Confession time: I am nearing 30 and I suck at maintaining a fully clean house. I use to have a completely clean load of laundry that would “rest” in my bedroom for at least a week as I picked clean clothes to wear out of it. I would like to blame this type of behavior on being busy and having a kid but the reality is that I usually have half the house clean and the rest has the doors are closed for a reason. This year I decided that I needed to get a system in place but the idea of just maintaining my entire home seemed really daunting, so I decide to start off small by making it a priority to make my bed every day. I am either really lazy (guilty) or this was way more challenging than I thought it would be haha but if I am one thing it is stubborn, so I set out to do it.
You guys, I am not kidding when I say that it was life changing. It’s like any addiction, it starts off small and then you are wondering how you lived without it. The first two weeks were the hardest, I would find myself up and making breakfast and questioning if I really had to trek back into my room to make my bed. I had already told several people my plan to make my bed daily for two weeks and knew that I would have to wallow in self shame if I gave up a few days in. The irony is not lost on me that as I am writing this it sounds more like I was training for a marathon and not just trying to put some pillows on my bed daily. It actually was challenging and I think it’s because making your bed isn’t just a physical act, it is mentally setting the tone for the day ahead. It’s the first thing you are supposed to do in the morning and when you choose to make your bed it sets a pattern in place. You have started your day off accomplishing something even if it is small accomplishment. It’s kind of amazing though because if the rest of the day goes poorly you can come back to your room at the end of the day and fall into a nice made bed. Starting the day with a little win is important and rolls into the rest of your day. As this practice became part of my morning routine I found myself making positive changes in all of my routines. Instead of leaving my dish in the sink after breakfast I was more inclined to unload the dishwasher and put my dirty plate in there, because hell, I had already made my bed and didn’t want to come home to dirty dishes after I had already conquered one room in the house.
This way of thinking started to become a habit and before I knew it, I was unable to go to bed without putting everything away, folding the laundry (you should have seen my husband’s face), fluffing the pillows on the couch and cleaning the countertops. I realized that it didn’t take much time if I just did it in the moment. What takes a lot of time is cleaning your entire house when it has been neglected for a few days. Once the whole home is clean it really just comes down to maintenance and prioritizing one big cleaning activity every day (like Monday is vacuuming, Tuesday is toilets and bathroom sinks, etc) and it is so much easier.
If you think climbing into a freshly made is amazing, try waking up to a clean home every single day. Cue the angels singing. To think this new form of living just started from making my bed daily. My house has been consistently clean for over two months now and it has been so easy to maintain and to think it all started by pushing myself to make my bed every day. Is this something you would do or consider trying? My challenge would be to try it for two full weeks and see how you feel about it. Let me know if you end up giving it a try and if it’s something you enjoyed sticking to.
Tip: if you make the bed first thing in the morning, like as soon as you climb out you are usually too groggy to fight yourself out of doing it. It’s much harder to come back to when you have already started something else like breakfast or feeding critters.