Have you ever thought what your share is in helping your mother to keep house? There are many ways in which a girl may help her mother, but caring for her own room is a special responsibility which every girl realizes is her own. Taking care of one's room, of course, involves keeping it in order, making the bed, and keeping the room clean. Some girls are surprised to find out how interesting these tasks may be. Keeping your room in order is like working at a puzzle which you must try many times before you find the right answer. It is like a puzzle to find out how long it will take you every morning to put your room in good order. If you share your room with your sister it will be even more fun to work out this puzzle. In the following paragraphs there are some ideas that will help you to work out a good plan for caring for your room.
Speed in Making the Bed. - Do you know how many minutes it takes you to make your bed? Time yourself to-morrow morning as to how many minutes it takes you and be ready to report on this at your next lesson. It would not be fair to report your time on making a bed that is not well made. In order to be sure that all the girls in the class understand how to make their beds arrange a demonstration of bed-making. If you do not have a full-size bed at school a large doll's bed will do. Can you think of other ways to arrange a demonstration in bed-making?
Four things are necessary to have a well-made bed.
1. The bottom sheet should be stretched smoothly and tightly over the mattress and tucked under the mattress all the way around. The sheets should have neatly folded corners. In hospitals they have a special way of folding the corners which holds the sheet firmly in place. Look at the pictures in Fig. 106 and see if you understand how this is done. Try folding a piece of paper or your handkerchief over a book to see if you can do it. Perhaps you may decide to put your sheet on this way. 2. The upper sheet is put on so that the corners at the foot of the bed are well tucked in, but at the head of the bed the sheet is left long enough to fold back over the covers. This is to keep the edges of the blankets clean.
3. The blankets and cover should be put on straight so that no corners sag.
4. The pillows should be shaken up and put on neatly rather than thrown on the bed.
If you make your bed according to these requirements it will be fair for you to report how long it takes you and compare your time with the other girls. Of course, it would not be necessary to take a bed all apart every morning, but for this contest it will be better to do it this way.
Report on Time Used for Bed-Making. - Make a list on the blackboard showing how much time it took each girl to make her bed. Look over this list and note what the shortest time is, the longest time, and the average time. Work out the average time by adding all the individual records and dividing their sum by the number of records. Here are a few questions which will help to point out why some girls can make beds more quickly than others.
1. Did you have the bed clothing piled on a chair placed in the most convenient spot? Or did you waste steps going to get each piece?
2. Did you take any other useless steps?
3. Did you have the bed clothing piled so that it was easy to get each piece when you needed it?
4. Did you stop to do anything else before finishing?
5. Did you make any mistakes in folding the corners?
6. Is it a double bed or single bed?
7. Is the bed placed so near the wall that it has to be moved to make the bed properly?
Perhaps these questions will help you to make your own bed more quickly. You may be able to think out other ways of saving waste motion. If you study how to save time in making a bed in this way you are doing what the up-to-date housekeeper tries to do with all her problems.
Try timing yourself again. If you made the bed well, it will not be necessary to remove all the covers. Report your time again and decide with the other girls how much time an efficient housekeeper should allow for making a bed.
Airing the Bed. - A very important thing about caring for a bed is the airing of the mattress and bed clothes. Evaporation from the body causes impurities and odors which should be given a chance to escape from the bed. For this reason the bed should never be made immediately after rising. The covers should be thrown back for as long a time as you can arrange to leave them before going to school and the window opened if practicable. Perhaps you can leave the covers while you get ready for school and eat your breakfast.
Once a week the bed should be thoroughly aired. It is a good plan to do this on the same day you put on clean sheets. You will probably plan to do this on Saturday morning so that the bed will have time to air thoroughly. This is also the time to turn the mattress, which prevents the mattress from sagging into a hollow on one side. Why is it a good plan to turn the mattress from end to end one week and from side to side the next week? The window should be thrown open and the covers spread out over chairs so that the air can circulate over them freely. Why is it not wise to hang bedding out of windows?
How to Save Time by Keeping Things in Convenient Places. - Another way of saving time when putting your room in order is "to have a place for everything, and everything in its place." This means more than merely putting your clothes in the closet. It means working out a plan for putting things in the most convenient places. Have you ever wanted to find a dress or coat in a hurry when you were dressing for school and been delayed because it was at the back of the closet with other clothing hanging on top of it? Do you think it will be worth while to plan just where to hang your coat,sweater and dresses? Where will you plan to put the things which you wear everyday? Where will you hang the things you do not wear so often? If you share your closet with someone else you will have to plan a convenient arrangement for both. Do you think it is fair for one girl to have more than half of the closet or to have the most convenient place for keeping her things?