Reader Tip: Easier Bed Making

Just making the bed on most boats requires you to be a bit of a contortionist.

Mark your sheets


Changing the sheets? Definitely a job for an acrobat!

And if you're like me, all too many times you've wrestled that fitted sheet onto two corners only to discover that you've got it on wrong. No matter how I'd lay it out in the v-berth in Que Tal, I'd always somehow manage to do it wrong and have to start over.

Now, I don’t know how to make it easier to put sheets on a bed that you’re crawling around on, but I finally did figure out a simple way not to have to do it multiple times just to get them right way around. And when I thought of it, all I could think was why hadn’t I thought of it sooner.

Once you’ve got the fitted sheet on correctly, mark the top (or the bottom). I used a permanent marker (water-based will come off in the laundry) and simply made a T on the top edge of the fitted sheet, where it will be tucked under the mattress. No one will ever see it unless they’re making the bed (yeah, I keep hoping . . . ). On dark sheets, where felt marker would be hard to see, you could sew a couple of stitches with white thread.

That’s it. Just a couple seconds can save a bunch of time, frustration and cussing in the future. Why didn’t I think of it oh, say, the first time I made the bed??

Do you have a simple solution for a problem on board? Send your idea and a photo to If we use your tip in the newsletter, we'll send you a cool Cruising World Hands-On Sailor t-shirt!