pink flowers on white dressing table

What’s In My Bedside Table?

“Hey! I wonder what kind of random crap Amber keeps in her bedside table?” … said no one ever.

The thing is, though, I’m kinda nosey. Like, the kind of nosey that if I could have a superpower, I would definitely pick invisibility, just so I could walk around other people’s houses without them knowing I was there. (Yes, I’ve thought about it. I was going to go for flying, but I’m scared of heights, so that’s probably not a good idea…) I feel like I’m making you all uncomfortable now, though, so as I was saying, I’m pretty nosey, so I really enjoy these posts when I see them other people’s blogs, and I thought some of you might enjoy them too. Please tell me there’s someone out there who’s as inherently nosey as I am? If so, then this post’s for you, whoever you are.

So! Here’s the dressing table in question, which is called ‘Nordli‘:

White Ikea 'Nordli' bedside table

That’s not MY name for it, by the way (I think it looks more like an ‘Allan’, personally, but what would I know?): it’s Ikea’s – because yes, the bedside table is from Ikea, obviously. I HAVE heard rumours that there are other furniture stores in the world, but I don’t think that can be true, because why would there be? (Mine isn’t the version with the wireless charging surface, unfortunately, which is very sad: I think they released that after I got mine or something.) This is actually the first bedside table I’ve owned since I moved out of my parents’ house: there wasn’t enough space for one in our last bedroom, so I just had to use the top of the laundry basket, like some kind of savage. Because of that, although this table is fairly small, it still feels like a complete luxury to me… and because it’s from Ikea, it’s quite cunningly designed, to maximise the storage. Which is why I love Ikea, basically.

Here’s what’s normally on top of it:

pink roses on nightstand

So, full disclosure: I didn’t add or remove anything from the inside of the cabinet, but I DID put these flowers on the top, to pretty it up. Because I’m a blogger: it’s what we do. Well, how ELSE am I supposed to Instagram this stuff? With that said, I do regularly buy flowers, which I keep in that spot: I move them to the window when I go to bed (otherwise I’d wake up covered in roses, and that would be weird…), but that’s where they live during the day. In more permanent residence on top of the nightstand are…

on my nightstand

mason jar with handle

L-R: My Kindle; plastic stand for my phone ; mason jar for water; glasses; phone

The glass jar was a Christmas gift from my parents, and it really came in handy when I spent December coughing and spluttering, and had to sit up every two minutes to take a sip of water. Because it has a lid and a straw, I’m less likely to spill it than I would be if it was a regular glass: I spill things even at the best of times, let alone in the middle of the night, so I need all the help I can get, really. Now I’m feeling better, I keep it next to my bed purely to make sure I won’t be thirsty during the night: I figured out a long time ago that if I have a glass of water next to my bed, I’ll almost never have to drink from it, but the moment I forget to leave it there, I’ll wake up with a raging thirst – it never fails.

The stand for my phone, meanwhile, actually came out of a Christmas cracker, believe it or not: I use my phone as an alarm, so I was pleasantly surprised to actually get something useful from one of those things. The Kindle and glasses, meanwhile, are… a Kindle and glasses. I don’t need to explain those, really, do I?

Let’s look inside the drawer, because I know you’re dying to…

Interior of Ikea 'Nordli' bedside table

inside my bedside table

The plastic tray came with the unit: one side holds my watch collection, which I wrote about last week (I have no idea why I keep my watches there: I think it’s probably just that I take them off before bed, and that’s where they all ended up?), plus a tube of hand cream – because you never know when you’ll have a “dry hands” emergency in the middle of the night, do you? On the other side, meanwhile, I have the backup battery for my phone, some lip balm, and a whole lot of nasal spray – because, hey, did I mention I was ill in December? I was ill in December. And now I know what happened to all the nasal spray we had, and which Terry kept asking me about when it was HIS turn to get sick. Whoops.

