Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Linens and things

Today, Ben was outlining the things kids need to do before they leave for school in the morning. (Chicago kids don't go back 'til after Labor Day, so that's a few weeks off for him.) Eat breakfast, get dressed, brush your teeth...and make the bed.

"Make the bed!" I exclaimed. "You never make your bad." Neither do I. It's not the way I was raised. Mr. Tangerine's mom expected him to make his bed daily, but he's adapted just fine to the "twice a year, when we're feeling fancy" mode I tend to follow.

I read somewhere in blogland that Oprah changes her sheets every day or two. Or, more likely, her hired help changes the linens for her, and launders the vast volume of fine cotton, and pays the utility bills for the washer and dryer's overuse.

Me, I change the sheets roughly quarterly. There. I said it. Confession time. The pillow cases go through the wash more often, because (a) that's where our faces land and (b) they're so easy to add into a laundry load of towels.

Where do you fall on the make the bed/change the sheets continuum?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ohmygod --- I thought I was the only one who washed the pillowcases more frequently than the sheets. I tend toward 4-6 weeks on the sheets, though, depending on several factors that will remain unspecified...

Jessie

Jay said...

I tuck the bottom of the sheet back in before I go to bed most nights, and I actually make the bed about once a month. When I have to do it myself, I change the sheets about as often as you do, but our cleaning service does it for us and so it gets done every week these days. Which I actually like, but not enough to do it myself.

My daughter, OTOH, makes her bed about four days a week and nags me to make mine more often than that.

Fritinancy said...

Wait a minute--I'm trying to picture it. You mean your beds are unmade all day, and you get into unmade beds at night? Do you have a live-in maid who makes the beds?

No, really--I'm trying to understand.

Needless to say, I grew up making my bed every day, and not to make the bed feels like not brushing my teeth. I change the sheets once a week, usually on the same day of the week. But I don't go as far as my father: a couple times a year he'd round up my brothers and me and we'd vacuum the mattresses, paying special attention to the lint-trapping buttons.

What's odd is that I'm not an especially meticulous housekeeper in general (and I haven't had a housecleaner in a gazillion years). But the bedroom--man, that's sacred.

Mary said...

My mom was big into the bed-making; so big into it that I usually just slept on top of my bedspread with a blanket, then tossed said blanket into closet and straightened spread every morning. We make the bed the following times: 1) when we change the sheets; 2) when someone else will see it. I hate to sleep in messy sheets though, so I pull them up before bed at night.

Klynn said...

The beds get made in our house when we're having company over. Otherwise, we're of the opinion, why make the bed when you're just going to mess it up again tonight?

The sheets get washed when they really need it (something spilled or messy...ahem...or just really funky), or when I finish the rest of the wash early on the weekend, and actually have time to run them through and put the same sheets back on the bed while they're still warm and dryer sheet fresh.

I guess I'm going to have to start being a little more diligent about making the beds and keeping the house spotless, since we'll be listing it for sale by next week (when I get the official offer letter for my new job). Ugh. As excited as I am about the new job and moving closer to home, I absolutely DREAD the house sale and related cleaning and packing and moving.

liss n kids said...

I had to make my bed every day for 18 years. I like to think I've earned the right to leave it be now. Yeah, unless we've washed the sheets, changed bedding, or there's probable reason to suspect my mother will see my bed, it's unmade. I straighten it all out before I climb in, though. And I am going to remain silent on the wash/change issue. Or at least anonymous. Damn, I wish I had a housekeeper!

Narya said...

I once vowed that there were two things I would never do when I moved out of my parents' house (because my parents made us do it all the time):
1) dry dishes, because it's something that will occur ALL BY ITSELF, with no help from me, if I just leave them in the rack, and
2) make my bed, because, why? Even worse: sometimes, as in when I do laundry or have pulled clothes out of the closet for some reason, I may even have some (clean) clothes piled on the corner of the bed I'm not using. I'd move them if I had company, though.

I wash them more or less once a month, but I have gone way longer. I try to do laundry every other week, and I try to do the towels one time and the sheets the other time, in a given month, but I do not stress if one or both doesn't happen. It's all (or mostly) my crud, anyway.

