“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. Making your bed will [reinforce] the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.” – U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McCraven
For reasons that vary from the cultivation of mental discipline to highlighting a bedroom’s aesthetics, there is something to be said about making your bed every morning.
There are also plenty of reasons (or excuses) why someone doesn’t make their bed. First, most people simply don’t care or notice – it’s a bed – what’s the big deal? With all the rushing around and things to do, making the bed is a “time waster” for many people.
No dispute from this end that making your bed is mundane – it is – but this is one reason to do it. Think about your typical day: how many trivial, “unimportant” things require your attention anyways? You must do these things – at work, at home, or elsewhere – whether you want to or not.
So, why take the time to make your bed?
Here are 5 good reasons:
#1 You start the day right
As Admiral McCraven said to the graduating class at the University of Texas, making your bed instills a sense of accomplishment. You walk out of the room knowing that you’ve achieved something. You’ll feel more inclined to complete another task, then another. At the end of the day, you’ll have done more, (perhaps) spearheaded from the simple act of making your bed.
If you approach making your bed with the mindset of “How I do anything is how I do everything,” you’ll gain a growing sense of pride, self-confidence, and motivation. Further, you’ll leave the house feeling a sense of control and personal responsibility – an asset you can take with you throughout the day.
#2 It cultivates mental discipline
Mental discipline, also known as self-discipline, is developed by overcoming mental and physical resistance.
When you roll out of bed on a Monday morning, sometimes the last thing you aspire to do is make your bed. This dreaded feeling is understandable, but it’s also a terrific opportunity to discipline yourself.
We tend to associate any form of “self-discipline” as harsh and restraining, but it needn’t be. Although your brain and body may resist your efforts, you can engage your mind at-will and gently bring its attention back under control. You employ your mind this way by focusing intently on one thing, and one thing only: the task at-hand.
Which segues perfectly into #3:
#3 It can be a great mindfulness exercise
One tenet of mindfulness is witnessing your thoughts without criticism or judgement. This very principle can be applied to all of our efforts. Any mundane task: washing the dishes, cleaning the floor, and yes, making the bed – are all excellent times to practice mindfulness.
As we implement mindfulness into every small or large task, we establish a mental and physical “connection.” This mindset dissipates much of the resistance and angst attempting to creep in as we intently focus on the task at hand. As our mindful “muscle” grows, we’ll find making the bed – and many other duties – less “painful” and more rewarding!
Charles Dickens, one of history’s most profound writers, once wrote:
“He did each single thing, as if he did nothing else.” Perfectly said.
#4 Your sleep may improve
A study undertaken by the renowned National Sleep Foundation (NSF) may have discovered a correlation between making the bed and better quality sleep. Individuals or couples that made their bed “every day” or “almost every day” reported better sleep than those who rarely or never make their bed.
It’s difficult to explain this study’s results, but – and this writer is speculating – it may be the byproduct of the several other benefits listed in this article.
Certainly, it is not out of the realm of possibility to attribute higher quality sleep to a sense of accomplishment, mental discipline, task-orientation, and, perhaps most importantly, mindfulness.
#5 You’ll appreciate the neatness
For those with an eye for design aesthetics, making your bed will most likely prove pleasing to the eyes.
Rachel Hoffman, a housekeeping and organizational guru, states: “Taking a moment to straighten up your bedding creates an orderly and neat focal point in what might otherwise be a messy disaster.”
Hoffman also says that making your bed can serve as a source of inspiration and reassurance. More specifically, that you can control your surroundings; this “can be pretty empowering as an indication of what you’re capable of accomplishing with just a small amount of effort.”