How to Reduce Bedside Table Clutter

A bedside table or nightstand, however nice to have, seems invariably to accumulate clutter. If you'd like to recover your bedside table and restore this key bit of usable space, read on. The good news is, most night tables are fairly small, so organizing and cleaning them isn't a huge project.


  1. Image titled Make Cleaning Fun Step 3
    Do a first pass to remove obvious trash. Grab a bag or bin and toss in any wrappers, tissues, scraps of paper, and so on.
    • If trash routinely accumulates on your nightstand, put a bag or bin within arm's reach.
  2. Image titled Reduce Bedside Table Clutter Step 2
    Put away anything that doesn't belong on a nightstand. In the photo, there's an umbrella, but it's unlikely to rain inside a bedroom, so put the umbrella in the car or the coat rack, where it will be handy the next time you go out.
  3. Image titled Reduce Bedside Table Clutter Step 3
    Corral small, loose articles. If your nightstand is where coins, keys, wallet, and other pocket stuff lands every night, don't worry too much about changing your (or your spouse's) habits. Instead, make it official by giving them a basket or tray. Whether you put that basket on top or in a drawer is up to you.
  4. Image titled Hide Your Drinking From Your Parents When You're in College Step 5
    Clean out any drawers. Try to use your nightstand drawers to store items you will use in or near the bed. Find other homes for things you don't use in bed. Unless you sleep with it, your bottle cap collection can live in other, more appropriate quarters.
  5. Image titled Reduce Bedside Table Clutter Step 5
    Arrange the things you do need by your bedside.
    • Put things on the top that need to be accessible. Things like lamps, clocks, phones, and tissues should generally go on top.
    • If you like to read in bed, do you have space for books? The right place depends on where there is space. If you have a shelf on the nightstand, you can put some books there. If not, place bookshelves nearby and use the nightstand for only the current read.
  6. Image titled Clean Your Entire House in One Day Step 5
    Tidy up the area around the nightstand. As you do, think about why the things ended up there. Are things landing here because of lack of space on the nightstand? Are they there because the laundry hamper should be closer to where you undress?


  • If something ends up on or around your nightstand repeatedly, try to create a home for it that is close enough and convenient enough that you will put that item away next time. Or, make it official that that item "lives" on or in the nightstand.
  • It's not the end of the world if a nightstand is cluttered. It's personal space, so tidy up the worst of it if company is coming or if it's bugging you or your spouse. Otherwise, don't be afraid to have things there that you use, as long as the space is working for you.
  • Make sure the nightstand itself suits your space. You don't have to redecorate everything, but if you have the choice, choose something that is tall enough to suit the bed. Also choose the combination of drawers or shelves that best suits your habits.
  • One strategy for de-cluttering a small space such as a night table is to clean the surface or drawer, then clean objects as you put them back. Objects that you put back will then be clean, and you will have time to think about where they belong. If any object doesn't inspire you to bother cleaning it, consider putting it somewhere else or discarding it altogether.

Article Info

Categories: Clutter Busting