Organizing + Lifestyle

Weekend Project: Nightstand Refresh

December 30, 2022

A New Year’s quick fix.


I'm a professional organizer, wife, mom, and South Carolina native passionate about making women's lives easier. I'm so glad you're here!


When I was a little girl I thought my mother’s nightstand drawer held endless treasures. Nail files, buttons, thread, pens, receipts, safety pins, lotion, Mentholatum, and always a Hershey Almond Bar. Her drawer was a treasure trove begging to be searched through.

As I became a wife and mother myself, I found my nightstand drawer looked like my mother’s – but I didn’t have the same positive feelings. I was overwhelmed searching for what I needed. 

One day I decided to get intentional and only keep the absolute necessities. For my nightstand, “necessities” were items that promoted rest and relaxation. Y’all. This was one of my first personal organizing projects and a game changer for me. 

Ready to take your bedside table from an overwhelming catch-all to a relaxing system? Keep reading for a nightstand that promotes good sleep and mental wellbeing.


Take everything out of your nightstand and place it on your bed. 

Sort and place like things together. Now look at your piles. What items need to remain in your drawer? No need to be picky here, just go with your gut. You can always refine more later. 

bedroom with bed, nightstand, and chest of drawers.

What is left? You should be looking at piles of items that you do not want to go back in your nighstand.

Decide what to do with the items you don’t want or need in your nightstand. Do they belong in another place in your bedroom or home? If not, consider donating or getting rid of these items. 

Now you will be looking at the remaining piles – items you need! If you need to sort your pile again, do it! Straightening up as you go makes the task easier.

Move onto step two. 


Now, what’s missing from the items you want or need?

What are your essentials? Some of my must-haves are:

  • tissues
  • lip balm
  • lotion
  • eye mask
  • candle
  • lighter for my candle
  • a pen
  • small pad of paper
  • chocolate
  • glass of water

What am I missing? What items are essential to you? Subtract from my list and add your own must-haves to choose the right items for YOU.


You have what you need and want! Let’s make it beautiful and accessible. 

The nightstand drawer and surface is one of the last things you see and use before closing your eyes for sleep. Choosing what we keep on top of it and inside of it can either hinder or promote good rest.

FOR THE SURFACE: The top of your nightstand should display items you might reach for in the middle of the night (like water or a cough drop) and more aesthetically pleasing items, like a framed photo. Items you might use before bed and put away later are best for a drawer or a shelf. 

FOR THE DRAWER: If your nightstand doesn’t have a drawer, consider finding one with a drawer. Shop your house or check out thrift stores for gorgeous antique find. IKEA is great for a quick furniture fix. 

Organized nightstand drawer with hair supplies, candle, lip balm, scented spray, tissues, and eye masks.

Create a designated spot for each item or categories of items in your nightstand drawer. 

Small drawer organizers can be used to separate things and give each item a home. An easy-to-access and easy-to-put-away system supports your routine. When organizing drawers, be sure to measure the height of your drawer!

This set is a great acrylic option from Amazon. This set is a great bamboo option from Amazon. If you’re shopping in person rather than online, check bathroom and regular home storage areas for shallow drawer inserts.

If on the off-chance you have deep nightstand drawers, we love these tall drawer inserts from The Container Store!

Container Store drawer insert


If you’re interested, add a little beauty to your space! How can you make it visually appealing? The space is all yours and should be inviting to your eye. What brings you joy when you see it? Consider adding sentimental items or a trinket in your favorite color to your nightstand.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Need a little more hands-on help? Connect with me here about an in-home project!

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Upstate Organized Living creates real-life solutions for your everyday needs. Serving Greenville, Greer, Easley, Taylors, Traveler's Rest, and other Upstate South Carolina communities. 




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