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Living Space: Simple changes can declutter your nightstand

By By Kathryn Weber
Oct. 31, 2013 at 5:31 a.m.

Use closed baskets to neatly corral small items on your nightstand.

It happened innocently enough. What used to be a place for a lamp and an alarm clock now has to multitask.

As electronics have increasingly crept into our lives, the average bedside table must also make room for tablets, cellphones and chargers.

All this in addition to books and magazines, reading glasses, pens, tissues, earplugs, pills, water glasses, family photos, anti-snoring devices and the TV remote. Talk about a mess.

Most of us need storage for a variety of bedtime needs, but sadly, most night tables that look so great in design magazines lack enough drawers or a large enough surface to do the job. A stylish night table seems like a nice idea, but they're rarely practical.

Digital age

One of the most common needs is space on the nightstand for electronics. If charging a phone or tablet is a necessity at bedtime, there are a variety of alarm clocks that will not only charge either device but will also wake you to music stored on the device. Better still, placing electronics on a charger helps clear the top of the nightstand.

Several furniture makers now even offer nightstands with built-in charging ports and storage for individual devices, like the Pulaski Tangerine nightstand. This piece has enough attached outlets to hold and charge multiple gadgets.

Many nightstands can be retrofitted to store electronics. If possible, drill a hole in the back of your nightstand and thread a power strip cord through the hole, leaving the power strip in the drawer. Voila, you have a powered drawer for your devices.

Safety, privacy

In addition to personal items, many people like to store medications and even safety products, like pepper spray, in their nightstand. To prevent these items from falling into the wrong hands, look for a nightstand with a locking drawer or install a lock yourself.

A quick Internet search will pull up a number of do-it-yourself instructions on how to install a lock on a bedside table. Or you can buy a nightstand with a built-in hidden drawer like the Louis Philippe two-drawer nightstand with hidden jewelry drawer ($193). The drawer is hidden in the top moulding.

Flotsam

Need a way to corral all those tiny items that accumulate on the nightstand? A small bowl for change or jewelry is a helpful addition. A fun way to keep things looking good and out of sight is to use hollowed-out boxes designed to look like books.

Closed baskets are another option.

Now you've got a nightstand that won't keep you up at night.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her web site, redlotusletter.com.

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