An Organized Nightstand at Last

How to create an organization system for nightstand drawers. Get your bedside table essentials neat and tidy with these organization ideas.

It is funny how the things and spaces we use the most become what I like to call blind spots. We walk past them, use them, and take things in and out, yet fail to see the mess. Does this happen to you? This was certainly the case with my nightstand drawers which desperately needed some organization.

nightstand organization

I spend a lot of time in my bedroom and use the drawers of my bedside table every night, yet it is the last place I think about organizing. But when desperation hits, that blind spot becomes clear to me: my nightstand needed an overhaul and a new organization system. So I purged, cleaned, spruced, and grabbed some drawer organizers, and now my nightstand looks fantastic!

The Basics of Nightstand Organization

Nightstands are helpful, but they also can become a catch-all storage unit. I speak from experience. The last time I thoroughly organized my bedside drawers was in 2016. Yes, even a home organization blogger ignores her nightstand. But before diving into the nitty and gritty of nightstand organization, I think it’s important to recognize and answer basic questions.

Do You Need a Nightstand?

The short answer is yes, you do need a nightstand. The long answer will be that you do not necessarily need a nightstand, but you need a surface or table at your bedside where you can put things down at night and store and organize essentials. In most cases, nightstands are necessary to hold a table lamp or a night light that you can shut off once you’re tucked in bed.

nightstand drawers organization

What Do You Keep On (and Inside) a Nightstand?

What you keep on and inside your nightstand drawers is a personal choice. Nightstands or bedside tables are the keepers of our most used, personal, and intimate things. Traditionally, people place a table lamp, a clock, and books over their nightstands. Inside the nightstand drawers, we can store personal items such as health products, electronics, remotes, books, journals, pens, and the occasional snack. True story.

How to Organize Nightstand Drawers?

Before organizing your nightstand drawers, you must decide on the essentials you want to keep inside of them. Assess your belongings, and think of the things you need near you when you are finally tucked in bed after a long day. You will also need to assess how much space or how many drawers you have and categorize them. Drawer organizers and drawer dividers are the perfect companions for your nightstand organization. In this post, I have linked to product suggestions to help you reach the organized bedside of your dreams!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, please read my Affiliates Disclosure.

My Dis-Organized Nightstand Before

With all those questions answered and out of the way, we can now look at my nightstand drawers and why they desperately needed to be organized. I will walk you through my essentials and my thought process when I organized these drawers.

nightstand drawer organization
Nightstand drawer # 1 – Before
nightstand organization
Nightstand drawer #2 – Before
Nightstand drawer #3 – Before

First, I dumped it all on my bed, sorted my essentials, and discarded unutilized items. I also gave each drawer a quick makeover with contact paper. The first drawer is lined with velvet, and I had it covered with a vintage roses paper liner before. To make it feel bright and airy yet sophisticated, I used a Terrazzo contact paper (similar here)I found at Target’s Bullseye Playground.

This is a super easy way to update your nightstand drawers before organizing them. It literally takes minutes.

I lined the interior of the drawers with Terrazzo contact paper.

Drawer #1. The ‘Super Essentials’ Drawer

Inside the first and most shallow drawer of my nightstand, I keep all the things essential for my nighttime routine. After a while, of course, it became a jumbled mess. The drawer organizer I placed here (7 years ago!) wasn’t enough to hold all the things.

nightstand drawer organization

To organize all the little (and not so little) things, I used an office drawer tray (similar). While I could have used the same system I used in my makeup drawer organization, I used what I had. And this clear organizer was completely underused in my office (another overdue project!).

nightstand drawer organizer

Here’s what I kept inside my first drawer.

nightstand drawers organizer
  • Remote controls: TV, ceiling fan and light, Tempurpedic bed.
  • Pain reliever pills.
  • Sleep mask.
  • Essential oil rollers.
nightstand drawer organization
bedside table organization

I filled the gap behind the organizer with an (empty) Apple watch box. I keep all the fancy and sturdy boxes from Apple products, and when I’m in a pinch, I use them as drawer organizers.

nightstand drawer organizer
Drawer 1: Before and After!

