Weekend project idea: Bed-side table cleanup

The small tables we set next to our beds that hold the alarm clock, a lamp, a book, and reading glasses acquire random objects from time to time. This weekend, give your nightstand a little attention and see if it can use some uncluttering love.

Purge the clutter, organize the items that belong, and make any repairs necessary to the piece of furniture. I picked mine up to get a good look at it and discovered three cat toys that had been trapped underneath it for months. I also found a pack of expired Tums that went straight into the trash. Honestly, I was surprised that I didn’t find more clutter, but I was glad to have gone through this easily overlooked space. Maybe a year from now, I’ll remember again.

While we’re talking about bed-side tables, I spotted a Nightstand Charging Dock for iPhones that transforms the phone into a more traditional alarm clock. Check out this review on Apartment Therapy to learn more.

Have a relaxing, uncluttering weekend!

19 Comments for “Weekend project idea: Bed-side table cleanup”

  1. posted by Charley Forness on

    It’s interesting, my bedside table becomes a desk of sorts for my bed office. I was finishing up an article last night in bed, and by this morning my bedside table held my laptop (to write articles) my IPOD touch (to keep track of Twitter, adsense and Facebook), my glasses, a pen and three notebooks, three books for research, several index cards of notes I had taken for the article, two glasses of water, and the obligatory Tums to take care of my late night runs for ice cream. That’s one night.

    Anyways, it will now get the attention it deserves.

  2. posted by Siouxsie on

    Perfect timing! I have actually been in the process of doing this the past couple of days! My bedside tables are really 50 gallon drums, super hard cardboard like with cool metal rims. Am finally painting and sealing them. They would be awesome for storing winter linens, but unfortunately we lost the lid to one side so that side is bottom down on the floor. On my side, pretty dusty with a few old receipts and a paper with a phone number. On my husband’s side, I found a pair of long lost glasses, loose change, doodling papers, books, and a lot more other little nicnacs =) Is definitely a good thing to do periodically.

  3. posted by knitwych on

    I have a small (13-inch x 16-inch) bedside table that simply by the size of the surface area pretty much prohibits the accumulation of too much visible clutter. I also have a nightowl cat who likes to test gravity by pushing things off tables, so that also encourages me to keep the top clutter-free. There’s just the lamp, the clock, a glass of water, and a box of tissues.

    The two little drawers in the table, however, are terrible for becoming clogged with junk. Logically, only my glasses case, sleep mask, hand lotion, lip balm, a bottle of pain reliever, a pen, and my journal, there should be nothing else in there. I am consistently amazed by the crap that finds its way in there! The last excavation resulted in half a pack of Toastchee crackers so old that they needed carbon dating, a paperback I thought I’d lost, 13 “lost” earrings (have yet to find the 14th), movie ticket stubs from when Wall-E was in theaters, three outdated coupons, a dried up glue stick, and 16 (yes, sixteen!) dead pens. ::blush::

    I’m thinking maybe I should glue one of the drawers shut.

  4. posted by gypsy packer on

    My vanity doubles as a nightstand. Since it’s a Victorian model, I keep it cleaned up–outside. Inside–the resistance band which kills my hand, the outdated calorie guide, and the advertising wall thermometer will be leaving.

    My alarm clock is simple–a 99-cent el-cheapo Chinese multifunction solar–yes, that’s what I said–watch, atop the headboard. It gets plenty of light there, and is just loud enough to wake me without becoming obnoxious. Check eBay.

  5. posted by KarenM on

    Tums have an expiration date?

  6. posted by Michele on

    My terrible, terrible habit is to collect a stack of half-read books on the floor by the bed. Since the bed is between the stack and the door, nobody can see the stack from the hallway, so it doesn’t count, right? LOL.

    Every few months I notice that I’ve let some books stack up again so I go through them and put away all but one. This post is a good reminder that it’s about time I get to noticing.

  7. posted by Sarah on

    Great timing for this post, this weekend happens to be when I decided to finally reorganize and rearrange all the furniture in my bedroom!!
    My nightstand is actually an old speaker I found, so there are no drawers or cupboards. I try to be neat, as the surface space isn’t very big – just enough for one small framed picture, one icon, my glasses case and a mug of water. The floor next to my bed though, that’s another situation entirely!

