Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's Cleaning: Room by Room Series: The Bedroom, part 2

It's Wednesday again, and you know what that means? Time to focus on cleaning! The current series, "Room by Room" has us focused on the Making the bed today. I know what you are thinking. Really? An entire post about how to make your bed? When I first saw the post from Melissa Ringstaff's Household Notebook, I thought the same thing. Once I read it, though, I realized she had some great tips on how to properly make a bed and maintain cleanliness with it weekly and daily.

(And if you missed last time when we began the bedroom, here's the link. If this is your first time to this series, I only highlight points from Melissa's page. For the entire list for today, please go here).

Making the Bed

Washing the Bed Linens: Weekly (Highlights) 

1. Allow the mattress to air for a while. Um, absolutely! Especially with the kids, especially boys. For some reason, boys are okay with going to bed with all kinds of funk, so washing the sheets for them once a week is really important. PLUS, that mattress really needs a good airing out once a week.

2. Rotate mattress. Now this doesn't say flip mattress, but I feel that flipping and rotating are pretty necessary. I don't really do this once a week, but maybe I should, huh?

How to Make the Bed: Weekly (Highlights)

1. When using a comforter, often the flat sheet is placed with the right side down so that when you turn it down at the top, the ride side of the sheet is visible. Now I have been making my bed for a LONG time, and this never occurred to me. Who cares if the flat sheet is the wrong way? You have a big comforter, or in my case, a quilt, covering that sheet. I always didn't like the way the underside of the sheet looked when making my bed, so, again, I'm not sure why I didn't think of this first.

2. To correctly make a hospital corner at the foot of your bed, lift the side of the sheet and tightly tuck in the portion that is hanging down. Okay, never heard of it called a "hospital corner" but it makes sense. And I do this when I am seriously making my bed, but not regularly. I don't like the way it feels on my feet. BUT is is good for the guest bed, for sure!

3. Bedspread v. Comforter. Apparently, if you have a bedspread, you cover the pillows, but if you have a comforter, you don't. Who knew? I sure didn't? I thought you always cover the pillows. Maybe it's preference?

How to Make the Bed: Daily (Highlights) 

1. Upon waking, turn the covers down to allow the sheets to air for an hour or two. *Allowing the bed to air helps to retain a fresh smell of the linens and the bedroom* What?! Seriously, for years, I get out of bed, turn around, and immediately make up the bed. Now I feel that maybe after the kids are off to school , I am going to start going back to pull back the covers while I put away breakfast and tidy the kitchen and bathrooms.

2. After breakfast, continue making the bed. See? She even suggests that is done this way! For you SAHMs, this is great for you! For you working moms, you are not going to have the luxury to do this. I know. I've been there. So maybe the "proper" bed making can be done as soon as you get home from work or this "airing out" can be done on the weekends. I think it's smart, though, so try it at least once a week.

Photo Credit 

So here's a little anecdote:

Last week, I was getting seriously frustrated about how messy my kids' rooms were. I feel like every time I turn around, a tornado has blown through. I know, mom, what goes around comes around, but I'm trying to create little cleaning monsters. I want it to be habit for them to have their room decently cleaned, and I refuse to be the one that does it for them. They will never learn that way, and I will not tolerate a messy room. Okay, back to the story. So as I was planning, preparing, and organizing the house for Abigail's birthday party last week, I asked the boys to just keep the rooms clean for mommy. Please? And, of course, they didn't. So instead of yelling at them, which doesn't seem to work, and I feel that I'm training them to ignore their wives one day, I decided to show them my room and give them a little trick. I told them that even if their room is a mess and there are things lying all around, if you make your bed, your room automatically looks cleaner. So I opened my bedroom door and showed them my room. Yes, I still had shoes on the floor instead of in the closet, and there were a few things out of place, but my bed was made. I asked them, "Does mommy's room look clean?" and they said "yes!" (although Jed, my MESSY child, was quick to point out my shoes on the floor). I then told them to stand outside the door. I closed it, and unmade my bed. I made it look like it does when Joe and I first get up. I opened the door, and they were amazed at how messy my room looked. I told them the only thing I changed was the bed. I then told them to count how long it took mommy to make the bed (not seriously make it like Melissa would suggest, but enough that the sheets and pillows were straight and the comforter was pulled over the bed and smoothed down). 24 seconds. That's how long it took. And, again, they were amazed. I think the lesson clicked for them for a little bit. If mom says clean my room, the first thing I should do is make the bed. And honestly, they have been making their beds first thing ever since. I am impressed. And proud.

One other little side note: If are a pretty good at cleaning your rooms or are satisfied with the way you make your bed, this list may not mean anything to you. BUT if you have kids or a husband you want to start encouraging to help around the house, you may want to print Melissa's list or make a condensed version of the list and make a little poster. You can laminate the sheet to make a check list they can use a dry eraser on each day or week, and check off all the steps. I know that your husband knows how to make a bed, but if you want it down a specific way, you may have to actually spell it out for him. He doesn't know your routine or expectations unless you tell him. You may be surprised when he actually does it on the weekend, for your birthday, or for anniversaries. Or for your college/high school/ middle school kid, this would work great!

Next time's topic: Cleaning the bathroom. Come back for the conclusion of this series! Happy cleaning, everyone!

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