I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I don’t typically keep things that aren’t useful to me, and I don’t need much to get by. I’ve never been the kind of girl that buys 18 million different kinds of lotion or has an overflowing make up bag, and even though I have more clothes that I need, I always come back to the same 7-10 outfits every time.
That said, I was always really bad with clutter. The top of my dresser, my desk, my kitchen table, and yes, my bedside table, always held mounds of clutter.
Magazines, receipts, DVDs, change, pens, notepads, flyers, makeup…just stuff. It got so bad in my last apartment that once when I pulled the top drawer of my dresser open, a bunch of stuff slid of the pile on top and fell into the drawer.
I guess I should blame it on my laziness. Nothing I ever did seemed to make a difference. What’s the point of cleaning it up when just a week later everything is right back where it used to be?
I realize now that if I want to be organized, it can’t just be a sporadic, once a month cleaning binge. It has to be every day, for five minutes, eliminating stuff. My bedside table used to be a dumping ground for everything that didn’t have a home. The worst part was, my beside table doesn’t even have drawers, so all of that crap was out in the open for everyone to see.
On the average night, when I got into bed, here’s what I saw: Lotion, medication, a glasses case, my phone charger, my laptop charger, earphones, birth control, my retainer case, hair elastics, bobby pins, receipts, pay stubs, my journal, a book or two or three, bills, debit and credit cards, my running watch, and a glass of water. Like I said, STUFF.
Why This is a Problem for Me (And You)
Having these piles of clutter all over the place meant I never knew where anything was. I would just end up going out and buying a new set of nail clippers rather than try and shift all of that mess around to locate the pair I already owned. I was wasting money and being lazy. I knew it had to stop.
Everything in It’s Place
One day I decided enough was enough. I wanted to have one of those clean, minimalist, chic places I always see in magazines, not this chaos that I woke up to every morning.
The first thing I did (well, after consulting the internet for tips) was to get myself some baskets. The reason all of this stuff ended up on my dresser and bed side table was because it didn’t have a designated home. Well, it was time to find this stuff it’s forever homes.
All girl stuff including retainers, hair elastics, bobby pins, nail clippers, medications and tweezers ect now live in the make up bag with no exceptions.
Office stuff including important receipts, bills, cheques, membership cards etc go into their new “to be filed” basket on the dresser or get tossed.
Debit cards, credit cards, ear buds, eyeglasses cases, phone chargers now take up permanent residence in my purse.
Books go back on the book shelf (duh).
Change goes in the nearby change jar, which was upgraded because the overflowing smaller jar that used to be there wasn’t cutting it.
A Minimalist Bedside Table
These days, my bedside table is a beautiful thing to look at. I clean it off almost daily so there is no build up of the stuff mentioned above. Here’s what you’ll find on my bedside table these days:
Cell phone (it’s my alarm clock.)
Ear plugs (the neighbor’s dog barks at 6am)
Moisturizer (I actually apply this right before bed so it makes the most sense to have it by the bed)
That’s it! That’s all I need to go to sleep at night, and wake up in the morning. All that other stuff was totally unnecessary, and having to see that clutter every day was actually pissing me off to the point where I was having a harder time getting to sleep.
So, by decluttering my bedside table I was able to streamline how I dealt with the stuff in my life. By putting everything in a designated spot that made sense, and keeping after it every single day, I’m able to have a clutter free bedside table, with almost no effort. I still have three pairs of nail clippers though. At least I’m prepared!
Is there one area of your home that always seems to be cluttered?