What’s on My Bedside Table?

A popular themed video on YouTube among handbag lovers/collectors is a “What’s in my handbag” video. Apparently, women are often curious about what other women carry around in their bags during the day.

4-poster Bed dressed for spring and summer


A few nights ago as I crawled into bed, I thought, “I wonder what most people keep on their bedside table?”

What's On My Bedside Table 01


So today I thought I’d share with you the things I normally keep on my bedside table. The only thing missing is one of my Yeti (or Yeti-style) thermoses filled with water. I took mine with me to my office this morning and forgot to put it back before taking these pictures. Otherwise, this is my current bedside state of affairs. I say “current” because the books change but most of the other stuff stays the same.

What's On My Bedside Table 02


Currently, on my bedside table, you would find a Chanel book I just ordered/received a few days ago. Since I’ve ordered two additional Ikea Oxberg cabinets for bag storage, I thought it would be fun to mix in a few “fashion” books on the shelves along with the bags.

What's On My Bedside Table


This Chanel book is much more reasonably priced than most fashion books you find these days online. Most Luxury fashion books are in the $80-$150 range which I just can’t bring myself to spend. The Chanel book was only $24, much more reasonable. It will be fun to decorate with but I’m also enjoying reading about the history of the House of Chanel. (Book is available here: Chanel: Collections and Creations.)

Chanel Coffee Table Book, Luxury Coffee Table Book


Two other books currently on my bedside table are these two vintage Frances Hodgson Burnett books ordered a while back from THIS seller on Etsy. One of my very favorite books is The Secret Garden. I just really love the story. I love collecting beautiful editions of The Secret Garden and this version illustrated by Graham Rust has wonderful images all throughout.

I’ve never read A Little Princess but the seller had a copy of it, also illustrated by Rust, so I decided to get it, as well. I probably paid too much, for these, I think they were around $30-$35 each, but they are both in excellentlent condition and just beautiful! I need to start going to bed earlier at night so I can actually stay awake to read, A Little Princess. lol

Frances Hodgson Burnett Books, Illustrated by Graham Rust


At the back of my bedside table, you’ll see the pretty tissue holder I purchased a few months back when I went on a rampage through my home replacing ALL of the cardboard tissue boxes with beautiful, decorative tissue holders. If you missed that post, you’ll find it here: Sometimes Small Changes Can Make Your Heart Happy. (Tissue holder is available here: Tissue Holder.)

Beautiful Tissue Holder for Traditional Decor


Of course, there’s the ubiquitous cellphone charger, a staple on almost all bedside tables these days. There’s notepaper for jotting down notes or possible post ideas when they pop into my head late at night as I’m drifting off to sleep under the twinkling stars in the nighttime sky overhead. The little remote is for a fan that I run every night, it hums me to sleep and keeps me cool during the summer months. I love having a fan that can be turned on via remote since I inevitably get into bed and then realize I forgot to turn on the fan.

Beautiful Tissue Holder for Traditional Decor


Always beside my bed, I have a small toiletry/accessory bag for holding bits and bobs I sometimes need after I’m in bed. During the fall and winter, I use this tartan bag that coordinates with my winter bedding. In the spring-summer, I change out to the vintage, green-velvet, Stubbs & Wootton Pocket–they call them pockets instead of bags.

Stubbs and Wootton Velvet Green Bag and William Sonoma Tartan Plaid Toiletry Bag


You may have noticed the tartan one on my bedside table in previous posts when I shared my fall-winter bedding.


Inside you’ll find these items: a pen for those previously mentioned brainstorming notes, a fingernail file and fingernail clippers–just in case, Aquaphor–my fave lip treatment for nighttime, and a small tube of Cutemol, my favorite lotion–especially during the winter.

I also keep a very soft, arm wrap/bracelet that I wear at night to keep two bracelets that I never take off, from sliding down my arm which can be uncomfortable for sleeping. If you have a bracelet or bangle that you never remove, I definitely recommend these little wraps for camouflaging those when you travel. That’s when I purchased mine–when I had a trip scheduled and didn’t want to draw any unwanted attention. In addition to solid colors, they come in a lot of decorative patterns/colors/styles, so they look like a decorative wrap or bracelet. They are available here: Wrist Wrap/Bracelet.

