Making your bed everyday can change your life

Does the thought of making your bed in the morning before you've had your coffee make you want to crawl back under the covers? This is why you should start.

We spoke to Mamamia Writer and self-confessed Type B personality Jo Abi about what she has learned from her friends about changing your life, one made bed at a time.

“I imagine bed-makers to be the kinds of people who set their alarms bright and early and without even a glance at the snooze button, spring out of bed for a jog or a gym session or a bit of mediation, before spending a glorious two hours preparing themselves for the day ahead.

Let's call them Type A's. 

Mamamia writer, editor, author and mother of three teenage girls, Jackie Lunn, is also an early riser and bed-maker.

On the latest episode of The Parent Code, Jackie shares how she starts her day.

"Three mornings I go to the gym which means I have to wake up early, so I'll wake up, be at the gym by six, I'm home by 7 and the kids get up," she says.

The author confesses to a lot of running around, multiple trips up and down the stairs, and quite a few wake up calls to get the girls out of bed, before they're out the door by 8:00 am.

"I like to have the kitchen clean when I leave the house so there's no breakfast, there's no lunches, all of that. I like to have the beds made... I expect my girls to make their beds every morning," she says.

So that's the bed-makers, but what about the rest of us? We STRUGGLE to get out of bed in the morning, even after pressing the snooze button a zillion times, only getting out of bed when we have a ridiculously small window of opportunity to brush our teeth, get dressed and race out the door. Bed, what bed? Breakfast, what breakfast?

These are the Type B's.

Here's my typical Type B morning:

I stumble out of bed dreaming of the end of the day and being able to go into bed. I have a quick shower and then yell for my son to get in after me. I put on my robe, switch on the TV and turn the volume up on the cartoons to stir my younger kids. I then consider washing the dinner dishes from the night before but look at the clock and realise I don't have time to clean the kitchen and due to the unwashed dishes, don't have room to make myself breakfast.

I throw things into the kid's school bags and quickly iron their clothes and lay them out on the lounges so they can get dressed in front of the TV. They get dried cereal for breakfast because we inevitably end up eating it in the car.

The beds are unmade, forgotten, dead to me until that evening when I can crawl back into mine.

Then, there's Elle McPherson.

The Aussie model and lingerie designer recently described her morning routine to US Weekly:

I wake up, I breathe and I take some quiet time to set my intentions for the day - not what I have to do, but how I want to do it. So noticing, 'I really lacked sense of humour yesterday, and today I am going to reach for sense of humour instead of getting frustrated'. Simple things like that. Then I drink half a litre of water when I get up, and then I make a warm compote of apples or fruit with some seeds a whole bunch of that. I usually eat that quietly, outside, watching the sun rise. Then I let the dogs out, have a coffee, wake up the kids, make them breakfast, then I drive them to school. Then I go workout and come home, shower, and go to my office - I have an office at home.

No mention of making the bed. Elle Macpherson does not make her bed. In fact, approximately 56 per cent of Australians don't make their bed, with less than half bothering to pull up the sheets and put their pillows in perfect positions before walking casually out the door because they got up in plenty of time and are not running late.

Look, I used to be a morning person. When I was little I'd wake as the sun rose (I think I was part rooster) and sneak into the lounge room to quietly watch TV before anyone else woke up.

Our normally noisy home was quiet, and all mine.

That all changed when I had a baby.

Then another baby.

And then another.

Since then I have found it impossible to wake up early and have a proper morning routine, let alone one that allows me enough time to make my bed. I'm a non-bed-maker and proud of it, having been raised in a home where beds were only made if visitors were coming over.

Even if I did manage to get up earlier each day, I wouldn't spend that time making my bed. I'd eat a proper breakfast or sneak in some TV or linger in the shower.

According to our resident bed-maker Jackie, my problem (and I'm all ears) is that I keep telling myself I have to get up early to have more time to iron clothes and get the kids ready and do all the boring and tedious things I have to do each day, like make the bed.

"Maybe if you did something for yourself, then when you do the other stuff that's that boring monotonous, thankless stuff you've got a better head-space for doing it," she says.

The experts seem to agree that a good morning routine with time for you and for your routine is key to having a successful life. Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning says the most successful days start from the moment you open your eyes.

"Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days which inevitably creates a successful life in the same way unfocused, unproductive and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive and mediocre days."

He's a bed-maker, if ever I've heard one.

Elrod says by changing the way you start your day - get up early, make your bed - you can transform your life, "faster than you ever thought possible."

So once again I'm feeling inspired. When school goes back I am going to become a Type A. I want to be happier, I want more success, I want to leave behind my procrastinating ways that ruin my days and I want to come home to a neat and tidy home with beds made up neatly and invitingly, seemingly whispering in my ear: You are going to have such a good sleep tonight. Look how comfortable I look. Imagine how it's going to feel when get under the covers and get yourself a good night's sleep.

I have always wondered if I could become the sort of person who takes a few minutes at the start of each day to do a few breathing exercises, while making my bed, after the shower I took following an intense gym session.

And now I know how: make it all about me.”

Listen to the full episode of The Parent Code hosted by Jo Abi and featuring Jackie Lunn.

To subscribe to The Parent Code in iTunes go to apple.co/mamamia where you'll find all of our shows in one place and any books written by the many Mamamia guests.

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