Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do and welcome you to share yours in the comments.Making Do with a Camping Mattress | the beauty in simple

When I was pregnant with my youngest, my husband and I made the decision to co-sleep with our baby. In preparation we purchased an organic, king-sized mattress, which for the baby’s safety, we placed directly on the floor of our bedroom. Our son no longer sleeps with us, but we continued to live with the mattress on the floor. What we didn’t appreciate was that without a box spring or a bed frame, the mattress had no way of breathing and moisture was getting trapped.

This weekend my husband tipped the mattress on its side to vacuum underneath and with horror found the bottom covered in mold. Sadly, our expensive and fairly new mattress was hauled to the ally for trash pick-up. Being without a bed, we contemplated our options. We could run to the store and buy a new mattress, but I’ve pledged to buy nothing new this year. Additionally, we have plans to move in a year and a half and are diligently working to winnow down our belongings to only what we love or find useful. Oddly, moving  one less mattress came at a relief. And then there is the guilt of sending such a large item to the landfill to sit indefinitely. Certainly there must be a better choice than a traditional mattress to sleep on.

My husband remembered our full-size, blow-up, camping mattress that was sitting in the closet. That would suffice for the time being. Although we’re quite snug in the little bed, we’re happy not to spend the money, further deplete the planet of it’s resources, or be burdened with another large piece of furniture. We’re happy to make do with what we have.

8 thoughts on “Make It Do

  1. That seems like a creative solution, if the camp mattress isn’t too uncomfortable in the long run. Also, you may have some off-gassing from these plastic blow-up mattresses that could pollute your bedroom air.

    1. It does sound rather uncomfortable, but after two nights, my husband and I agreed we’re sleeping very well. Fortunately most of the off-gassing has already occurred in the great outdoors. When we eventually do replace the mattress I will look for a solution that is both good for the health and the planet. Thanks for bringing up that point!

  2. what a great story to share!
    just wondering if what you did regarding the mold on the carpet (or is it a rug?) underneath, as I have a situation with mold on carpet (bananas in a certain 9-yr old’s backpack) that I’m working on…..

    1. The mold was completely contained to the mattress, so fortunately the carpet was clean. I’m not sure how to clean up carpet. Good luck removing it!

  3. Julie, I use our camping pads on our deck during the summer and find them as comfortable as our mattress. Actually I think I sleep better. Wish I had an extra mattress to give you.

    1. We both had the best night sleep last night than we’ve had in a long time. The mattress is much firmer which seems better for our backs. I thought it might be hard to adjust to a smaller mattress but it’s no big deal. Maybe it’s our love of camping and roughing it.

  4. Oh no!! Glad you guys didn’t get sick from the mold. I just had a mold issue in both of the boys rooms from running the humidifiers too much and not letting enough sunlight in. Props to you for sleeping in a queen blowup mattress-TOGETHER! There is no way I would sign up for that. Lol.

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