I am not a particularly clean person. I despise clutter, but my kitchen counters might go days between a good scrub. I rarely vacuum, and there are often random (dirty) socks strewn about the family room. I’m generally pretty lax about household chores, and our home décor style fits somewhere between “lived in” and “this is why we can’t have nice things.”
But one household chore I’m a stickler about: making my bed.
Every day, I go through the hamster wheel task of smoothing out the sheets, pulling up the comforter, and fluffing the pillows. Every. Freaking. Day. Even on the weekends.
The sheets on my bed might not be clean, but dammit, the bed will be made.
It seems that, as adults, people fall into one of two camps: the bed makers and the unkempt bed keepers. In my house, I’m the former, my husband is the latter. If it were up to him, the bed would remain a disheveled nest of blankets that he climbs into each night. The idea of making the bed each morning, only to destroy it each night is a pointless task.
For me, however, making the bed is a small way of fooling me into thinking I’ve got my shit together. Look, life is bananas, and some days a made bed is the only semblance of order I have amidst the daily shitshow.
I recently took a very informal poll on Facebook about bed-making habits, and it seems that, regardless of whether folks pull up the covers or leave them in a heap, they are convinced that their way is the right way.
Those who make their bed every morning typically do so out of habit, or like me, because they want some tiny piece of order in their otherwise chaotic life.
One woman responded, “There’s nothing better than climbing into a bed that has been made after a long, crazy, hectic day.” Preach!
Others make their bed out of sheer fear. “My mom taught me you never know when someone will drop in, and I’m not going to run and close doors…sink is emptied before I go to bed too.”
Those who didn’t make their bed each morning said it was because there’s no point, they were lazy, or just didn’t have the time.
“Sweet freedom of adulthood allows me to never make my bed again,” replied one woman. I can respect that.
Aside from my own informal poll, it turns out more people leave their beds unmade. A survey of 68,000 people conducted by Hunch.com a few years ago found that 59% of people don’t make their beds, 27% do, and 12% pay someone to make it for them.
Other than an IDGAF-I’m-an-adult-and-you-can’t-make-me attitude about bed making, some people suggest that it might actually be cleaner to keep the bed messy because an unmade bed is less hospitable to dust mites. But Good Housekeeping cleaning expert Carolyn Forte disagrees and says that dust mites are everywhere, so an unmade bed isn’t going to do much to fend them off. Instead, she suggests washing the sheets every other week (an admirable goal, for sure) and vacuuming the mattress (not gonna happen ever).
But here’s the real kicker: Making the bed might actually make you happier and wealthier. That’s because a new book found that millionaires have certain habits in common, including making their bed each morning.
And Psychology Today reported that bed makers tend to be happier and are more likely to enjoy their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well-rested.
Take that, unkempt bed heathens.
Look, we’re all adults here, and there’s no right answer. Unless, of course, you want to be a happy millionaire, that is.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have kitchen counters to ignore and a bed to make.