This small change can have a surprisingly big impact on your wellbeing.
We don’t mean to sound like your parents, but really: You should make your bed. It takes all of two minutes, and the potential payoff is incredible—a boost in everything from your happiness to your savings (really!). Talk about no-risk, all-reward. But don’t just take it from us. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” said Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired), in a commencement speech that has been viewed on YouTube more than 10 million times. “The wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.” A Navy SEAL for 37 years, McRaven recently penned a best-selling guide to life titled, appropriately enough, Make Your Bed. So try it for a month—maybe while your morning coffee is brewing?—for all of these good reasons.
- It can make you happier. Many people report that straightening their sheets improves their mood. This may be because an organized environment is known to reduce stress and increase peace of mind. There’s also the joy of crossing something small off your list: Whatever else the day holds, you’ve already scored a “win”—before you’ve even left the house.
- It can kickstart other good habits. Whether your goal is to work out three days a week or cook more meals at home, making your bed is a step in the right direction. The daily act teaches you self-discipline, which in turn makes you feel more capable and empowered in anything you set out to accomplish.
- It can help you sleep better. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their beds sleep more soundly than those who don’t. It’s easy enough to guess why: A clean, comfortable bed sets you up for a solid night of shut-eye. Some people also report that turning down the sheets becomes part of their evening relaxation ritual.
- It can help your bedding and pillows look nicer for longer. Smoothing out sheets lessens wrinkling, while fluffing up pillows helps them keep their shape. If you have pets, making the bed means it’s harder for them to burrow into your sheets, where they can shed and even scratch holes in fabric.
- It can help you save money. No joke: Making your bed has been correlated with better budgeting skills! It’s not that there’s a clear link between crisp sheets and smart spending, it’s that the activity teaches you how details matter. Paying extra attention to the little things can carry over to your bank account—with lucrative results.