  8. posted by Karyn on

    @Michele – GMTA. ;-)

    I have a small shelf unit near my bed (granted, I live in a studio, so technically *everything* is near my bed) which has a few select books on one of the shelves. On top, I have a silver wire file sorter lying on its back, with each slot holding one relatively slim trade paperback; these books are the ones I draw upon for “inspirational” reading.

    I have another shelf, by my computer/office area, dedicated to holding checked-out library books and, if applicable, one book of my own that I am currently reading.

    Not quite at utopia, yet, but I find that the concept of “a home for everything,” along with the question, “Am I currently reading this? If not, what the hey is it doing lying around instead of sitting in its place in my bookshelves?” helps me prevent pile-ups. :-D

  9. posted by Allison on

    My bedside table is just a small three-shelf unit. Full of old magazines galore! And a few boardgames that overflowed from their bookshelf storage. You’re right, the old Reader’s Digests have to go… A cluttered bedside also invites creepy crawly critters near your bed.

  10. posted by RoaringSilence on

    I always have too many books on my nightstand. Why don’t I just put the bookshelf right next to the bed, so I can put the books back every day?

  11. posted by Rue on

    My husband and I have two small drawer units (that are actually meant for closets) that we use as our nightstand. But in them we keep socks and underwear since we don’t have a dresser. ;) However, the only things I keep on top of them are the alarm clock, TV remotes, and my phone when I go to bed.

    The cool thing about this post is the alarm for iPhone! I may have to think about getting that, although I wonder if downloading the app and then just propping up the phone would work just as well. May try it later.

  12. posted by Keri on

    Last weekend I decided I was tired of having three different Bibles on my nightstand, but there wasn’t room for them on my bookshelves…so it was time for some purging! Quite often removing clutter from one place will directly result in removing clutter from another. Now if I can just decide whether to sell or donate the books I purged, I’ll be all set.

  13. posted by Red on

    These weekend project ideas are great – please keep them coming. Short little decluttering things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

    I took a look at our nightstands and was impressed – other than a few dog chews and my extra pairs of glasses, we’re in good shape. A quick dusting and ready to go.

  14. posted by Anita on

    Eek! Don’t remind me! My bedside table is a 2-drawer stuff-repository that holds everything from vitamins, to 15-year-old letters and cards, to 20 kinds of lip gloss, to tanning goggles (don’t ask).

    I suppose it is due for a clean-up, now you mention it…

  15. posted by infmom on

    That’s a good idea. My “bedside table” is a vintage wooden root beer crate, and the amount of junk and dust bunnies inside it is unreal. :)

  16. posted by Keter on

    I have the luxury of a bedroom large enough to “float” the bed in the middle of the room, so I don’t have nightstands, just a matching chest of drawers backed up to the headboard (they are the same height and width). The only “bedside” kind of things I keep up there is a box of tissues for random allergy issues and a lamp made of a halogen base bought at Ikea with a big amber salt crystal set on top of it – it puts out just enough light to make a safe trip to the bathroom. There’s also a candle lantern and lighter for power failures and a decorative box I try to get my husband to dump his change into (rather than leave it in the pockets of his dirty pants). As of yesterday, my husband decided this is where his hat goes, too…that will change. ;o)

    I try to keep electronics in the bedroom to a bare minimum and all of it away from the bed: there is evidence that electromagnetic pulses from these devices, particularly electric clocks, can disturb REM sleep. That clock by your head could be subtly keeping you “awake” on a cellular level. Since most of us only get 4-7 hours of sleep a night, every REM cycle counts!

  17. posted by Peter on

    I’ve gone a little bit further than this and completely removed my bedside table. I use my iPhone as an alarm now, it’s better to place this away from the bed, then I’m more likely to get up. I feel much better not being able to see what time it is too. The book I’m reading sits on the floor next to my bed and I use the main room light for reading. This might not be for everyone but there is certainly no clutter.

  18. posted by Marie on

    Our nightstands at least LOOK tidy, since anything left on top would immediately be chewed/stolen/otherwise destroyed by the feline tornadoes…but inside the drawers is another matter.

  19. posted by Diana on

    Our “nightstands” are currently cardboard boxes. No uncluttering required, but pretty much hideous.

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