After waking up, making your bed can seem like a tedious task, especially knowing you will get right back into it later. Sometimes you may not have time, sometimes you may not have energy, and sometimes you just plain don’t care.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right,” said McRaven during his commencement speech at UT Austin.
But, how do you get the crisp hospital corners that would make any military cadet jealous?
The Best Way to Make Your Bed
So, what is the best way to successfully accomplish your first task of the day? Follow these easy steps to learn how to make a tight, crisp bed you can be proud of.
1. Start at the Bottom
First, start at the foot of the bed and tuck the end of the sheet under the mattress. This keeps the sheet smooth rather than bunched up under the mattress.
2. Keep the Sheet Tight to Avoid Wrinkles
Next, move to the head of the bed and pull the sheet taut before tucking it under the mattress to keep it looking neat.
3. Add Hospital Corners
Now that the sheet is smooth on the bed and secured at the head and the foot, it’s time to make the hospital corners – the key to a well-made bed. To make a perfect hospital corner:
- Grab the sheet draping from the side about 16 inches from the foot of the bed, place one finger on top of the corner, lifting the sheet with the other hand, and then tuck the lower drape under the mattress.
- Hold the corner in place, and bring the sheet over, making sure the fold creates a 45-degree angle.
- Tuck the rest of the sheet under the bed, smoothing wrinkles as you go along.
- Repeat on all four corners of the bed.
4. Complete Your Bed With the Top Sheet and Blankets
Now that the bottom sheet is on, it’s time to spread the top sheet and blankets on the bed. Again, smooth the sheet and blankets as you go along and then, using the same hospital corners as with the bottom sheet, tuck the sides under the mattress.
Finish off the bed by folding the blanket and top sheet down from the head of the bed and place the pillows on top.
Although it may take a few extra minutes in the morning, making your bed helps you stay organized and jumpstarts your day. It’ll take a bit of practice before your bed-making skills are on par with staff at a hospital or hotel, but these tips will have you well on your way to becoming an expert.
And when you pull off those tight hospital corners after a long day, you’ll thank yourself, according to Admiral McRaven.