Drawer #2. The ‘Skincare Products Junkie’ Drawer

I’ve mentioned before that I love makeup. And that makes me also a skincare products junkie. Not only do I buy, but I receive many free samples (usually when I buy makeup!), and my sister gives me a lot, too. She also loves makeup; it runs in the family.

nightstand organization

The mess in the first two drawers was the catalyst of the nightstand organization. However, this second drawer was really the pit of despair. I could not take one more night looking at this. It was in such bad shape. After accumulating products and lotions, it became a dumping ground.

Another drawer organizer went to waste inside the nightstand because there was no definition. And too much of everything. There’s that Apple watch box in the back. So, to organize this drawer in particular, I needed deep bins with compartments. I loved these ones because the dividers are removable. So I was able to accommodate big lotions but also small tubes and containers.

drawer organizers for nightstand

The container in the back does not have any dividers. Inside, I placed larger bottles of creams and lotions. As well as my giant-sized migraine medicine bottle. On top of them, I put my makeup remover wipes for those lazy nights.

drawer organizers for nightstand

The container in the front only has one divider (out of 4) containing three bottles that I prefer to keep upright. Next to them, I nested two small square containers I had left from this set of 25 clear drawer organizers. Inside the little cubes, I keep the following:

  • Facial tools – Gua Sha and Roller
  • A tube key (similar)
  • Cotton rounds. These are my favorite. They don’t have a rough edge like some do and cut your skin. Especially when you clean under the eye area.
drawer organizers nightstand

On the right side of the drawer, there’s a spread of skincare products. Believe me, when I tell you, I use them all! Not necessarily on the same night, but they are all being used. So for this wide assortment of creams and serums, I used all the dividers in the clear drawer organizer.

drawer organizers for nightstand
Drawer 2: Before and After!

Drawer #3 – The Book Storage Drawer

Lastly, drawer #3 of my nightstand wasn’t as bad as the others, but it was full of irrelevant books buried at the bottom. Once I removed those books and kept only what I am currently reading, I made some ‘breathing’ room.

bedside table organization

I moved the Bible highlighters to the top drawer and inserted a small rectangular clear bin to store my iPad and Kindle chargers. I rarely store my glasses in their case, so I tucked the case in the back of the drawer. My glasses sit on the nightstand overnight, and I store them inside my medicine cabinet during the day.

nightstand drawer organization

Because I mostly keep books inside this nightstand drawer, I didn’t need to add any drawer organizers, except for the small bin containing the chargers.

bedside table drawer organization

These are the items I keep in this drawer:

bedside table organizationnightstand drawer organization
Drawer 3: Before and After!

How to Decorate a Nightstand

Frankly, my nightstand drawers might stay super organized, but I can not guarantee that the top will always look Pinterest-perfect. And if I am being completely honest, I overly staged my nightstand for this post’s purposes. That night, I realized I had no room for my multi-charger and essential oils diffuser. I also think that my lamps are a bit big.

With that said, how you decorate your nightstand is up to you. A small flower arrangement, whether faux or real, an old-school clock over a stack of books; all these decorations look beautiful, especially in magazines and blogs! However, they’re not the most practical thing when you LIVE here. Especially when I place my reading glasses and a cup of water on the top of the nightstand every night.

List of Drawer Organizers You Can Use for Your Nightstand Organization

I hope you enjoyed this nightstand organization and that it inspired you to organize yours. Here’s a list of all the resources mentioned in this post as well as my favorite tried and true drawer organizers. Measure the height of your nightstand’s drawers to ensure the drawer organizers fit inside.

Alternatively, you can click on the picture below to shop for these products.

happy organizing, Flavia


  1. Forgive me, but your dis-organized drawer is 10 times neater than my organized one! I’m an epic fail.

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