Why make your bed everyday?


Why make your bed everyday?

I was tasked with writing about my favorite habit and why, and wanted to share it:

My mother always insisted that we make our beds every morning.  She was a single mother who worked full time and wasn't around to do all the housework, so she had my sister and me learn from an early age to clean up our rooms, process laundry, vacuum, and help with dinner.  Every day started with "make your beds!" I thought it was my nickname!  It was always a chore, but when I went to sleep-away camp and in college too, I always had a neat space and took pride in that.  I didn't realize my mother had "trained" me so well.

I was thrilled to hear the now famous "make your bed" speech by Admiral William H. McRaven. Admiral McRaven has served the nation for thirty-three years as a Navy SEAL. He has commanded at every level in the ranks, from trainee to a four-star naval admiral through his distinguished level of service.  This excerpt is from the speech he delivered as the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014

 "If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed."

I couldn't have said it better myself!


Accomplishing tasks, large or small, is satisfying on every level. Feeling pride in what you can get done, whether it's making your bed, organizing a closet, drawer, file cabinet, or garage, there is no denying the flush of happiness at the end of the job. Starting your day off with the simple accomplishment of making your bed, sets the tone for desiring a clean space and wanting to put things away so we would know where to find things when we want them.

It saves time and money, and isn't that what we all want? Not to be late because we can't find the car keys or the kids' backpacks and not to have to go buy another because we can't find the first (or second or third) item we know we have but can't locate it when we need it, or pay bills late because we don't know where the invoice is or when it's due. Too often, people walk away from that desired goal because they attempt too much at once.

I suggest that you train your children at a very early age (first "big" bed) to get into the habit of making their bed. This might look like them pulling up a sheet or blanket very messily and a fluff of the pillow, and that's okay. The idea is to form the habit, and you can always come in afterward and straighten it up.

If you are a parent and want to set good examples for your children, start by making your own bed every morning. When there are days that you need to roll out of bed and hit the road without a moment to spare, that's okay too. Make it when you get home before you are ready to get back in. That sense of a well-made bed is so satisfying. And when you are coming home from a few nights away or just had a rough day, it's so nice to walk back into your peaceful bedroom and climb into a nice, neat bed.

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