How Making My Bed Everyday Made Me a Happier Person
Until recently, I almost never made my bed. It always seemed like a good idea, but I could rarely bring myself to take the ninety seconds to stack up the pillows and pull up the covers. And as a result, my bedroom always felt cluttered, messy, and depressing. I was discouraged every time I went through my bedroom door and I was having a serious effect on my daily mood.
I've read in a number of homemaking books and blogs that making your bed is a game-changer for keeping your room clean. Apparently, once the bed was made, it would look so nice that you would be encouraged to pick up the clothes off the floor and put away the rest of the clutter in the room.
So I made a commitment to myself to make my bed everyday, no matter what. I downloaded the app "Commit" on my phone to get me started. I entered in "make my bed" as one of the habits on the app, and it would prompt me with a reminder everyday. Then I would get to push the giant green circle with the checkmark when I successfully made my bed each day. Best of all, the app keeps a running tally of how many days in a row I have completed my habit.
I wasn't perfect at first, and had several false starts, but after several months, I was accumulating a long chain of successful bed-making days. I would be rushed in the morning and want to skip, but then I would think of my chain of days, and I wouldn't want to let the app down. So I made the bed. It wasn't always perfect, but it was way better than the jumbled mess it started as. I felt good all day about it, and I felt great when I slipped back into a made bed in the evening.
I rejoiced when I got to 100 days in a row. Around day 150, I decided that my habit was becoming ingrained and that I would stop tracking it when I got to 200. When I finally did make it to 200 days, it wasn't as exciting as I had expected, because making my bed had become so routine. I no longer had to make a decision every day whether or not I was going to do it. It was something that happened every morning before I left my home. It never took as long as I thought it would, and I was always rewarded for my efforts. Making my bed every day undoubtedly added happiness to my life. I felt less like a slob and felt more in control of my life.
And, just like the books and blogs said, it did have a trickle down effect of the rest of my bedroom. It's still not pristine, but I'm doing a better job of putting away clothes, picking up stray books and water glasses, and overall, keeping things tidier.
When I enter my bedroom, it's closer to the sanctuary I have long been wanting for myself. I no longer feel tense and shameful when I step into my bedroom when I get home from work. And it all started with a simple habit.
What habits have made you happier? What small steps have you taken to greatly improve your quality of life?