School is in.
Here we are in the second week of September and by now everyone should be back in school. Labor Day has come and gone, and although it is not official, yet, summer is unofficially over. For most of us, this means earlier, busier mornings and a return to rhythmic living in terms of work and play. It also means that some semblance of order can return to the home as children are spending more time away from the house.
The one thing I truly miss during summer vacation is well made bed. It seems like a silly thing to miss, and an easy thing to remedy, but when you have two children of a bed jumping age it is almost futile to even try keeping them neat and tidy. A freshly made bed is one of the most inviting things in the house. For an adult it is a cosy haven at the end of the day. Cool, crisp, and perfectly laid, a well made bed is where we always want to lay our heads. For children, in the daylight it is as inviting as a trampoline, the tightly bound sheets not yet in a position to tangle around their feet; in the night, the well secured covers are like a pair of arms, waiting to embrace them and snuggle closely all night long. Everyone loves a well made bed.
However, no one likes to make them. I remember when I was a kid, I used to fight incessantly with my mother about making the bed. I just did not see the point. I was going to school, then to activities, then back to bed. No one was going to see it and I was just going to mess it up again. Why waste the time and energy?
And she wanted it done so specifically. I couldn’t just pull up the covers and throw the pillow on. The sheets had to face a specific way–Top sheet pattern facing the fitted sheet so that it would show uniformly when folded down. The blanket next, tags always at the bottom. Both should be tucked in between the mattress and boxed springs, folded in at a tight 45 degree angle.
Next was the comforter in the winter and the coverlet in the summer. If you had a sham on the pillow, you could place it on top and be done; if not, you had to fold back all three layers to 1 1/2 the width of your pillow, place the pillow on the edge of the fold and then carefully–oh so carefully– pull the layers of fabric over the top of the pillow to cover the pillow in the blankets in an eye catching and secure way. Stuffed animals could lay centered on the pillow, but preferably only one.
OH how I hated making the bed!
But as I grew up I learned to appreciate a well made bed and a tidy bed space. When cleaning up the room, a neat and tidy bed instantly makes the space look better. When made properly, a bed gets less undone at night because everything is so securely fastened down.
You come to bed happy; the visual appeal of a well made bed and a tide nightstand calls you forth into restful slumber. And you rest better because the blankets are secure and keep you warm throughout the night.
A well made bed is an amazing thing and one of the simplest things to possess. And when the kids are terrorizing the house all summer long, it is one of the things I miss most. But now that everyone is back in school and the weather is turning cooler, a well made bed is something I will cherish everyday, even if I have to make all the beds myself.
How to make a bed the proper way:
Step 1: Lay the top sheet flat, wide banded edge at the headboard, ensuring it hangs evenly on both sides of the bed. If your sheet is patterned the pattern side should be laid to face the mattress.
Step 2: Tuck in the sheet along the foot of the bed. Excess fabric should be hanging down on either side of the bed.
Step 3: At one corner, grab the fabric that is hanging down along the side, lift straight up, and place it on top of the mattress in an even line. The sheet should be smooth around the corner of the mattress. Tuck in any part of the sheet hanging below the mattress as tightly as possible.
Step 4: Fold the fabric laying on top of the mattress down over the side. The sheet corner should form a 45-degree angle with the mattress corner.
Step 5: Tuck in any part of the sheet that hangs below the mattress as tightly as possible.
Step 6: Repeat on the other corner.
Step 7: In the same way as the top sheet, apply blanket to the bed, tags near the foot, tucking excess fabric under the foot of the mattress. Hospital corners are not necessary.
Step 8: Repeat with any remaining blankets.
Step 9: Whether you use a quilt, comforter, duvet, or coverlet, this is the only dressing that should be left untucked. Apply it in the same manner as the other fabrics.
Step 10: For visual appeal, fold back all layers of bedding about the width of your pillows, in an even, straight line, revealing the pattern of the top sheet.
Step 11: Finish with pillows to your liking, being sure to not over fill the bed and cover the top sheet accent.
*Bed linens should be washed or changed every 2 weeks to maintain cleanliness and beauty.
Allowing time to make the bed in the morning will leave you with a sense of balance and clarity at day’s end. It may be a temporary illusion, but the vision of order you will fall asleep to creates a sense of well being about the entire home, making waking up to a sink full of dishes a little easier to bear. At least it does for me.