That tray is removable, and when you lift it out, you find more storage underneath it. More storage, which I’ve chosen to fill with…

inside my bedside table

… a whole lot of random crap! Including Pinkie, my stress toy (I’m not really anticipating any middle-of-the-night panics, you understand – I just keep him there because once you designate something as a “stress toy”, you open yourself up to a whole world of NEW stress, because every few minutes you find yourself going, “OMG, WHERE’S PINKIE?!” Well, this is where Pinkie is, Amber: you can stop worrying now. Maybe also stop talking about yourself in the 3rd person, yeah?), another tube of hand cream, and some random plug adaptors and chargers for various electrical items. I feel like my entire house is full of chargers for electrical items, actually: I’m constantly opening drawers, or lifting something up, only to find an entire family or chargers living inside/underneath it, almost as if they’re breeding or something. And yet I can never find a charger when I need one: funny, that.

(I store all this stuff in the lid of an old Birchbox: my kitchen cabinets are also full of these. They drive Terry mad, but they make everything neater, so the boxes stay.)

Ikea storage containers

The plastic tubs, meanwhile, were also from Ikea, and they also hold a bunch of random stuff that didn’t have a designated space until I bought this cabinet. It’s probably a bit strange that I keep them here, now I come to think of it, because they’re not all “night-time” specific, but it made sense to me at the time, so I just went with it. So I have one for hair elastics, two for various types of hair grips/clips, one for ear plugs (I have a large collection of these, because I’m a special snowflake, who can’t abide noise of any kind when I’m trying to sleep. Also because I keep losing them, then finding them again in the fridge, or some other place they absolutely should not be.), and there’s also another two, which you can’t see in the photo. One contains a vast collection of lip balms (what can I say, I don’t want to risk my lips getting dry in the night. WHO WOULD?), and the other has a bunch of hair accessories, which I’d totally forgotten I even owned, until I decided to do this post. I’d rather have found money, to be honest, but hair accessories are good, too.

We’re still not done yet, though. Sorry. As you can see, the cabinet also has a shelf, and on that shelf is…

phone chargers in Ikea storage container

MORE CHARGERS. So THAT’S where they all were! TERRY, I HAVE FOUND ALL THE CHARGERS! YAY! The container is also from Ikea (Didn’t even need to type that, did I?): honestly, I would put MYSELF inside a plastic Ikea storage box if I possibly could. Love ’em.

Next to them (I’m almost done, I promise…):

Notebooks by the bed

Notebooks, two of. Like most people who write, I’m always getting ideas in the middle of the night, and making sure I have these close at hand is an easy way to guarantee that never happens – a bit like how the water is there to make sure I never feel thirsty. Even so, without these notebooks to be the lucky recipients of my thoughts, this post might not even exist – and wouldn’t that be a TRAGEDY?



Painkillers and throat lozenges. Because DID I MENTION I WAS SICK? And that I haven’t cleaned out my bedside cabinet since then?

This post was NOT sponsored by either Ikea or Tesco, by the way: it was just sponsored by me and my bright idea to photograph the contents of my bedside table. I don’t actually know why I did it now, but hey: at least one day when I’m old, I’ll be able to look back and say, “Ooh, remember that lip balm I used to keep in my nightstand?” And that’ll be… nice. I guess.

pink flowers on white dressing table

books by Amber Eve
  • The Other Emma


    Just to say I haven’t read of all the post yet but YES, I am inherently nosey too. I love finding out things about other people and my superpower would be invisibility for the exact same reason as you. Now back to acceptable nosey-ing at your post!!

    January 28, 2016
  • Georgia


    Lip balm, check. Hand cream, check. Water, check. Nose spray, check. Throat lozenges, check. Earplugs, check. Electrical chargers, check. Notebook, check. Phone: obvs. Everything except the phone, notebook, chargers and water live in a.. wait for it .. Ikea tub. OMG ARE WE THE SAME PERSON??!?!? I also have a crocheted doll on my bedside table who watches me sleep. Oh, and a hot water bottle is stuffed somewhere in there too.

    January 28, 2016
  • Yes, I am inherently nosey too. Which, now I come to think about it, is probably why I read blogs. They make it acceptable to be nosey about all kinds of things, like what you have in your bedside table. It is strangely satisfying in a slightly disturbing sort of way!

