5 Items cluttering your bedside table that are impacting your sleep

Promote a restful sleep environment by reducing unnecessary clutter from your bedside table

Bedside table
(Image credit: Future PLC / Sofa.com / Future / Chris Tubbs)

Although it is easy let your bedside table become cluttered, acting as a catch-all space for the various items you want on hand, by regularly sorting through and organizing your bedside table, you'll create a calmer, more restful environment in your bedroom. 

This starts by decluttering certain items that are impacting your sleep space and contributing to a chaotic bedside table. By streamlining the reading materials, and electronic devices, managing your bedtime routine, and carefully curating sentimental items, you'll transform your bedside table into a peaceful space that promotes sleep and relaxation.

Our experts have shared the items to declutter from your bedside table – helping you to wind down each evening and improve your sleep hygiene – to create a carefully curated bedside display or clear out your bedside table storage.

Items cluttering your bedside table

'Making sure your bedside table is clutter-free and clean can help you relax properly and provide the perfect environment for a good night’s sleep,' says Georgina Burnett, professional organizer and decluttering expert at Vintage Cash Cow

'As you review each item on your bedside table, keep things organized by creating "keep", "donate" and "throw away/recycle" piles. Go through each item one by one and consider whether you actually need it – or will ever use it – again. If you’re unsure, ask yourself: 

  • Does this still work? 
  • When was the last time I used this? 
  • Do I have more than one of these items?

Deciding which items to keep on or in your bedside table will depend on your lifestyle, as well as only sticking to the few essential items that will produce a relaxing environment. 

1. Electronics

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Excess electronics, such as chargers, tablets, or multiple gadgets can make your table look messy. While it may be tempting to have easy access to these devices at all times, it's actually hindering your ability to wind down and get a good night's rest.

Georgina Burnett says, 'Despite the warnings from experts about how we shouldn’t sleep with our phones next to our beds, many of us still do, especially since a lot of people use their phone as an alarm clock. Some also may do some extra work before bed on their laptop or have a tablet for reading e-books, while some even like to play games on handheld devices before drifting off.

'However, if you want to adopt a better sleep pattern, you should avoid storing any electrical items on your bedside table whatsoever. Electronics can give off radiation that disrupts sleep, plus the blue light emitted from screens can affect our sleep by interrupting melatonin production.'

Consider creating a designated spot for your electronics and creating an organized charging station to keep these items out of sight and mind when it's time to sleep. We recommend using a charging caddy to keep things tidy, such as this charging station dock and organizer, from Amazon.

2. Miscellaneous items

Cozy bedroom with brown painted walls, bed with cream, orange and blue linen, orange patterned rug, rattan and black wood bedside table, low hanging rounded glass pendant with striped design, boucle lounge chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

While it's easy for jewelry, spare change, hair ties, and other miscellaneous items to accumulate on your bedside table, this visual clutter can become stressful, since a cluttered environment can contribute to cognitive overload. 

These should be sorted and stored properly in designated places, such as jewelry boxes or drawers with dividers. This will not only keep your bedside table clear but also keeps these items organized and easy to locate. 

3. Books and loose papers

Headboard ideas with built-in storage

(Image credit: Future / Chris Tubbs)

'Many of us like to read in bed, but books piled on top of the bedside table aren't ideal for a good night’s sleep. Not only can they harbour dust, but they can also take up a lot of space. Try sticking to one book at a time, and when you’ve finished reading it, put it away on a bookshelf before starting a new one,' advises Georgina Burnett.

'Others may have loose paperwork from work on their bedside table, they might like to read magazines instead or they might use nighttime as an opportunity to review bills. However, you should try and avoid working or reviewing bills in bed – your bed should be somewhere you go to relax, and looking at bills or worrying about work could add unnecessary stress just before you’re about to sleep.

'Leave any loose papers downstairs or in an office and try to look at them during the day rather than just before you go to sleep. You can even tick the option to go paperless with any bills or statements to completely eradicate loose paper from your home.'

Don't keep reading materials by your bedside unless you frequently use them in your nighttime routine, and have a strict no-work-materials policy, since these may serve as a reminder of deadlines and stress, which may make it more difficult to fall asleep. Removing these items from your bedside table and sleep environment will make unwinding and unplugging from work before bed easier.

4. Glasses

colors that got with light grey, light grey bedroom with modern wood bed and chest of drawers, multi coloured bedding and bed pillows, bright vases, cream carpet, green contemporary stool

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

One of the items I commonly find crowding my bedside table is empty glasses. While having water by your bedside is important for staying hydrated at night, having glasses cluttering your bedside table can be conducive to stress, not to mention this can be a breakage hazard.  

To prevent the need to keep bringing fresh glasses to your room on a daily basis, consider using a small water pitcher or jug that enhances the aesthetics of your bedside table to keep topped up.

5. Beauty products and toiletries

A bedroom furniture idea with modern wooden bedside table against natural wood panelled wall

(Image credit: Arteriors London)

Take a look at the abundance of beauty products that have found a home on your bedside table following morning and pre-bedtime routines. From face, lip, or hand creams, to hair products, it's easy for these items to pile up over time. 

While it's nice to have these items at arm's reach for those late-night self-care sessions, it's important to avoid nightstand design mistakes by only keeping the essentials on your bedside table. This is key to reducing clutter, and also making it easier to locate the products you truly need.

Georgina Burnett recommends, 'You could place a small decorative bowl or tray next to your bed for small, loose items to keep them organized and all in one place.'


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Although decorations can add a personal touch to your bedside table, be sure to only select a careful curation of functional, beautiful or meaningful items as to not clutter your bedside table. 

Home wellness educator at Exploring Wellness, Andrea Perchotte says, 'It's crucial to ensure the final glimpse of the day is clutter-free and positive, creating the ideal environment for restful sleep and the bedside table is usually the last thing you see before getting some shut-eye.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.