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What's under your bed?
December 6, 2013 - Betsy Bethel
Chances are, you don't have a Southern Living style bedroom — you know, the large, airy type with French doors that usher in the fresh breeze off the ocean or garden, and hardwood or tile floors on which a luxurious bed perches as the room's centerpiece. What always strikes me about the beds in these photos is you often can see under them from one side to the other.
Sure. Like that happens. These home spreads are the equivalent to dirty magazines for some people. Except they're very, very clean.
So let's dispel the myth. Personally, I don't know anyone who doesn't use the underneath of a bed as storage. It might be a kid who stashes rocks, dirty dishes, pizza crusts and paper airplanes, an older person who uses it for out-of-season shoes (Shoes Under, anyone?) or a harried mom who shoves in anything that will fit, especially if it means saving her a trip to the basement or attic.
Yesterday I had the unsavory chore of cleaning out under my husband's and my king-size bed in preparation for having new mattresses delivered. Every time I do this, about once every 10 years, I get this feeling of euphoria accompanied by the delusional "I'm going to keep it clean from now on" syndrome.
A king size bed takes up a good 40 cubic feet (confession: that took me 15 minutes to figure out, and it's probably hilariously wrong.) You might be amazed at how much crap fits in that space. I'll tell you some of what was under ours, just to make you feel better about your own jam-packed hidey holes.
— Three garment bags. We don't use garment bags. Ever. Probably because they are stuffed under the bed collecting dust and pet fur. Also because we never travel anywhere that requires that nice of clothes.
— Five duffel-style bags. The last time I took one of those bags on a trip, I got to my hotel room and realized I had a stowaway: a stink bug.
— Several crumpled notes and drawings by my daughter spanning the past five years.
— Three storage bins, two of which I knew were there. One of the two is filled with unnecessary grooming appliances and products that were given to me as gifts over the years (Note: If you're going to buy me body lotion or spray, that's probably where it will end up), and one with gift bags, bows and wrapping paper. The third one was like finding buried treasure; it is filled with photos and scrapbook type items from Emma's infancy and toddlerhood that I forgot I had. In case, you know, I ever wanted to make her a scrapbook.
— One plastic bag of items previously purged from drawers and closets. Well, it had to go somewhere!
— Empty shoe boxes, and shoe boxes within shoe boxes. You never know when you might need one! Never mind that I have a huge garbage bag full of them already in the attic. I am not a hoarder. I'm not!
— A shoe box of small purses fit for date nights and other special outings.
— Enough dust and pet fur to carpet my bedroom.
— A broken set of mini blinds.
— An empty wrapping paper tube.
— A rolled-up painting I bought off Overstock.com with the intention of framing it and hanging it the bathroom.
— And a lovely cache of miscellany, including but not limited to two mismatched earrings; an earring back; two mismatched socks whose matches I probably threw away months ago; five hair rubber bands; five barrettes; three hair clips; a die; a small chip bag clip; a Matchbox car; a mouse game piece from Mousetrap; two different size screws; a screwdriver tip; a thimble; a puzzle; two pens; a library book card; a piece of quartz from Scotland; two small rubber ducks; one larger rubber duck; and 32 cents. (I brought it all to work with me today so I could be accurate!)
So, right now my bed could actually qualify to be photographed for Southern Living! Except for the fact that there's no way a photographer could stand in my bedroom and fit the whole bed in the frame. And there are no French doors. But I bet you're jealous anyway.
At this point, I am fooling myself and vowing that the only things going back under the bed are the three bins — but not before I clean them out. Anyone need some body lotion or a 10-year-old bottle of Veet?
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