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In this post: Nightstands can become cluttered if they are not organized. This guide will help you create a beautiful nightstand organization in just four simple steps.


Our nightstands hold all the necessary essentials, but that doesn’t mean they have to be an unorganized disaster! 

Whether your nightstand has plenty of storage built-in, like our new-to-us nightstands, or if they need a little help in that department, I’ve got several nightstand organization ideas to help you. 

Quickly and easily create a beautiful, clutter-free nightstand organization in just four simple steps here.

wood nightstand with bamboo nightstand organization

We bought these nightstands just last year, after having several other styles and types of nightstands over the years. They were actually a poorly made-over find from Facebook Marketplace – covered in a thin and terrible coat of white paint. So we sanded them down and then simply waxed them when we were giving our master bedroom a makeover. 

They are just the right size and shape for our space and the double drawers gave us plenty of storage space. But unorganized nightstand drawers can become a disaster in a hurry!

Why is Nightstand Organization Important?

Our bedrooms should be peaceful, calming spaces where we can relax and unwind. But certain parts of our bedroom can get cluttered and messy in a hurry. Like our nightstands. 

Good nightstand organization will help you to:

  • easily find all the important nightstand essentials
  • breath a little easier because things are organized
  • enjoy your beautiful bedroom space even more 

Nightstand Organization Tips

  • Stick to the essentials. There’s no reason to keep unnecessary extras here. Think about what you really use and keep only those items in your nightstand. A table lamp, tissues, chargers, lip balm, lotion, and flashlight for example. Or maybe for you, it’s a sleeping mask, cough drops, and medications. For me, it’s my eReader, a pen, chapstick, eye drops, melatonin, and some homeopathic remedies I may need in the night.
  • Keep one or two books only. You may have every intention of reading many more books, but until you’re actually reading them you don’t need to keep them in your nightstand. Use the bookshelves in the living or family room for those books instead or a bottom drawer in the nightstand if it’s not full of anything else. 
  • Use your drawers. If you’ve got ’em in your nightstand, use them! There’s no sense in piling everything on top of the nightstand if you’ve got drawers. Hide that stuff away!
  • Organize your drawers. Don’t just throw things in and hope for the best. Good organization will help you room to seem more luxurious without a huge investment of time or money.
  • Use baskets if you have no drawers. If your nightstands have shelves and not drawers, try organizing your things in baskets on the shelves or beneath your nightstand. 
  • Relocate your charging station in your drawer. If you can swing it, create a small hole in the back of your top drawer and thread your cord through it for charging your phone inside the drawer. I don’t personally do this since I like my phone to be on top of my nightstand. But it’s a great idea if you like your phone to be out of sight at night.
  • Have a place for everything. The golden rule of organization (after you declutter) is to create a place for everything. This makes it super easy to put things away when you’re finished with them. 
  • Hide your devices. Tuck your eReaders, phones, and tablets away in drawers or baskets. This will help to promote a calm and tidy space. 
  • Have a small container or bowl nearby for things like discarded jewelry or hair ties. 
  • Leave room for the little things you love. Need a vase of flowers or candles? Got a favorite photo of your kiddos? Or maybe a memento from your favorite trip? Leave room for those things and show them off proudly. 
left side of nightstand drawer

What to Keep on Top

Personally, I like to keep the top of my nightstand fairly clutter-free. So there’s a lamp, a large moisturizer (with a pump for easy use before bed), a pretty stack of books topped with a tiny wreath and candle, and a coaster. Everything else goes inside.

nightstand top

How to Handle Cords

Hide cords behind the nightstand or fasten them to the leg with clear plastic zip ties or cables to keep them from becoming an unsightly mess.

How to Organize a Nightstand

Organizing a nightstand is very simple. You can even work one drawer or cabinet section at a time. 

1. Take Everything Out

Clear out your nightstand drawers and/or shelves. Start with a clean slate. Learn more about decluttering here. 

2. Clean

If your nightstand isn’t too bad, just give it a simple wipe down. And maybe add pretty drawer liners, if you’d like.

On the other hand, if your nightstand is a disaster, maybe consider refinishing it if needed. If you’re new to making over furniture, read about my system to how to paint furniture

3. Sort & Discard

Discard any trash. Put things away that really don’t belong in your nightstand.

Also, get rid of duplicates. For example, if you’re using your phone as your alarm, you don’t really need to have an alarm clock as well.

Then sort your emptied items with like items, making little piles. If you’re not sure what to get rid of, check out 50 Things You Should “Throw Away” Today for an easy guilt-free checklist of things you can toss. 

4. Add Inserts and Set It Up

Add drawer organizers and play around with them like a puzzle until you get a fit and arrangement you like. Then arrange your things within the compartments in a way that makes sense to you. 

For example, some people like to use their top drawer for a charging station, and their middle or lower drawer for toiletries and other bedside necessities. Personally, I don’t keep LOTS of stuff in my nightstand so the top drawer is for all my necessities and the bottom drawer is actually where I put cards and notes from my kids and books I plan to read next.

nightstand organizing ideas

My Favorite Nightstand Organizers

We love to use these bamboo organizers to keep things from shifting around every time you open the drawer. Since not all drawers are the same, sets of bamboo or clear organizers like these are perfect!

bamboo organizers

And don’t miss our Complete Guide to Decluttering Your Home!

nightstand organization ideas

So, is your nightstand all organized? Or could it benefit from some reorganization?

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2 Comments

  1. I love these ideas, and thanks so much for them. for a while, I will not be able to comment, because I just loss my sweet husband.