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Why You Need to Make Your Bed {Domino Habits}

by | Apr 24, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, My Books

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Why You Need to Make Your Bed {Domino Habits}

Years ago I had a lot trouble keeping my house clean. I mean, A LOT of trouble. I loved my house, loved to decorate, and I really wanted a clean house. I could visualize it in my mind. I knew I would be happier and more productive if I could figure out how to keep up with the house. But I just couldn’t figure out HOW. I was overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS.

Finally, I learned that the secret wasn’t in figuring out how to do everything, it was figuring out how to do the one thing that would inspire me to do the next thing. Forward motion. Once I figured out the domino principle and how to set the dominoes in motion, everything started falling into place.

As I share in my book, my new habits at home all started with making my bed. Every. Single. Morning. If I didn’t make it in the morning for some reason, I made it in the afternoon. If I didn’t make it by bedtime, I actually made my bed before I would let myself go to bed.

Yes, that meant I made the bed and then had to pull the covers down right away and crawl into it. But the “illogical” part of bed making didn’t matter to me because bed making became a non-negotiable for me. It was my reminder that one step leads to another and one skipped step meant the potential of one whole day of mis-steps. Start out the day right and all the right dominoes will fall.

My friend, fellow author and writer at (in)courage Jennifer Dukes Lee had a little lightbulb moment after reading the book. She decided to try out the bed making ritual at her house this week!

I love what she says about how she felt after making her bed (and the other home-loving dominoes that fell one by one around her):

“I felt like a grown-up — a happy, legit grown-up with a made bed, a clean sink, one decluttered cupboard, and a pig on the counter. I felt like a woman who had miraculously pulled herself up from the energy-sucking Bermuda Triangle of Household Chaos.”

via Jennifer Dukes Lee, read the rest of her story at Want to Change the World? Start by Making Your Bed.

Do you utilize the power of daily domino habits at your house?


  1. Deanna

    I make my bed every, single, day! I learned years ago that it helps make a room look better instantly, and it does! I love coming into my room and seeing the bed made! It’s so pretty, too!

    I guess I never thought about the domino principle but I’ve learned over the years to keep the house tidy enough to be able to do a quick pick up if someone is coming over unexpectedly. Also since I don’t like to spend hours cleaning the house, we keep it in the condition to just have to take a few minutes daily to have it looking great!

    Love your book!

  2. Lucinda

    I try to make my bed everyday. I too will make it up even if I’m going to get in an hour later. The other ritual that leads me to a domino effect of getting the house in order is scrubbing my kitchen sink. You will find yourself cleaning the entire kitchen before you scrub out your sink. It’s so much nicer waking up to a clean kitchen.

  3. Elizabeth

    Melissa, Just finished reading your book and I really enjoyed it. Every time I finished a chapter I was inspired to clean something, straighten up things and/or rearrange things! HaHa! But it is true!!! I have always been a bed maker. Growing up mom’s rule was to make our bed before we came to the kitchen for breakfast. Since reading your book I have started wiping out my kitchen sink after all the dinner dishes are done. It is truly wonderful to wake up and come to the kitchen with a shiny clean sink. Thanks so much for inspiring us to “love the home we have”.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Well that makes me so happy to know you were inspired by the book! YAY! Thank you for letting me know you enjoy the book and blog, it inspires me to keep sharing! Enjoy your home, Elizabeth!

  4. Sara

    I actually do the same thing! If somehow I don’t get to making the bed during the day, I make it before we go to sleep! There’s just something comforting and relaxing about crawling into tidy, made bed. If I was to go to bed while it’s still a mess, it would just make me feel like a failure.
    But my domino task is washing the dishes. Once I wash the dishes, I have to wipe the counters and the stove top, and then I have to make the table nice, and then I have to tidy up and put away random things that somehow stumbled into kitchen and then when the kitchen is nice and clean, I tidy up the living room too, because it’s right next to it and it’s ruining the picture :)

  5. Jenny

    My MIL taught me the valuable lesson that a made bed can change the view of a messy home. There was an Navy admiral that gave a graduation speech focusing on making your bed everyday and how it can change your outlook. It was so awesome I made my daughters watch it!