    January 28, 2016
  • Tanya


    Well, I didn’t even know I was so curious about other people’s bedside table contents until I read this post. Hilarious! And (not surprisingly) very well written. When is that book of yours coming out? Can’t wait to read it. Hope there is a bedside table in it, though… 😀

    January 28, 2016
  • Myra


    My bedside cabinet is sitting about a foot away from the wall at the moment as we try to dry out our bedroom – repairs to hopefully fix the water coming into our house are in hand. Keeping my fingers crossed we don’t get any more rain. So there is nothing on top of my bedside cabinet in case it falls off when it is moved again.

    I love reading your posts, and finding out about your life, as I am invariably nosey. My daughter laughs at the way I can chat to a complete stranger, and come away with their life story (this is a real talent, but one that totally embarrasses her), especially as I know her neighbours, and she doesn’t. I think I am a voyeur at heart, much like the Sunday Times food critic Giles’ (?) partner, whom he calls “the blonde”. He has to sit facing the wall in restaurants, as she like to people watch, me too. I used to get lost in speculative thoughts about people, but I stopped making up random narratives about their lives, when two men were walking towards me in Edinburgh one day, and I thought they looked like spies. I screamed aloud when one of them stopped to ask me “Spraken de Deutsch” (I don’t even know how to spell that, but I was right – they were spies). I was with my two teenage best friends, who looked at me like I was mad, and perhaps they were right. And the men – they practically ran away.

    January 28, 2016
  • This made me laugh so much! I love these kinds of posts because I too am super nosey. Also, I had no idea you could get wireless charging bedside tables. The future is now.

    January 28, 2016
  • Love these kinds of posts 🙂 love all your bins for organizing! This is something I need to do…

    Right now my nightstand, which isn’t a nightstand but a small shoe storage not used for shoes right now, are my farside comics, various lotions, empty glass for water, chapstick, various hair clips, and an eyemask.

    January 28, 2016
  • Hi hi, I did enjoy reading it. That is a secret place of every girl here. Except I don’t put any glasses on it. Phone, a book, my lamp.

    January 28, 2016
  • I wish my nightstand was this neat. It’s currently cluttered with books and tons of papers among other things. And I have a mason jar mug. I’m bad about knocking things over at night and having one of these with a good lid on it has helped out a lot.

    January 28, 2016
  • Mandy


    Since I heard about a spider (!!!) dropping into a water glass overnight it has made me turn the light on to have a drink (which really annoys my hubby) so I am totally stealing your Mason glass idea! Thanks

    January 28, 2016
  • Emma


    Dear Amber,
    I’m following your blog for about a year now and I really like your witty writing style, your perfect dress sense as well as the blog posts you do about organising and the work you and Terry do around your new house.
    This is the first blog post that made me feel slightly embarassed, apparently I’m not that nosey.
    What I would be highly interested in though is how you organise and store your ballet flats. You have those pretty shelves for heels but as many of us, at least I assume so, there are tons of flats as well, often placed all around the hallway. As spring is lurking around the corner I would love to know how you store flats, if that’s something you’d like to share. I’m hoping for advice in this as I’m struggling right now with a lot of unpleasant boxes and also hoping for the time to make the spring wardrobe changeover.

    January 29, 2016
  • Being a single lady, I have TWO bedside tables and they are both full to the brim with various items. Chargers for things I don’t own any more, a million beauty products (blame the blog for that). I liked having a look at this!

    January 29, 2016
  • Ingerid


    Hey Amber!
    I loved the clock display on your phone. Is that an app or something?
    Also; brilliant blog!

    January 30, 2016
  • Sara


    That’s not a bedside table, that’s more like a tardis!

    January 31, 2016
  • I wish I had a bedside table at all to store that much stuff in and so neatly as well. We have double wardrobes either side of our double bed so no room for anything else. My phone, water bottle and kindle live on the floor by my bed!

    February 9, 2016
  • Robin


    I can’t wait to get a bedside table with drawers! The organizing is amazing!

    February 26, 2016