I have a flashlight under the table–always good to keep a flashlight nearby since you never know when you might need it at night. Although with all the Red Cross emergency lights I have plugged in throughout the house, I really don’t find I need it when the power goes out.


Love this little booklight for reading. It has several settings. There’s a soft yellow light for late-night reading.


And there are two white light settings. These make great stocking stuffers at Christmastime. (Booklight is available here: Booklight.)


So those are the things that are currently on my bedside table. What are your must-haves on your bedside table? Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂

What's On My Bedside Table 02


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  1. In addition…. A cough drop, small devotional calendar and facial tissue.

  2. I just love everything you do! Somehow I missed the ceiling stars! I love, love, love them! You are so creative and the smartest, craftiest lady I feel like I know you! Love the bedside table! My needs are in the top drawer. I dig. Thanks for everything!

    • Thanks so much, Kristy! ♥ The stars on the ceiling have to one of best things I’ve ever done in my bedroom. I love them so much! They really give me a sense of calm and peace at night. Def recommend them!

  3. I am a retired elementary teacher and I share your love of The Secret Garden and The Little Princess! You have a treasure in those for sure. Another that you may enjoy collecting and reading to your grandsons around Christmas is The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams with illustrations by Donna Green.

    • Oh, I think we had a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit when my son was little. I need to look for that one again. Thanks, Connie!

  4. The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books also, Susan. My bedside table is a cluttered mess right now. I need to throw most of the items away, I fear. My health is in bad shape just like the tabletop. It must be true that our handbags and our bedside tables reveal what’s going on in our lives.

    • Daphne, that makes me sad to hear that. I hope you see some major improvements in your health real soon. Sending you lots of good thoughts and love! ♥

  5. liane abeyta says

    I just love your bed and patterned bedskirt and pillows. The lamps and table round cloth mimic the pillows . But I find the lamp shades just blend into your walls. Would love to see darker shades. Either red or hunter green as I know you have red winter bedding. Just a suggestion.

    • Funny you mention that…I got a quote to have my bedroom, dressing room and upstairs hallway painted. Not sure yet what color I will go with, just know it will neutral. I don’t like the contrast of the red against the yellow and have been wanting to repaint my upstairs hallway forever because the yellow comes across too yellow since there are no windows in the hall. Not sure when I’ll do all that since I’m currently saving for a car. It may be next year, but I def want to change it to another color.

  6. Susan,
    This is such a timely post! Thank you!
    My bedside table has many of the same things on a tray. Its a lot of clutter and I have never figured out how to make it all look nice since there are no drawers.
    Perhaps I can find a small “pocket” bag too. A tablecloth and hopefully a glass topper might make a big difference.
    I’m just delighted to see “The Secret Garden” and name of the author. It was one of my favorites as a child.
    I really like “The Velveteen Rabbit” too. It’s heartwarming.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and ideas.

    • Thanks for those sweet words, Portia. I would love to find a couple of beautiful chests to go on either side of my bed, although not sure they would fit in this room. Love the idea of drawers for storage!
      Oh, I remember The Velveteen Rabbit from when my son was little…such a wonderful classic!

  7. I have plug-in sconces giving more room on my small table. They have pull chains that are easy to reach and to find in the dark. And I can swing it over for brighter light when reading.

    • I love seeing those, especially when they are tucked into the wall behind a bed with lots of beautiful gathered fabric in back and a canopy over head. I actually used to have wall lamps on the wall in here but ended up having them removed for lamps. The ones I had didn’t work the way I wanted. Your lamps sound perfect!

  8. Mary L Conlon says

    My night stand has some of the same items as I look it over! I have a small bowl too small for anything really with a couple of throat discs and some Pepto tablets if heartburn strikes! A pen and pad for things I may hear or think of while my radio is on (I’m a big fan of talk radio)hand cream, chap stick and usually my watch (I still wear one– specifically my McKenzie Childs watch)! Old school I know but that’s me!

