What’s in a Nightstand?

You’ve rid yourself of clutter, of non-joy-sparking stuff - maybe you haven’t, but for the sake of argument, say you have. At least, on your nightstand. Now what? You’ve got your essentials and maybe a couple knick knacks that you just like, but something’s just not working. It still feels like a jumble. All the pieces are there, but it’s no joy-sparking work of art. Yet.

This issue is going to come up often where you’ve decluttered, you’ve got all the pieces you love and can’t live without, but it’s not completely zen. It’s lackluster. It doesn’t feel whole. That’s because you’ve graduated from the decluttering phase to the design phase. Some of us are better at this phase than others. I’d say I’m not the greatest. I’m getting better, and I’ll share some ways I go about creating spaces that stay clutter-free.

Nightstands Are Mini Support Systems

Your nightstand is your Hello Morning!, and it’s also your Good Night! It’s one of the first things that greets you when you wake up and last things you interact with before drifting off to sleep.

I was looking at my nightstand and I’ve never been completely happy with it.


My Nightstand

My current book, dish for jewelry and other stuff, glasses, kleenex, lotion. My cellphone charges on top of the book.

I like the nightstand itself. I love the wood color, the design, but the things (I think) I need next to my bed detract from the overall design. It feels and looks cluttered. So what do you do?

How To Fix What You Don’t Like

When I have this feeling, I first do an assessment. I ask myself these two questions:

  1. Am I sure I need the things that are there?

  2. Is this the best setup for what I’m dealing with?

Do these things need to live right here?

Usually time will tell if you need certain things where they are. In this case, I’ve tried taking things off to make it cleaner, but over time they make their way back. So I’d say that what’s on my nightstand now is what I personally need, or want, next to my bed.

Once you feel sure that these are the things that need to go here, then these are the things you need to create space for.

Is this the best setup?

For this question I let myself get creative. If I could pick out the perfect solution for this situation, what would it look like?

Take into account what’s bothering you about the current setup.

In this case, it bothers me that it looks cluttered. Even though I don’t think there’s that much actually on it, it doesn’t feel calm or clean. Since these are the things I want by my bed, and I need to make it look less cluttered, I need to hide these things. In other words, I need drawers!

I'm in love with the color. I just did a quick search for nighstands, and this came up. It's sold at Target for $85.

I'm in love with the color. I just did a quick search for nighstands, and this came up. It's sold at Target for $85.

If you have trouble getting going, Pinterest is an amazing resource. Other people love being creative. You just have to find that idea that resonates with you. Make your own board and start pinning. Even if it might not fit with your decor, just start pinning.

Go onto a furniture store’s website, something fancy, some Parisian boutique store like Kathy Kuo Home, Perigold, Roche Bobois, even Anthropologie. Let your imagination run wild!

Decluttering vs Acquiring New Stuff

Most of us have started on this decluttering journey because the idea of decreasing our stuff is an essential component to the decluttering process. And if you are sticking to Marie Kondo’s philosophy of only having items in your home that spark joy, odds are great you are caught because by now you’ve undoubtedly found things that do not spark joy but removing them is going to cause another headache. If it’s a piece of furniture that’s holding up smaller items, such as a nightstand, removing the nightstand leaves you with those items having no home.

My philosophy on this is, Yes, I want everything in my home to ultimately spark joy, but I also don’t want to break the bank. I also want to work on my materialism. I know material things like clothes, new furniture, and shopping feeds a source of emptiness and gives me momentary self worth. I shop more than I need to, and I know these are the reasons why. The last thing I want to do is give myself a new reason to shop.

It’s a balancing act. Having things in your home that spark joy can mean that you need to replace certain things. Eventually. In the meantime, enjoy what you do have while dreaming of the new. There are also ways to find spark-joy worthy items on a budget. Once you know the type of thing you need, you’re better able to zero in on that thing. Maybe you’ll find it on Craigslist. Maybe a friend is looking to unload exactly what you need. Maybe you’ll find it at a garage sale. Maybe over time you’ll decide that what you have is actually what you want, you just needed to let your mind imagine for awhile.