GENTLY, GENTLY – PUTTING THE TOOTHPASTE BACK IN THE TUBE

This morning, I had to fit a king-sized duvet (also known as a comforter) into a form-fitting cover. If you spend a lot of money — a couple of hundred dollars, for example — you generally get a cover for your duvet which has buttons or zippers on at least two sides. This is designed to make the process of stuffing a huge, plump duvet into its cover easier. Because otherwise, this is a lot like putting toothpaste back into the tube.

Spending a lot of money on this was not an option for me. I simply wanted a larger version of the comforter we already owned so we can stop our nocturnal struggle for covers. We don’t get violent, but it can get a bit rough as we battle for the few spare inches available.

This cover was inexpensive. It is possibly the least expensive cover you can possibly buy for a king-size comforter, a whopping $17 microfiber slip case bought from the bottom-end of Amazon’s bedroom specials. However, I’ve bought this company’s products before and they have always been surprisingly high quality, despite the low price. I keep being surprised by it.

The fabric patterns aren’t special, but the colors are normal and the quality of the materials is better than stuff  for which I’ve paid a lot more. In fact, my previous comforter has the same cover on it, but it is queen-sized cotton percale. The new one — which is the same design and color — is 100% microfiber. When I bought the first one, it was part of one of those limited time super sales Amazon has sometimes. This was on sale too, but the cotton one was full price. Fifty dollars versus seventeen dollars? I decided I’m not quite that organic. I can cope with a microfiber covering of my not organic comforter.

Next came the insertion of the comforter into its cover. Stuffing a king-size comforter into a big fabric bag through a short, plastic zipper is a thing. I’ve done this before. Many times. As good as you can get at this thing, I’ve managed to be.

So, here’s the routine. Make sure you’ve got the cover and the duvet directionally matching. Long side to long side, short side to short side. As soon as you know you’ve got the two items squared up, grab a bottom corner and shove it all the way through the big bag to the bottom corner of the cover on the same side. Then, do it again so both bottom corners are in the equivalent corners at the bottom of the cover. Usually, this will be opposite the zipper.

Breathe. Stay calm. You’re almost halfway home.

Gently, gently, push the rest of the comforter into the bag. I grab the corner of the comforter and the corner of the bag, one in each hand to make sure it’s sort of squarish. The zippers they use on cheap comforter covers are pathetic, so easy does it. Push the duvet just a bit too hard, and you have a big fabric bag, sans zipper. I have been known to sew up the hole when the zipper breaks, which it has done quite a few times — and not only on inexpensive covers. I’ve owned some pretty expensive items with really cheesy zippers. It makes me wonder why we pay more when we don’t get more for the money.

When I finally get the entire comforter in the comforter, I zip it up, then start to gently shake it until, eventually it settles in … and remarkably, suddenly, all the lumps disappear and it fits. That’s when I fling myself onto the bed, panting while mentally patting myself on my back. Good girl, Marilyn! You’ve done it again.

I was so proud of how efficiently I’d done the job, I went into the bathroom and fixed one more broken item. Okay, it merely required I smack it firmly on a hard surface — not exactly high level physics. Still, fixing anything these days is a minor victory. Modern stuff isn’t designed to be repaired.

Everything is disposable. I hate throwing things away unless they are genuinely useless and beyond repair, so I battle even with small things.

Garry thinks this is admirable. The truth is, almost everything I do is simple. No mathematical complexities, no schematics. I give things a whack to make them fit, to get the hinges to fit into plastic hooks.  I look at things, try to see how they should fit together. Then, using some semblance of logic, I try to make them fit like they should.

Garry can’t do that. He looks at stuff and has no idea what it should do. I suppose that’s an inborn quality, like my son’s ability to look at a flat thing and mentally turn it into something three-dimensional — which I can’t do. Or, for that matter, his ability to find his way back to anyplace he has been before. I’m exactly the opposite — I have no idea where I am no matter how many times I’ve been there before.



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21 replies

  1. This brought back memories of my husbands great aunt. She had a down duvet with a cover. It had a wide buttoned opening and was easy to put in. It would flatten after time and she would get me to stand on the bed and throw it flat on the floor several times to make it puffy again. It worked.

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    • That is still basically the same way you get them to fluff up. No one has yet come up with a better way. It’s a bit harder here because it’s a big comforter in a small room, so we have to stand on either side of it and give it our best shake.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Re-reading this piece, on its 2nd day, it reminds me of a day YEARS ago, the FIRST time I said to a lovely woman, “Did you use MY toothbrush?”. I guess it was a rite of passage. Mebbe. Mebbe not.

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  2. Do you have Ikea stores in the US? They have some very reasonably price duvet covers. They don’t use zippers but buttons. It still a major project to insert the quilt into the cover.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The title of this post was intriguing-“What is Marilyn up to now?” You nailed it! Great job with the duvet–and great job of describing how it is done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so hated that job when we had a queen and later king sized bed. I am short too and although I do the inside out thing my arms are just not long enough to hold a king size duvet so I used to get David to help me or just try and stuff it in as best I could. There are clips you can buy to hold the corners in place and I did try that but I think my duvet was too thick because at least one always seemed to go astray.
    I sold the big bed earlier this year. It seemed stupid sleeping in such an enormous bed alone so now i have a single which is easier to manage. I do use a top sheet because I like something tucked in round my feet and I really don’t want to be changing covers any more often than I have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For those time when I haven’t found a cover I could afford, I used a top sheet … and occasionally, when it’s REALLY cold, the sheet helps with the warmth, too. All through the warm weather, when the comforter is too much, we revert to sheets and coverlets, too and if it’s warm enough, JUST the sheet. Our bed is a decent middle size for two normal people but if I were alone, I’d go down one size.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Earned my “bones” with perfectly made up “cot”/rack in USMC basic training. The D.I. grinned maleovently at me as he bounced a dime off my cot. Dime?? Cudda tried a quarter. He wuz testing me and…… lost!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We split the work. We don’t do king or queen sized in our language, but we have two big enough beds pushed side by side, so everyone has his own. Mr. Swiss actually does the difficult stuff, but we cover our own duvets. I take the new cover wrong side outside. Insert arms into it reaching the two furthest corners, them grab the duvet at the corners and invert allowing the cover to cover. Close the zip, shake a bit and voila. Hope you are with me. Having our own separate duvet makes it easier. I used to be able to do the complete beds with fitted sheets etc. but Mr. Swiss does that. If I had to I would, but am not sure if I still could.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would definitely do it your way, but I am too short. Also, we would have two beds side by side, but the room is too small. We couldn’t have dressers for clothing AND beds in that room … and as it is, you have to walk carefully or you’ll trip or bang into something. All the rooms in this house are small except the living room.

      You basically put your duvet on the same way I do, but you are tall, so you can do it in a single smooth move. I’m a short person with short arms, so if it’s a big quilt, I have to do it carefully, fold by fold. Garry cannot do it at all. It’s a complete mystery to him. The whole inside-outside make sure the wide side and short side are on the correct side of the cover are lost on him. He is VERY grateful when I do it — and I’m so glad when I don’t have to do it again for the rest of the season!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Now that sounds like a great way to put the cover on>
      Leslie

      Liked by 3 people

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