The eventual compromise was to get nice organic cotton bottom sheets and pillowcases and to put a duvet cover over a comforter instead of using a top sheet. This reduced the time to make the bed to about 15 seconds. Even I could handle that in the morning.
The problem came when it was time to launder the duvet cover. Laundering was easy enough, but putting it back on the queen-size comforter took either two people or a lot of wrestling with the duvet cover.
For twin and toddler beds I have used home-washable comforters instead of a top sheet or duvet cover, and this made bed-making so easy that even very young children could make their own bed. This doesn’t work for larger comforters, though, unless you use a jumbo-sized front-loading commercial washer.
So we continued to dread changing the duvet cover. But we also dreaded having not-so-clean bedding. And then I was FLYwashed.
Instead of viewing it as a boring chore to be done as “efficiently” as possible, I started to think about making the bed as blessing my home and my husband. I started to think of our bedroom as a sanctuary and a place of nurturing and renewal. I started thinking about what would make the bedroom a beautiful, welcoming space. Then I started thinking of the beautiful patchwork star quilt that had been in the cedar chest because it was “too special” to use on our bed.
Sure, that beautiful star quilt would wear out if we used it every day. But what good was it to have the quilt if it was literally locked away in the chest? So I released the star quilt from its imprisonment in the cedar chest. I got top sheets and and bought some pillow shams that went well with the quilt. I also bought two extra bed pillows so that the shams would not have to be taken off and put back on daily.
This wasn’t quite warm enough for my husband, so I went back to the cedar chest for a Pendleton wool blanket that was “too special” to use on our bed. WE are special! We have been making the bed with the beautiful quilt and blanket for about a year now, but today I used my timer to see how long it took me to make the bed with the top sheet, blanket, quilt, and shams. About a minute. I think the extra forty-five seconds over the old “efficient” method is actually a good investment. The quilt and blanket blanket were gifts and every day they remind us of special occasions and special people.
I smile to see how beautiful they look and how beautiful the bedroom looks. Every day. Many times a day. I get a lot of smiles and good feelings for a forty-five second increase in bed-making time — and an appreciative husband. I now see that it is better to use the “special” quilt and blanket daily and to let them get old and worn and loved like the “Velveteen Rabbit” in the children’s book. And I now have photos of the quilt and blanket so I can still smile years in the future when they are too worn to bless our bed.
I also have another plan for when that eventually happens: I’ll find some not-quite-so-worn parts and I’ll use them to make a dresser scarf or potholders or a toy rabbit or whatever I might be inspired to create, and we will still be blessed by them every day.
Blessings to you, FlyLady. And thank you for changing my attitude and my life.
Willow in Oregon