working pretty well for me until I stumbled on an internet article that made the subversive suggestion that people who make their beds every morning are generally more successful in life. I was offended! What rubbish! After all, my life has been reasonably successful without the daily ritual of bed making. The very idea that the simple act of making your bed can make you more successful! Honestly, where do people get these ideas? I made up my mind to dismiss this silly bit of nonsense.

But I couldn't just dismiss it. The offending article would pop into my mind often. I started to wonder if it was true. Finally I decided to give it a try and see if making the bed every morning would cause ripples of organization, order, and success in the rest of my life. I found out that it only takes three minutes to make the bed, and I can do it when I'm half asleep - before I've had the first cup of coffee. What ever made me think I didn't have time to make the bed?

After making the bed several days in a row, I found I couldn't tolerate things like a wadded up tissue on my night stand or a pair of socks on the floor. The bed looked so neat, I couldn't stand any untidiness detracting from it. After making the bed, I found myself straightening up the bedroom.

To make a long story short - since I started making the bed, I've cleared out my closet and gone through numerous drawers and cabinets, tidying up and weeding out. I've even managed to recruit Jerry in this effort. With both of us working together, the bedrooms and closets are in pretty good shape. And now we're organizing our books.

Would all of this clearing out and organizing be taking place if I hadn't started making the bed early every morning? Maybe. I've had organizing fits in the past, even as a non-bed-maker. But I have to admit that creating order as soon as my feet hit the floor is an inspiring and exhilarating act. Maybe there's something to the idea that regular bed making creates more success. Just think - if I had started this bed making habit earlier, I might be President.


BellaFitz said...

As a devout non bed maker, this sounds rather militaristic. I think you should recruit Mr. Jerry to play reveille every morning!

Judith B. Landry said...

Ha! Just think though - you're quite a bit younger than I am. You have time. If you get the hang of this daily bed making, YOU might be President in a few years. And what an improvement that woukd be!

Judith B. Landry said...

would be, not woukd be!