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Why You Shouldn't Make Your Bed This Morning

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Why You Shouldn't Make Your Bed This Morning

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why You Shouldn't Make Your Bed This Morning

I'll never forget that episode of 60 Minutes I saw about 20 years ago. Yes, it's been that long, and I have never forgotten! There seems to be something Americans do that no one else in the world does, and we are doing it wrong. Here's why.

Remember when you first learned how to make your bed the "American way"? You had your fitted sheet, and then on top you smoothed out your top sheet? Remember the hospital corners you're supposed to be doing at the foot of the bed? Then you threw on either a blanket or a comforter, plumped up your pillows, and you were done. I don't know about you, but it would always take me an inordinate amount of time doing all that. Even after my stint in the Army, it still wasn't a simple task for me. Well, how about making your bed like 90% of the other Westernized countries do it. What would you say if I told you it was not only easier but more sanitary to boot!

Go to any hotel or home in Europe, and you'll see they sleep with a featherbed or comforter covered in a duvet. What's a duvet? It looks like a monster-sized pillowcase encasing your comforter. When they make their bed over there, they just fluff up their pillow and comforter, and they're done. I know the Germans and the French even hang their featherbeds out the window for a few hours every morning to "freshen it up". This also has the added benefit of letting the mattress itself air out a bit. Just think about it. You've been tossing and turning and rolling around in there all night, sweating and secreting....things. Yuck!

This is where the bedbugs and dust mites come in, and this is where the episode of 60 Minutes will never be forgotten. Just about everyone has some kind of bug..actually many bugs...crawling all over their mattress, sheets and comforter..oh and in your pillow too. Put them under a microscope, and there is no need to ever see a horror movie again, they are that ugly and imposing. When you immediately make your bed, you are in effect, sealing in the moisture and "stuff" these bugs thrive on! Now you can go tell your mom you were right in not making your bed all those years!

Follow these tips to have a cleaner and happier sleepy place:

  • Do not make your bed right after you get up; Fluff everything up and fold down your comforter to the lower part of your bed (I realize it is unrealistic to air it out the window, but hey, why don't you give it a try if you live somewhere you can do that and the weather cooperates); if you must, come back later to make your bed the pretty way
  • Get rid of your topsheet; use it for something else where it'll be more useful; it serves no purpose on your bed; you'll have one less thing to wash; you'll also make your bed so much faster
  • If you already have a comforter, get a duvet for it; don't go by the sizes on the package; I would go ahead and measure to make sure the duvet will fit your comforter
  • If you live in a cooler climate, go ahead and get a featherbed; you'll never go back; they can last a lifetime, unlike most comforters
  • When you wash your bed linens (I try to do this every other week), wash them in hot water; I like to fluff up my comforter or featherbed and lay it in the sun or in the winters, I go ahead and wash the comforter; in Germany, they actually have these trucks that show up twice a year, a kind of mobile laundry, they launder only featherbeds; you can walk by and see them removing the down and spinning it in a big glass enclosed bin, kind of like the "Build-a-Bear" store
  • I also wash my mattress cover and vacuum the mattress; you'd be surprised at the dust and "things" that get sucked up when you do this; if you get a mattress cover especially made to keep dustmites out of the mattress, you can typically skip this step
  • If you live in a hot climate, and don't want to deal with your featherbed in the summers, after having it dry cleaned or laid out in the sun (make sure it's completely dry), fold it into a trashbag and use your vacuum to suck out all the air; no need to invest in those spacebags, as a trashbag works just as well; just tie the bag off with a twist tie and stack it in your closet or store it under your bed
What is your favorite bed ensemble, and what tips can you share?



Blogger Genesis said...

I started "un-making" our bed about a year ago, after reading about the concept of airing out linens in the book "Home Comforts : The Art and Science of Keeping House" by Cheryl Mendelson. It makes sense, but it took a while to be OK with seeing my bed unmade. I always feel better when things are in order. By making a point of pulling all the blankets back, and fluffing the pillows, it at least looks like it's on purpose :)

I still use a top sheet; my DH refuses to go without. I also bought a down comforter and duvet last year, but it's sooo warm, even for Wisconsin, that we have to wait until it's sub-zero outside before pulling it out. I do like to regularly drag our quilt outside for airing.

I've gotten in the habit of washing sheets once a week (in hot water). I take them off right away Saturday morning and leave them off until afternoon or evening to let the mattress air out. It's nice getting into freshly-washed sheets.

October 16, 2007 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make your own duvet! Take that top sheet (and a top sheet from a coordinating sheet set) and sew them together to make a giant pillowcase (duvet) for your comforter. No waste-and since I don't sew I can always trade something for the effort by a sewing friend, since it's such a simple project.

October 16, 2007 at 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I change my sheets at least once a week...sometimes twice a week. I know people that sometimes go 2 or 3 weeks. I just can't do that.

November 4, 2007 at 6:59 PM  

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