How to Organize Your Nightstand


A nightstand is often an overlooked piece of furniture; it serves an important purpose on a nightly basis but is given little attention during the day. Organizing may be something you tell yourself you're going to do each night as things get knocked onto the floor or can't be found at all. Taking 15 or 20 minutes to arrange things neatly will help keep you from ever again knocking a tube of lip balm off the stand, only to have it roll under the bed and out of reach.


  • The first step in organizing a nightstand is to purge things from its drawers and top. Remove everything, discarding outdated creams and medications, placing objects you don't use at night either in another, more useful location, or relegating them to a specific space in the back of a drawer for occasional use. This is also a good time to wipe down the nightstand and inside of the drawer, if needed.

Drawer Organizers

  • Small drawer organizer and bins, designed to hold pens and small items, come in handy for the drawer space in a nightstand. You may need a few so you know exactly where to reach in the dark to find what you're looking for: one bin for pens and bookmarks, another bin or shallow dish for lip balm or a roll-on herbal headache balm. Another small bin can store creams or medications you may use while in bed, such as hand or face lotion, headache tablets or a menthol chest rub. All of these fit neatly in a drawer, within reach from your favorite side of the bed. A notepad that's used often can sit atop or under the bins, near the pens.

Lamp and Water

  • A bedside lamp will provide reading light without keeping the entire room lit up from an overhead light. The lamp should be positioned at the back of the nightstand, centered or close to the head of the bed where you or a loved one reads. The lamp should be within reach and stable enough to turn on and off without tipping. Keeping the lamp at the back of the nightstand also helps keep the cord out of sight. A water carafe or glass should sit within reach, but not right on the edge of the nightstand, and should be a container that isn't easily knocked over.

Decor and Clock or Phone

  • Decor items such as a vase or picture frame can sit on the side of the nightstand farthest from the bed, so you don't have to reach over them to turn on the lamp or access a drawer. This also helps prevent them from getting knocked over in the dark. An alarm clock can sit angled within view on the side closest to the bed; if you use a cellphone instead of an alarm clock, it should be within reach if you want to check the time or turn of its built-in alarm. A book or television remote also may sit within reach on the bed side of the nightstand.

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