7 Day Bedroom Challenge: Day 2 – The Bedside Table

bedside table

Welcome to day two of the 7 Day Bedroom Challenge! You can find day one’s challenge here.

Bedchamber, boudoir, sleeping-room, sleeping chamber, personal quarters – there have been many names used throughout the centuries to describe the room in our home that houses our bed. Whatever word we use (when I am feeling fancy I prefer boudoir), this room should serve as our personal sanctuary – our refuge from the outside world and all the tasks that await us both outside its doors and outside our home. It should be a space that helps us to slow down, unwind, and feed our soul. A place of reflection, repose, and rest. That is the space that we are striving to create for ourselves with the 7 Day Bedroom Challenge.

Plate of French Boudoir, Louis XVI Period
From Edith Wharton’s “The Decoration of Houses”, 1897.

On Day 1, we focused on our beds. Today, we are going to move next to the bed and focus on the bedside.

The first question we have to ask ourselves is, “What do I want to use this space for?”.  Do you like to read in bed, listen to music, journal, meditate, work on your bucket list? Think about what tools you need to accomplish these tasks and set out to create a space that provides you with everything you need.

Day Two Steps

Clear It Off and Clean It

The first thing we are going to do is take everything off the top of our bedside tables and clear out all the drawers and shelves if you have them. Now get in there and dust and vacuum – whatever you need to do to make it shine!  Don’t forget to pull your bedside table out from the wall and clean back there.

Take Inventory

Now that everything is clean, don’t go throwing everything back where it was before. Stop and think about what you really want and need in this space. This space, above all others, – your sacred space – should be free of clutter and things that don’t bring you peace or joy. Everything else needs to find another home. The things you place here should only serve you and your peace of mind.

For example, as much as I adore my children and the wonderful things they make for me, I do not display anything child related in my bedroom. Why? Because if I see something of theirs my mind will start racing about all the things I need to do regarding them or my current list of child worries I have (we all have this running list in our minds, right?). Every other space in the house incorporates their spirit and their things, so I don’t feel guilty maintaining one space for only my husband and myself. That is just my personal rule, your worry trigger may be something else (a pile of work papers, for example). Don’t put any worry triggers in your bedroom.

Lighting and Cords

You need good lighting next to your bed. Thankfully, lighting can serve both a practical and an aesthetic purpose. So many lamps qualify as works of art. Make sure you dust your lamp off (don’t forget to also dust the lightbulb) and place it on your bedside table where you need light.

Next figure out your electrical cord situation. Do you need one or more chargers next to your bed? What electronic devices need to be plugged in there? Once you have figured this out plug in what you need and work on hiding any cords that are visible. You can use hooks to dangle the ends of chargers behind your table so they are out of sight while not in use. I also have a power strip Velcroed to the back of my bedside table so that it isn’t sitting on the floor exposed (my bedside table has an open bottom). There are many cheap hacks (think duct or painters tape) you can come up with on the fly to hide what you need to. The cleaner the look, the more serene it will be.

At this point you should have a clean and clear bedside table with only your electronic devices plugged in (reserve a spot for them now). Here is my bedside table at this point in the process.

My Bedside table with lamp only

The Drawers

Now let’s move onto the drawers. I have three drawers in my bedside table. The first I use for easy, but hidden, access to things I may need while lounging in bed. The second and third drawers I use to store personal things in that don’t belong anywhere else – things like baby books, special journals, inspirational and reflection books, etc. Things I use or like to look at, but don’t want on display. Figure out what those things are for you. Remarkably, these are the only two drawers in my house that my kids don’t rifle through.

Back to that first drawer. I am going to put myself out there and show you what mine looked like before I emptied it today. I swear it was organized just a few months ago – how quickly that can change when we don’t work on keeping it that way.

pic of messy bedside table drawer
The “before” of my bedside drawer.

Here is a list of things I like to keep in my bedside drawer for easy access:

  • Body Lotion and Face Moisturizer
  • Makeup Wipes (for the nights I am too tired to wash my face in the bathroom)
  • Lip Balm
  • Extra Reading Glasses (I keep my primary pair on top)
  • Coaster to put on the table when needed
  • Tissue
  • Notepads and Pens (you never know when inspiration will strike)
  • My iPad (lest little hands find it)
  • Extra Stationary (I have a writing desk in another area of my house but sometimes I am inspired to write a note in bed and this makes it easy)
  • Flashlights

Here is my drawer after I re-organized it.

organized bedside drawer
It isn’t pretty, but it is practical (and hidden)!

The Pretty

Okay – now for the super fun part – the part where we surround ourselves with pretty things that bring us joy. Before you go grabbing things to put here really spend some time thinking about the things that you love to look at and be surrounded by.  Walk around your house.  You may want to move things from other rooms and relocate them here.  I call this “shopping your house”.

I have many small collections of things I love in my home. For my bedside table I chose a small collection of trinket boxes that I have. I adore them as they were all gifts from different people and they each remind me of their givers when I look at them. I also love how dainty they are. I display them on my bedside table along with a vase that my parents gave me, some books I am currently reading, a beautiful and sweet smelling candle, reading glasses, and a ring holder to put my rings on while I am applying lotion.

This is where you can let your own creativity and inspiration take the lead. Try different configurations until it feels right for you. This is what is working for me right now:

IMG_7192

I hope that this post has inspired you to create your own oasis surrounded by things you love and that bring you joy.  We all can use a calm place at the end of the day to wind down and recharge our souls.

Don’t forget to check out day 3’s challenge here.

Sweet dreams,

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Through Mrs. Barnstable’s School for the Domestic Arts -  its blog, guides, and other resources - I will help you create a home you love to be in, show you how to host a party with panache and ease, and guide you through how to manage it all without feeling overwhelmed.

5 thoughts on “7 Day Bedroom Challenge: Day 2 – The Bedside Table

    1. Ahh, shucks. Thank you, Vicki! I am glad you are enjoying the blog. Personally, I strive to keep my bedroom device free. For example, I do not have a TV in my room. However, the reality is that I use my phone as my clock (I have yet to find one that suits my taste), so that goes on my bedside while I sleep and I also charge it there overnight. Also, some nights I just want to watch a show in the comfort of my bed so I snuggle up with my iPad. And, though I prefer a book with pages that I can hold in my hand, sometimes I have my current read on my tablet as well – especially since I just started taking advantage of all the free e-books my library offers. So, even though I do use devices in my bedroom at times I keep them out of sight when they are not in use to ensure a tranquil vibe. Hope that helps.

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