    • That heartburn always strikes the moment we decide to lay down. Argggh. You know, I used to listen to talk radio all the time when I had a job that kept in my car a lot. I’ve sorta stopped listening and I miss it. I love watches! I know a lot of people who do still wear them. I need to get mine out and start wearing it again. I find it easier to check the time with a great watch than having to activate my phone.

  9. I love The Secret Garden also, my copy is illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Love all your suggestions…………

  10. Love the lamp. More information about it

  11. franki Parde says

    Well, my Bunny Williams glass tray & pitcher which holds bottled water, pill box that holds ear plugs, glass jewel box w/holds lip baum & fav hand lotion, “Lollia” White Tea & Honeysuckle,” mini flashlite, “Lollia Coco Butter, 8×10 photo of my parent’s 50th Anniv AND Kleenex!!! Whew! Nite. franki

    • Franki, do you have a good pair of ear plugs you can recommend? When I’ve tried to sleep with those, they won’t stay in my ear well enough. I could really use those for when I travel.

  12. Susan, you are so organized. As I was reading, I thought about a lady I see sometimes when I shop locally. She had a beautiful purple handbag I was admiring one day. She carries her handfun in it. I suspect it’s in her nightstand too. Just saying. We live in different times.

  13. My Kindle, ceiling-projected clock, Medline skin repair cream, Sugar lip balm, and a really cool little cordless charger for my iPhone, watch & iPods.

    • I used to use a ceiling projected clock but I kept bumping it and messing it up. lol Now I have stars on the ceiling. I love those projection clocks, though!

  14. You might like to watch “The Little Princess” movie featuring Shirley Temple. There are also several updated movie versions. I don’t know how true to the book they are.

  15. Catalynn says

    My books at the moment are the 3 volumes of the Duc de saint Simon…. I’m absolutely addicted to his insider life in the court of the Sun King Louis XIV… he describes every thing in such detail you feel like you’re at Versailles living the life of a courtier, all the gossip and wonderfully witty.
    I’m also a big fan of Sotheby’s catalogues and currently have the auction of Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal items, furniture, jewels… there’s also a lot of pictures of the interior of her gorgeous apartment with all of her furniture and knickknacks… I loved seeing what she kept on her desk and end tables etc.
    Apparently one of her favorite books were the Duc de Saint Simon diaries as well… she read them in the original French but mine are the wonderful English translation by Lucy Norton.
    I also love The Secret Garden… thanks for the peek at your bedside table

    • Oh, now I want to search for those books! They sound so interesting! How wonderful that she could read them in the original French! Love that!

      • Catalynn says

        Lucy Norton also has a very condensed version called “Saint-Simon at Versailles”
        I read it first because I’d heard that the 3 volume set is a LOT to read and some people found it was just so detailed, every little thing is described in great detail but after I finished the condensed version I knew I wanted more, more details, more stories… his memoirs are remarkable so I ordered the 3 volume set and love it… I hate the thought of it ending… one thing that I found very helpful in the beginning was familiarizing myself with the family tree of Louis XIV so I could understand who all the various people were because it can be difficult to remember the members of his family and all of their titles…. Some of the titles are very similar sounding but after a short time I had them sorted out in my mind and didn’t need to keep refreshing my memory… hope you enjoy his memoirs as much as I do.

  16. I keep most of the same things except my nightstand has drawers so much of it stays inside the drawer. On top is my Kindle, box of Kleenex, clock with places to plug in my phone and iPad.

  17. Susan, seeing the responses of the ladies above I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if everybody snapped a photo of their nightstand and Susan posted them? Mine would be boring because I keep most things in my drawer.

    But that reminds me, do you still love your starry sky? Are they still bright?

    I hope everyone prays for Daphne.

