February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to decorate them, to the fascinating history of them, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!

I grew up in a busy house as one of five girls, and my mother was big on making sure everyone did their chores. But she was always quite lax about one household task: making the bed. It just wasn’t a priority for her, so it never became a habit for me. Throughout my life, I’ve only made up my bed when I was expecting company or when I did a deep clean of my room. I just didn’t see the value in taking time to flatten, fold, and fluff anything when I was just going to mess it all up at the end of the day.

All of that changed, however, in June of last year, when I underwent a hysterectomy. For four weeks, my bed became my everything: my home base, my friend, and my favorite place to be while I recovered from my surgery. I ate, worked, watched TV, and talked to friends and family from bed. At the end of long, seemingly endless days marked by lots of tears and terrible pain, my bed was also where I tried to rest and restore my body. During those weeks, my bed became the center of my world, and my relationship with it became much more intimate and appreciative. I resolved that once I was back on my feet, I would celebrate my recovery and honor my bed for the important role that it plays in my life by making it up every day. 

To psych myself up for this new endeavor, I went on a mini shopping spree and purchased new sheets and pillowcases, a new comforter, and new pillows. (I mean, lots of pillows.) And once I got a little stronger, I started to create the habit of dressing my bed each morning after my meditation practice. As I smoothed out my sheets and rearranged my comforter and pillows, I experienced an almost immediate sense of accomplishment that was a welcomed start to my normally frantic mornings.

Taking a few minutes in the morning to make up my bed made me feel empowered and in control of my life, and I reveled in the joy of glancing over at my pretty, plush bed throughout the day. I resolved to keep up this practice every day, and over half a year later, I’m still sticking to that promise I made to myself. I still have days when I wake up in a haste and rush to start some task that requires my attention (mostly work), but for the most part, on most days, my bed is made. Now I savor the feeling of making it through a long, hard day and earning a restful night’s sleep in my freshly-made, inviting bed.

Studies show that making your bed regularly is correlated with better mood and increased productivity — and now I’m finally a believer. Making up my bed each morning has positively affected the hours that I spend out of it — and it makes my nightly return to it that much sweeter.