Do you remember being 15 years old, ready to dash out the door and get to school before class started to get that precious social time in with your friends, but your mum quickly catches you by your collar — and says you are not leaving until you make your bed?
I was definitely that teenager. I really didn’t see the point, as I was just going to slide under the covers again 12 hours later and mess the bed up all over again. So eventually as I got older my mother gave up on telling me to make my bed, and it wasn’t for another 10 years that I realised how important this two-minute habit is.
I have always been a messy person in my bedroom, and while I have always been respectful of communal spaces, my personal space was always a mess. This all changed when I was listening to a podcast — I can’t remember who was speaking or what the general topic was, but it was most likely a Tim Ferris podcast — but the one thing that stuck with me was this person reiterating that the first thing they did when they got out of bed was make their bed. And together with mindfulness practices and other morning routines, it helped set them up for a successful day. I thought to myself, taking two minutes out of my morning to make the bed wasn’t a habit that was going to make me late for work, so I decided to start adding it to my morning routine. Before long I started to notice this habit was making my messiness disappear everywhere! A tidy bed made my whole room look neater and more organised; after all, it’s the biggest feature in a bedroom. Seeing a neat bed made me want to make sure everything else in my room, my clothes, books, and makeup stand were all in order too. I noticed on the days I didn’t make my bed, my bedroom would end up in disarray all over again. The change went as far as my desk at work!
So while my mum may have only wanted the room to look tidy, what she didn’t realise is that the habit she was trying to drill into me was going to have a domino effect on the rest of my organisational habits.
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