    • I do! I was thinking the other day that it’s one of the best projects I’ve ever done in my home. The only negative is when I have this room painted, I’m not going to let them paint the ceiling, and it could use it, but I don’t want to have to remove the stars. I’ll remove them and have the ceiling painted one day when/if I decide to list the house to move. I really do love them, they have a very calming effect when I see them each night. I love that about them!

  18. Thanks for the peek at your night table Susan! I keep a lamp, my kindle/iPad or the latest physical book I might be reading. My cordless phone charger, a music box my youngest son gave me. A tray with a nail file, rosary, lip balm. Cream is in my nightstand draw along with a flashlight and small package of tissues. Although I’ve not had to use the flashlight. It’s only been in there for 5 1/2 years, since the passing of my husband. My sons think I should keep my g in my draw, but it is in the locked case and in the g safe instead, which is where I prefer it. I do have a carry permit, but have never carried it. Hugs, Brenda

    • Hope you never ever need it. With the way things are these days, you never know. I love your list of things for your bedside table, Brenda–especially the music box. That is sooo sweet! I would cry if my son gave me one! ♥♥♥

  19. Charlotte Hall says

    Must have small telescoping wooden back scratcher. For those itchy spots I can no longer reach – they will drive you crazy! This thing accompanies me on all travels as well! Aaah, that’s better.

    • Yes! I sometimes keep that on my bedside table. Why is it our backs always decide to itch right when we get into bed. lol I keep one in the car, too! 🙂

  20. I love having your suggestions…and learn so much from you. The Secret Garden has been a fav of mine for years, and I even got to see it on Broadway once of course several years ago. thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks so much, Alda! Oh, wow–I would love to see it performed live on stage, especially on Broadway! What a wonderful experience that must have been!

  21. I have a small basket that holds chapstick, benadryl cream, nail clippers, Tums, and whatever else I might want handy. I bring a stainless steel tumbler of water with me every night, which goes on the table (mine is actually a small 2-drawer chest) as do my glasses (the last thing I take off) and my cell phone (which doubles as a flashlight when I get up in the night). Tissues are within reach, too.

  22. Elizabeth says

    Susan I know this post is regarding bedside table. I am OVERWHELMED by the Beautiful bedding and pillows. I have been searching for a long time to find bedding of this type. The colors and the style are so appealing to me. Where can I find the pillows and the bed skirt. These beautiful rose colors are exactly what I need. Do you know if I can buy the fabric to make curtains? I appreciate any help you can offer.

    • Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I purchased the bedding from Linens and Things many, many years ago. Not sure if they are still in business now. I fell in love with the plaid, moire fabric that the Euro Shams (and the short bedskirt that came in the set) were made from–and at that time you could find that moire fabric in all the fabric stores. It was super popular for many years. I was so suprised because I could go into pretty much any fabric store for years after I purchased my bedding, and they would have that exact moire fabric in stock. I was able to purchase it to have a long bedskirt custom-made. I always have to have my bedskirt custom made since my bed is high and drop is so deep.
      For many years, Country Curtains sold draperies/ and valance made in the plaid moire. That fabric has to have the most popular fabric ever made. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not still available out there somewhere.
      The bedding (Euro Shams, Standard Shams, Comforter, short bedskirt and some smaller pillows) were called Summerton by Rose Tree. At one point, you could sometimes find sets on eBay.
      You can see the comforter in this ancient 2009 post with, unfortunately, not the best pictures: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/a-princess-and-the-pea-master-bedroom-welcome-to-the-9th-metamorphosis-monday/
      I still love this bedding set, after all these years. Even if you’re unable to find the bedding, I wound’t be surprised if the plaid moire fabric is still being made since it was so popular for so long.

    • Elizabeth, in this old ad I found on Amazon, you can see some of the other pillows and the short moire bedskirt that came with this set.

  23. Cyndi Raines says

    Hi Susan, this is such a neat post. I have my devotional and Bible, my sound machine that I keep on ocean waves to help me sleep, and a small daytimer type notebook to jot down whatever pops in my head as I’m drifting off and to update my never ending lists, ha. A small bowl that has much of the same items you have, but I like your small zippered bag idea better. Thanks!

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