The other side of the making your bed

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2019

So, this isn’t about what side of the bed you get out on every morning. This is a follow up to a blog I did on why it’s important to make your bed, Making your bed is the path to living organized. That particular blog post triggered a variety of reactions from the readers. The interesting part for me is what I am about to share with you in this follow up. So, if you would like to go back and read the original that might provide you with a little more background.

As a mom, I am continuously humbled by my children and I believe that is a good thing. Once I got past the ego within, I could actually use this to be a better mom and it shows my kids that I don’t have all the answers. The problem is that my ego likes to rear its ugly head from time to time.

This week I realized that both of my teenage sons were making their beds. I shamelessly gave myself a pat on the back for nagging them into this change in routine. Thinking I would be a good mom and praise them for this new change in behavior, I decided to mention it at dinner last night. I told them how wonderful it was that they were starting their day off organized with a made bed! The reply from each of them was something like a smirk. It was as if they were hiding a big secret! After some coaxing, I mean badgering they told me they now sleep on top of their covers and cover up with a blanket that’s been on their beds to use as an extra. I’ll be honest, I had a moment of a million thoughts running through my head and none of them were positive! I immediately perceived them both as being lazy for not making their beds. I also went to the point of thinking they had decided to join forces in efforts to outsmart me. Quickly, I caught myself stuck in my ego. This wasn’t even about me, so I wanted to find out how they had independently come to this conclusion.

Before we go further, it may seem to you that I am a little over the top about making the bed. For me, it goes deeper than that as previously discussed in the other blog. I try not to be hypercritical when it comes to the bedrooms of my children because I work with adults who have thoughts stuck in their heads that come from their childhood. I recognize how well meaning parents have said things they can’t take back. In our house, we really don’t have any rules except make the bed and empty your trash.  My two boys have become minimalists, which I believe has come out of working with me on organizing jobs. I have not fostered minimalism.

Independently, each of them had their own reasons for sleeping on top of the comforter…

  1. They both admitted to getting too hot in the night
  2. One of them said he was saving money on the water bill because bedding is washed weekly in our home. This way only the comforter and pillowcase would be washed. (I’m not sure there is much of a savings here but it is thoughtful)
  3. It was explained to me that this saves time in the morning since one of them likes to get up at the last minute. ( Okay, but how much?)
  4. It kept me from nagging ( Ouch!)

I’ll admit that as a committed bed maker, the initial thought of their method caused me to jump to conclusions. As we talked through this, I could see they were actually exercising their ability to think out of the box which is more important to me than if they really make their bed. I have always encouraged this type of thinking! In the end, I felt ridiculous for thinking negatively and humbled myself by asking them to forgive me for being short sighted.

In the end, their system is a system that keeps them organized. Being on time is a piece of living organized. This system accomplishes that. If blankets are making them too hot and interrupting sleep, they could be considered clutter. There is no right way or wrong way. This is a cardinal rule I teach my organizing clients, guess I needed to be reminded of it. So, the thanks goes to my teenage sons for this one!!

If you are interested in living a more organized life, be a part of the mission, Keeping it Simple. It’s a membership site devoted to all things organized for all levels of organized.  You can join us at


Happy organizing,

Darlene Illig

Organize You Inside and Out

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