The most important rule for a successful day that you should never break.

When it comes to keeping you healthy and on your game, guidelines and rules that help you be your best self should not be ignored. Or broken.

One of the most important rules, which also happens to be an organizational tool and a life lesson all rolled up into one, that fits into this category is make your bed. Every day.

If you are rolling your eyes at me it is probably because you are sick of hearing this mentioned by every organizer and lifestyle coach around. But we mention it for good reason. Making your bed is single handily the most powerful thing you can do in the morning to start the day with the best chance of success throughout the day.

And that chance alone is important.

When you make your bed you start the day off on a more organized foot, and more organized means not that things will go smoothly, but that there is more of a chance that things will go smoothly. I like those odds. It is like playing the lottery. Well maybe not exactly but I liken it to it because I love a good scratch ticket. I love the opportunity it gives me to win something. Anything.

I get pretty excited when I scratch off and win $10. And here is the thing. I wouldn’t have won that $10 if I didn’t buy the ticket, or made the bed as it were. I give myself a chance at winning by buying. Just like you give yourself a chance at winning – the day – by making your bed.

Your life is made up of days and moments and if you want to make the most of them, you have to make room for order.

I am not talking about having the whole house organized. I am talking about starting with one simple task -making your bed –  because it is a great symbol for things being in place. And when things are in place, tidy, neat – organized – the area feels good. And you feel good in it.

When you take the small amount of time needed to make the bed there is a huge impact because you set an organized and serene tone for the day. It is not only integral to creating a life you love but important in creating a day you love!

Making your bed helps you:

…create a sense of calm to start your day.

…feel an instant gratification boost whose benefits can carry you into your day.

…close the day well – giving you a welcoming spot to unwind and sleep well.

The sense of calm prepares you better for curveballs.

You know, those things that come out of left field that you have to address, that can send you off course? The emergencies and last-minute requests from your boss, the dog literally eating the homework, the cat tossing cookies in the hallway on your new scatter rug. These will send you off course. And for some, it can be a downward spiral that feels impossible to recover from.

Having a made bed does not mean you won’t have emergencies. It simply means you will deal with them from a more serene place.

Your esteem grows with every task you complete.

Especially those – like making your bed – that make you feel organized and prepared. When you feel that way your approach to other tasks – big or small, daunting or seemingly easy – is lighter, more focused. And with it, you are more productive. An esteem builder in and of itself.

You feel ready. You are ready.

Being able to work hard all day and then be rewarded by walking into a space that welcomes you is something you deserve.

An unmade bed leaves you feeling as shuffled as the sheets strewn across it. But a made bed? It makes you feel like the king or queen you are.

In fact, walking in a room when the bed is made is akin to how you feel when you walk into a hotel room. {sigh} Ahhh.  Now, if you walked into a hotel room and the bed was unmade I think you would call the front desk pronto and ask for a new room. The bed in that hotel room sets the tone for the entire room. With the made bed as the centerpiece, you feel light and happy. When you start the day it gives you a feeling that anything is possible. What are we going to do today?! It is endless what you might choose.

And at the end of the day, it beckons you to rest. That feeling is what you can give yourself every day you make your bed.

A made bed is one of the most important organizational tools in the tool shed.

The feeling it breeds when it is used is what helps make life feel more doable. Even when it feels mangled and messy.

I have heard many excuses about why people don’t make their beds. Often is it around time as in, “I am too rushed in the morning to make my bed.” This really just means that you don’t prioritize it because it doesn’t feel important enough.

But it is.

In fact, thinking you don’t have time to do something as simple as making a bed can actually be an excuse born out of fear – perhaps of not knowing how to do it. You wouldn’t be alone in that. Maybe you never learned. Maybe you know how but want it to be made perfectly {as if}. So, if it can’t be done just so, well then… it shall not be done at all.

There is no perfect, with anything. Even bed-making. The goal is to make it just enough to not look unmade. Pull the sheets and comforter up, tight to the headboard, and fluff those pillows. Done. And in likely less than 43 seconds.

You might be someone who does not see the point at all in making neat this one part of the house especially if the rest of the room and house are disheveled.

I have worked with countless clients who hear me tell them that regardless of the state of the rest of their room or their home, or their life, every day I want them to wake up and make the bed. It is a small task you can complete and pat yourself on the back for. And that pat on the back is a powerful thing that builds in you an appreciation for order.

It is a useful, and needed, tool to move forward not just in your day but in any endeavor you are hoping to sort out, decide on, and streamline.

I had a client who asked me to talk to her children about organizing things in their room. Now, you know that the first thing I talked to them about was about making their bed. To the older daughter, this made sense. She totally understood that making the bed left the room feeling a certain way. My client’s son – he was a different story. He had an excuse for not making his bed that I had never heard before – and haven’t heard since. In fact, when I asked him why he didn’t make his bed, I assumed I would hear the typical “I don’t know”. And as I have said that is always code for “I don’t know how to make a bed”.

But instead, he said, “I think making a bed is a waste of time because you just get back in it at the end of the day.” He had a point. And after a few minutes to think and compose an answer I asked him to think about making a bed like brushing and flossing teeth. I mean, why bother doing that? You’ll just get them dirty when you eat.

Of course, you do bother.

Because when you don’t brush and floss food gets stuck and plaque builds and then you get cavities, which means you have to go to the dentist and …that drill…ohjust the sound. I don’t know about you but it is what keeps me brushing and flossing daily.

The same goes for making a bed. Every day you don’t make your bed you take a step backward. You get into negative numbers on the balance scale. You start the day just a little more off than normal. At first, it is negligible – you can hardly feel it. But every day that plaque builds and you start to feel it. The clutter cavity is forming and growing. You start your days almost lazier and it carries through the day.

And here is perhaps the worst part. When you end the day, you walk into a space that makes you feel untidy, perhaps unkempt, tired. Instead of walking into a room that beckons you to relax and sleep you come straight into …the dentist’s chair.

I am telling you – make your bed!

It carries great weight for the rest of the day, for organization, for your approach to the day, to your life. There are many reasons you might not do the actual act of making your bed. And being honest about them will help you address how you can change them.

Making your bed is a valuable habit to cultivate if having a sense of order in your space and your life is important to you.

What I know is that when things are in place, in order, tidy, neat, it is a signal to the brain, and to yourself that says I am starting this day, project, or goal, on even ground. I’m prepared for whatever comes my way.

That mental massage you give your brain is very important. With it, you have more of a chance to succeed.

You deserve that opportunity.

And all the benefits that come from your winnings.

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