    • Liz

      That was a great speech

  6. Andrea M. Schnapp

    I, too, make my bed every morning because it does make me pick up the bedroom, go into the bathroom and spruce it up, which leads to everything else. I used to be such a slob, but making my bed everyday change my daily approach. I had no idea it had a name! Plus it’s so nice to go to bed in an orderly room.

  7. Beth

    I love having a clean house, and before kids, when we were both working full time, it was no problem. We didn’t make much of a mess, anyway. Then I had kids. Right after having my first child, I was becoming desperate as I looked around my messy home. My husband was a true help as I recovered, serving me in countless ways, but he just didn’t see the mess and I couldn’t ask him to do more than he already was. I finally broke down in tears {I blame hormones, naturally} and talked to my mom, who gave me the best advice ever. “Make your bed.” I couldn’t believe the difference it made, not only to my room, but to my countenance. I could now face the day. It continues to this day, and when my daughter, who is now 8, begins to get overwhelmed by anything, we start with making her bed. Obviously, it doesn’t make problems go away, but it does make them seem more manageable, somehow.

  8. Linda

    I just received your book and have only had a chance to glance through it, but what I see has me wanting to stop everything I am doing and sit down and read it. However, that’s not possible, but is on my summer book reading list.

    With regard to the bed-making thing, I make my bed religiously. Every. Single. Day. It does start your day off with an accomplishment. I do have a problem sustaining that positivity at times, but for the most part it does become the first of many dominoes in my day.

    Thanks for expressing it like this, it makes so much more sense now and will hopefully motivate me to go on and do the next dominoe.

    Have a great Inspired day.

  9. Carolyn

    I loved this post! I’m older now and I have found this to be so true! We have to spend so much money on the bed itself, mattress, pad, sheets, comforters…who wants it to look like a big rumpled mess! I’m in and out of the bedroom all day so I enjoy seeing it made and I know my husband does too!

  10. Ruth

    Getting into a ‘made’ bed at the end of the day feels so much better than getting into a rumpled one. Fresher, more welcoming, and relaxing. Of course I’m the kind of weirdo that makes the bed when I’m sick. If I go lie on the couch to watch tv or to take a shower when I’m sick, I straighten up the bed and turn back the covers before I do the other things just because it feels much better when I have to go crawl back into bed again.

  11. Karen Farber

    Ugh yes I’ve heard of this before! Used to make my bed every morning and I felt so much more productive throughout the day, but somewhere along the line broke that good habit! Need to get back on track

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yeah, I sometimes get out of the habit for a few days but then when I feel a little dreary around the house, I realize WHY! Good thing is you can just start over!

  12. Lor

    Great post! Making my bed every morning is something I’ve been doing too. It can be such a drag but I always feel so much better afterwards!

  13. Jean |

    Melissa, I finished your book last night and just posted a review on Amazon (It’s About Balance, Not Perfection by Jean). Loved it!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh, Jean, THANK YOU so much. It really means a lot to me that you would share a kind review! <3

  14. Alyssa

    I am a newly-reformed bed maker. For years I didn’t bother because my kids napped, so it seemed pointless. Then even when they stopped napping it seemed pointless because our bedrooms were all upstairs and all of our main living space was downstairs, so guests never saw our bedrooms. But since we’ve moved into a ranch-style house last year, I’ve started making the beds. At first it was just a matter of pride because anyone who comes into our house and needs to use the restroom will be able to see into all the rooms. But it soon became a habit, and now I can’t stand having the beds unmade, even if I’m the only one home. I totally agree with the domino effect it can have!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I agree, I am much happier when the bed is made even if it is only me at home! It’s funny too if I don’t make the bed for some reason I feel like I’m dragging myself through the day. To save me from myself, I go make my bed and start the day over :).

  15. Nan, Odessa, DE

    I was taught by a loving grandmother to make the bed, keep the sink empty, start a load of wash, dress yourself for the day with care THEN and ONLY then could the fun begin for the day! Makes you wanna get the necessaries completed so the fun can begin!!!

  16. Dawn B.

    I always make our bed in the morning! Makes me happy to come home from work and turn back the covers! Also, you never know who hubby might bring home and the bedroom is in plain view of the main bathroom!

