Ahh, the joys of laundry day. I washed my sheets today and it occurred to me what a drama the whole bed linen thing can be. Who knew that such a simple household chore could actually cross over so many different trouble spots?
When I was a child I absolutely hated having to change my bed linen because it made my bed smell different and unfamiliar. Now I’ve got a few tricks to get around it. First of all, I change my sheets frequently and regularly so that they always have that freshly laundered smell; I’ve endeavoured to make the unfamiliar smell familiar. I also use laundry detergent with no fragrance and forgo using any fabric softeners (or anything else that could add different odours). The second part of my “strategy” is much more embarrassing; I sleep with soft toys and a special “blankie”. Yes, I am in my 30s and I still need my teddy (actually it’s a bunch of plush dogs – never got into bears) and blankie. They smell right, and they also address the second issue which is touch.
Tactile sensitivity has always been a major issue for me; my plush dogs and blankie are very important in this area. Touching them comforts me and helps me to deal with things like changes in the smell of my bed linen. I also can’t stand any synthetic fibres against my skin (apart from my plush dogs) so all my bed linen must be 100% cotton. (Hey, I’d love 100% silk but that’s not gonna happen any time soon).
Ahh, the plight of so many of us. To me, this is all about Rules. How can I relax unless everything is right? In this case, it’s to do with folding the sheets and making my bed. When I fold the clean sheets to put them away, I need them to be folded right. (Who decides what is right? How did my brain come up with the rule that says sheets must be folded a certain way?) I like to use fitted sheets for convenience sake, but have you ever tried folding them? They just don’t fold properly. I can’t get the edges and corners lined up; it gets so frustrating that I am often tempted to just give up and stick with flat sheets. The other problem with using 100% cotton sheets are wrinkles. My natural response is to iron my sheets, but it takes a lot of time. I keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter, but it does! It absolutely does! I want to have nice smooth sheets folded up nicely and stacked evenly. I have been deliberately sticking with fitted sheets and not letting myself iron them, because I am determined not to give in. Every week on laundry day I have to keep telling myself that I can deal with this. Wrinkled sheets don’t matter.Messily folded sheets in my cupboard don’t matter.
4. Making the bed
So finally we come to making the bed. Actually, this isn’t stressful at all. I have my routine and it’s quite soothing and comforting to be able to follow it through. Of course I must have hospital corners when using flat sheets. (I don’t actually know how to make the bed any other way. What do people do if not hospital corners? Just stuff the corners under or something? I really can’t imagine doing that. ) By making sure I do this regularly and frequently, changing my sheets is a lot less stressful for me now than it was when I was a child.
So there you go. I never realised how much thought I’ve put into the various parts that make up this household chore.