I’m a super messy person. If you’ve ever seen my desk at work, the inside of my car, or–God forbid–my closet, you know that I speak the truth. My own clutter and chaos just don’t bother me. Any time I do actually clean up after myself, all the tidying I’ve done is usually undone within a week at best. Which is why it’s interesting that I’ve been making the bed almost every day for the past few months.
I should clarify that “making the bed” in my house is as simple as spreading the comforter into place and ensuring that both my and my husband’s pillows are in the right spots. No extra sheets are tucked in, no quilts are folded at the foot of the bed, and no throw pillows make their way into the equation. It’s just a simple rearrangement of some pillows and a blanket.
Though such a quick and trivial daily chore might not seem significant, it has actually been an important addition into my life. Here’s why…
I have no willpower. None.
No matter how many times I tell myself that I’ll get out of bed without pressing snooze on my alarm, or that I’ll definitely go to the gym after work, or that I’ll only order one drink at happy hour, my good intentions always cave in like a house of cards under the slightest pressure. Unsurprisingly, this inability to overcome my desire for instant gratification does not lend itself well to routine.
But there is apparently something about the simplicity and ease of just fixing the covers and adjusting the pillows that may hold the power to break my pattern of laziness, because I am actually able to stick to this routine.
I read a lot of self-help-style online articles, and many of them say that you should make your bed each day for a number of reasons, the most notable one being that, when you go to bed later that night, you can relax and enjoy your tidy room. While that’s certainly true, I find that the satisfaction of making my bed comes not at the end of the day, but right at the beginning as I make my bed. Each morning as I pull the pieces of the bed into place, there is a unique pleasure that stems from knowing that I made something better than it was before.
For those of you out there who thrive on routine, this may be a no brainer. But for someone who doesn’t see much value in tidiness or routine, this breakthrough is huge for me.
There are definitely a lot of days I shuffle toward the door of my bedroom, look back at the heap of blankets, and think, “I don’t want to do this today.” In fact, most days I consider not making the bed. My interpretation of making the bed, after all, doesn’t actually get much done in the way of tidying my house or my life. But it’s a meaningful enough chore that I can walk away knowing that – if nothing else – I completed at least one task for the day.
I used to feel that practical routine was something that would forever be out of my grasp. I often think that I’m too lazy and flighty to really stick to anything, even if I commit to it. But knowing that I’ve been making the bed every day* for the last few weeks has opened my mind to the possibility that maybe I really can do anything I put my mind to.
*Well, almost every day, anyway
With this newfound confidence in my ability to stick with it, I might even take a cue from this article and start a workout routine.