  17. Tonya @ Rustic and Woven

    Yep, I’m a daily bed maker too. Even if it’s right before bedtime, the bed gets made. And it definitely has a domino effect – once the bed is made, I’m encouraged to put away the shoes that have been left out or pick up any laundry that was left on the floor, and then the night stands are tidied up and before you know it the whole room is nice and orderly – which helps me relax at the end of a long day.

  18. Darlene Yager

    As a child, my mom insisted all 3 of her girls make our beds…. (Including hers)… between the lines…. ;-).
    Then strict nursing school rules back in the late 60’s (I’m 64), demanded made beds.
    Once I was “free”…….I retaliated/throwing caution to the wind….whatever you want to call it, & left my bed unmade. It was unsettling. C. R. A. Z. Y. Once my bed is made, it makes everything else fall into place & even if everything else is disorganized I can fool myself into thinking all is well in the confines of my home. A simple”FLOOF” of the duvet covered down comforter, a few pillows in place & VOILA!!!

  19. Faith

    Great advice! Honestly I think I even sleep better when first crawling into a made bed.

  20. Sweet Auburn Life

    That first paragragh is me! I might just be in the Bermuda triangle. I’m going to give it a go this week! Thanks for sharing x

  21. Blu

    A well made bed sets the tone for the room!

  22. Becky

    Honestly I have to give most of the credit to my husband. He always pulls the covers up, at least on his side of the bed. How can I not finish the job when he does that?!! I am always grateful to him for caring about how our bed looks. And that sets things in motion for the day.

  23. Darlene

    I have been doing this since I was a teenager & COMPLETELY agree that it is the best way to start your day. Heck, it makes you feel like you’ve already accomplished something!! It was also one of the (few) things I managed to do consistently when I had a newborn baby that made me feel productive

  24. Sheila S

    I’ve found it helpful to make chores like bed making as easy as possible. I specifically chose my bedding to streamline the process and make it easy to make the bed every morning. I just shake out the duvet and fold it back, fluff the pillows, smooth the sheet and add a single, long decorative pillow that spans the bed. Done! Makes me happy every time I pass or enter the room!

  25. Sandi

    My mother always made her bed as soon as she was out of it and we had to do the same. This practice is so instilled in me that even when I am away and someone is to come and make my bed, I always pull up the covers as soon as I am out of bed.
    Another thing my mother did was have small vases in the bedroom and another vase in the dinning room. After dusting the top of the table/dressing table a small poesy of flowers was placed in the vases. She found once she did this cleaning the rooms did not seem a chore. I have followed her example. Even if its a small bunch of mostly green foliage, it seems to brighten the room and my mood.

  26. Kristen

    I was not a bed-maker until my husband “required” it. Now, years of making the bed, I can’t go back to NOT making it. It’s such a little thing that makes a big difference!

  27. Justmez2

    Melissa I’m coming back from 4 day vacation and I made my bed this morning before leaving. I smiled and said under my breath “Yes, Mom, I remember how to make up a bed.” I’m sure she’s smiling from heaven!

  28. Christina Rodriguez

    Dang!Now I have to make my bed! Actually, that’s very good advice. Since I have been Feng Shui-ing my home office (which happens to be in my bedroom – small house) I HAVE to make my bed. An easy task but also easy to forget to do.

  29. Diana Buonocore

    I have never left my bed unmade for as long as I can remember. We have a rule – the last one up makes the bed.
    It has worked for 47 years so far.

  30. Chairforce

    Really true! I always make my bed in the morning. It makes me feel good to come home after work. Thank you so much for inspiring us “Love The Home You Have”.

  31. Maria M.

    This is so, so true for me and I know for most everyone. I know that the days that I felt completely uninspired, overwhelmed by mess, and zero motivation in my home were the days that I didn’t make my bed at some point during the day. It sounds crazy to say that, but it is true! I have a morning ritual of making the bed, and then making my way to each room to do a little tidying up, all the while drinking my coffee and watching the morning news shows as I make my way from room to room. It’s my way of loving our home, loving the things inside of it, and loving the way it makes me feel. :-)


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