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9 Bedside Table Essentials That Will Streamline Your Nighttime Routine

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The expression "out of sight, out of mind" unfortunately can apply to unnecessary clutter in your home. Oftentimes, you may think of closets and drawers as catch-all areas for random objects that haven't found their proper homes. One sneaky place that could be hiding junk when it could be used much more efficiently? Your nightstand. Thankfully, experts are weighing in on the bedside table essentials that will keep yours both tidy and chic, making your morning and evening routines so much less stressful.

If you want to create a bedroom that feels like a sanctuary, organization professionals say that the first thing to consider is getting rid of the clutter — including what's stashed in your beside table. "The biggest mistake that people make in organizing their bedrooms is making it a catch-all," shares Rachel Rosenthal, organizing expert and owner of Rachel and Company. "Being mindful about the items you allow into your bedroom and into your bedside table will keep the space organized and start and end your day in a decluttered mindset."

According to Claire Gould, professional organizer at Get Clairefied, before even getting into what's inside, your bedside table itself may need to be reimagined. "What often happens is people will select a nightstand with too much storage, which then adds to the feeling of bedroom clutter and/or disorganization," she says. And Rosenthal agrees, noting that a simple one-drawer stand works like a charm to hold your essentials without allowing extra room for junk.

Once you've got a table that passes the clutter test, it's time to set yours up for success. From what's on it to what's tucked away inside, Rosenthal and Gould have some sage advice for stocking your nightstand minimally, beautifully, and totally efficiently. Learn more about their nine must-haves ahead, from a soothing light source to your reading material.

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Bedside Table Essential: Soft Lamp

Rosenthal recommends investing in a pretty lamp that provides enough light to read at night (or slowly waking up in the morning) without ruining the mood. A salt lamp imparts a soft glow that will keep your bedroom feeling super tranquil.

Bedside Table Essential: Alarm Clock

"I personally don’t keep my phone by my bed because I like to have some separation from it," says Gould. Instead, she sets up her bedside table with a stylish alarm clock to wake her up without the option of mindless scrolling.

Bedside Table Essential: Jewelry Dish/Holder

"Avoid the dreaded one earring gone missing or a tangled necklace nightmare by giving your jewelry a temporary home until you can put it away the next day," says Rosenthal.

Bedside Table Essential: Charging Station

If you do need to keep your phone nearby when you sleep, at least make sure to have a chic charing station to keep things tidy. "I would love to say that we all charge our phones or devices in another room but let's be honest, that is not always realistic," says Rosenthal. "Set yourself up for a streamlined nightstand with an organized charging station to avoid cord overload next to your bed."

Bedside Table Essential: Personal Decor Item

Though Rosenthal prefers as minimal a beside table as possible, she does recommend keeping out one personal item that brings a smile to your face. "I am not a big proponent of clutter but I do think that a simple decor piece that makes you happy deserves a spot on your nightstand," she says.

Bedside Table Essential: Pen & Paper

"I can't be the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night with an idea," Rosenthal says. "I love keeping a simple notepad and pen in the drawer to allow me to write down a quick note for myself without picking up my phone."

Bedside Table Essential: Reading Material

If part of your bedtime ritual involves some reading time, follow Gould's advice and keep your nightstand stocked with a few books, an e-reader, or a magazine to help wind down in the evening.

Bedside Table Essential: Aromatherapy Object

Gould says that another part of a soothing evening routine could be lighting a candle or burning stress-reducing oils in a diffuser.

Bedside Table Essentials: Drawer Organizer

To keep whatever's inside your nightstand as streamlined as possible (books, cords, hand cream, etc), Rosenthal swears by clear plastic organizing trays.