How to (Properly) Make a Bed in 5 Easy Steps

I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t make my bed every day. But absolutely nothing beats the feeling of climbing into a crisp, clean bed at night. 

Navy Seal William McRaven famously said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” He’s talking about setting your intentions for the day and how accomplishing one small task can inspire you to move on to the next one and the next one. We like to call that the cleaning snowball effect. And at House Work, we see how this effect can translate into a calmer, cleaner living space across your home. 

The problem is that most people have never been taught how to PROPERLY make a bed. And, even if they have, they HATE doing it. Listen, I get it. But once you figure out how to make your bed the correct way, you’ll become addicted to the way it looks and feels.

With all of that being said, let’s talk about how to make your bed, the House Work way.

Step 1: Strip the bed

Start with a clean slate. Remove all the bedding and give it a good wash using Powdered Tide. If you want to go the extra mile, you could strip your bedding (see laundry stripping article here) to really get everything extra clean.

Step 2: Vacuum your mattress. 

When it comes to the “nastiest” parts of your home, I’d imagine your mind immediately jumps to toilets, sinks, floors, or that repulsive wall of boogers in your son’s room. But, truth be told, your mattress – yes, the thing you sleep on – is at the top of the list.

If you were to look at your mattress fibers with a microscope, you’d find all sorts of unspeakable things, including dust mites, hairs, and allergens. It’s been reported that the average human produces up to 26 gallons of sweat in bed per year, making your mattress one large sponge.

The modern mattress has been described as an ideal fungal culture medium that may contain allergens, fungal spores (such as Penicillium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus), bacteria (skin, oral, fecal… okay, we’ll stop there), chemicals, food, cosmetics, and more.

So grab your vacuum and suck up as much of that crap as you can. You aren’t going to get it perfectly clean with a vacuum, but you can certainly get a lot of the surface-level mess cleared away.

Step 3: Get those sheets on

Now that everything is clean, it’s time to put everything back together. This part is quicker with a partner, but it’s just as doable on your own. 

  • Start by placing the fitted sheet on the mattress. 
  • Then lay out the flat sheet evenly over the bed, with the large hem running along the head of the bed and draping evenly over the sides. 
  • Face the finished side down so that you will see that pretty edge when you fold it over at the end. 
  • At the foot of the bed, slightly lift the mattress and tuck in the fabric that hangs over this edge. (If you’d like to incorporate hospital corners, pull up about an 8-inch section of your flat sheet at a 45-degree angle, then fold it over the corner, and tuck it all in on the sides. This will give you nice, tight corners. (We are torn whether this fold should go over the foot of the bed or the side of the bed. You do you.)

Step 4: Layer it like a 7-layer dip

The next step is to layer on your blankets, duvets, and pillows. Fold over the top 2-3 feet of all the layers, including your top sheet, so it looks all inviting. Fluff up your pillows and make sure they are completely in their shams, all the way to the corners. 

Have fun with it! We’re really trying to spruce this thing up. The bed is always going to be the centerpiece of a bedroom – the focal point, if you will. A messy or puny looking bed makes the room feel more “interstate motel” than “penthouse suite.” Fluff this thing to the nines. 

The more layers you have, the more luxurious you will feel crawling into bed at night. And likely, the more annoyed your partner will be at the number of pillows they have to remove to get in… but again, whatever floats your boat.  

Step 5: (optional) Hotel Chocolate

This last step is the piece de resistance. If you’ve ever had the luxury of a House Work house clean, you’ll know that they always pop chocolate on your bed to make it feel like you’ve gotten the 5-star hotel treatment. Of course, this is optional, but it’s such a fun touch. 

Pro tip: If there are dogs in the house, we skip this step for safety reasons.

Chocolate is just our touch – maybe you have something else that brings you joy? For example, if you have a flower garden in your backyard, try placing a freshly cut flower on the bedspread (or in a vase on the end table).  The point is to add that little touch of personality and attention to detail that makes you smile.

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

– Becky @ GoCleanCo

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