My Mom’s Unlikely Bedroom Habit That’s Actually Super Smart

published Feb 6, 2023
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Growing up in my house, it was impossible not to know my mom’s homekeeping rules. It’s something I’m super grateful for today, even after 15 years of having my own place to maintain. My husband quickly learned these things about me, the traditions passed down from my mother that became my own rules, including never leaving the kitchen dirty overnight and never putting anything down on a dirty counter

Among her many rules, my mom was big on making the bed — but there was a twist: She didn’t make the bed (or require us to make ours) right away. Instead, immediately upon getting up, my mom would open the covers nearly all the way and leave them this way for a little while. She’d get ready for the day and then come back to make the bed

This habit goes right along with her penchant for throwing open the blinds and windows immediately. Light and fresh air are the hallmarks of my mother’s homekeeping methods and, I’ve come to find out, do make an outsized impact not only in the look and feel of the home but also in the moods of their inhabitants. I’m the same way now; although I live in a climate that doesn’t allow me to open windows all the time, I feel suffocated in a room that’s shuttered during the day. 

Fresh air is indeed at the heart of my mom’s reason for waiting to make her bed. She likes the bed to “air out” before putting the covers back on. This gives the sheets and blankets time to breathe a little before being tucked tightly back into the darkness. This practice, especially explained like this, intuitively feels cleaner, but there’s a solid reason to pick up the habit: Dust mites. 

Dust mites love to live in beds, where there’s a steady supply of dead skin and moisture, which they need to survive and reproduce. (So gross, right?) Dust mite allergens can wreak havoc on a good night’s sleep, causing those with allergies to wake up stuffy, sneezy, and watery-eyed. People who are allergic to “dust” are often actually allergic to dust mites. 

Airing out your bed in the morning by throwing the covers back and waiting before making it allows moisture to evaporate. This makes your bed less hospitable to dust mites. Whether you’re allergic to dust mites or not, taking a strategic pause in the morning before making your bed can help keep it fresh, clean, and welcoming.

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