KellyS said...

mmm your poll needs a "biweekly" for washing! in the summer, I may do them every week. In the winter, it's 2-3. Sweat, you know, and we don't wera PJs. Big factor, imho.
As for making it, I don't like to sleep in cat hair, so I fluff em straight and lay out a towel or blanket to entice felines.

E. said...

I change my sheets every two months or so, though I always sort of intend to make it once a month. But that rarely happens. I do wash the pillowcases every week or two.

I do make the bed, at least most days. And I feel bad about not making it on days I don't. My house can be really messy, but if the beds are made, that sort of seems like insurance against full-on squalor. Plus it's just so much nicer to get into a made bed at night. I also love the feeling of clean sheets, but clearly not enough to take the effort and devote the water and electricity to changing the sheets often.

We also flip the mattress a couple of times a year. That's a pain in the butt, but I believe it keeps our bed more comfy.

Women and Beauty said...

Yup... i also change my sheets every two weeks or so, though I always sort of intend to make it once a week. I slept with my 2 kids with me in a room and in the same bed... so i need to wash and change it every 2 weeks.. And now.. i'm trying to make it once a week...

Charly said...

In yet another instance of history repeating itself... I only make my bed when I know someone else will see it (like when we have company over, about 3 times a year). Washing sheets, well, I leave that to my husband. He gets dirtier at work (and play) than I do, and he's ctually the better housekeeper, so when he says they need changed, I let him do it. Generally, every 3-4 weeks. My children, on the other hand, make their beds every day. Why? I have no idea. But my mom made me do it every day, even though she never did, so I make them do it too. What's the fun of being a mom if you can't make up arbitrary and ridiculous rules to make your kids follow that you would never do yourself?

Anonymous said...

change the sheets once a week. pillow cases as well.

make the bed fully once a week, but throw the comforter across so it looks relatively together daily.

ps. oprah probably overnights the sheets to minnesota for special french cleaning (that's what you do with sheets that cost $2500 a set).

Becky..AMHW said...

I make my own bed about every day. I change the linens about once a month...meh. It depends on how sweaty we get and how much the cat sheds on them.

My kids...I don't make them make their beds. Blah. I don't even give them a top sheet so what's the point? The top sheet is something that would never stay in place anyway and is more likely to be used as brother mummy wrappings.

blue milk said...

I love the feel and smell of fresh sheets. I change them every week and in a consequence-free world I'd live like Oprah and have them changed daily.

I try and have the beds always made because they make the bedrooms look tidier. We're co-sleepers, 3 in a bed, so usually only one giant bed to make. Problem is I am the only one who cares about a made bed so it is hard to get people to share this chore.

Sara said...

I'm clean but not neat. Therefore, I wash the sheets once/week (don't like wallowing in my own filth), but never ever make the bed. I am very amused by people who do the opposite and think that I'm the slob.

Rachel said...

Try to change the sheets every two weeks, but that doesn't happen sometimes and I am ok with it. I am always clean before I get into bed, so I don't really freak about it.
I make up the bed when people are coming over or when I change the sheets.
Actually, when people are coming over I usually just shut my bedroom door.
So it only really gets made up if extra nosy people are coming over, or if I change the sheets.

ding said...

i make the bed every morning (or try to) but change the linens after a, uh, gentleman caller or quarterly - whichever comes first. hey! a pun.

Anonymous said...

I make the bed every day. But about half the time, I make the bed right before getting into it. I just like to go to sleep in a bed that's made.

HeatherG said...

At least once a month, more frequently if it's good drying weather (never use the drier). A warm, windy, day makes bedding washing almost compulsory.
I wash my son's weekly mimimum but then he sometimes leaks.

Mary said...

I have to admit I'm disturbed by the quarterly sheet changing! I've only just starting leaving the bedlinen for a week and a half rather than the strict weekly rotation I've always stuck to. And will go back to in summer (it's winter here in Australia). If you watch a documentary about dust mites, like I did once, I guarantee you'd change them more often! Dust mites LOVE skin cells, and we shed millions every night. Not to mention sweat. And hair. Shudder.

I am a neat freak though. Can't stand the bed not being made either!

Mona Buonanotte said...

We make the bed, and generally leave the sheets crusty for a while. Yuk.