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Bedside Table & Beyond: Understanding Yourself Through Your Nightstand

Chargers. Picture frames. Potentially a book or two. All items people tend to find necessary to keep on their nightstands. But what do our bedside tables really say about us? Are they simply a placeholder for objects we may need by our side? Or do they display a deeper representation of our true nature? We […]

Chargers. Picture frames. Potentially a book or two.

All items people tend to find necessary to keep on their nightstands. But what do our bedside tables really say about us? Are they simply a placeholder for objects we may need by our side? Or do they display a deeper representation of our true nature?

We all have items that we keep in close proximity to us as we sleep, but the way we organize them tends to vary. Libby Dickinson (‘24) expressed the similarities between her disordered nightstand and her personality.

“My nightstand is definitely messy, and I tend to be a more messy person,” she explained.

While seemingly simple, our nightstands may serve as a silent diary, illustrating our character by what we choose to display on them. An accidental form of self-expression, the differences between our individual bedside tables prove the differences in the way we choose to express ourselves, and reflect our true subconscious.

“I have a lot of art on mine,” Libby continued. While possibly unintended, the collection of art she maintains in her room reveals her creativity and passion for painting and drawing. If you viewed her nightstand without speaking to her, you still would understand that it belonged to an artistic person.

Psychology expert Mr. Vince Leporini claims that his nightstand is much more organized.

“Maybe you’ve seen my class — I’m kind of a minimalist in a lot of senses,” the AP Psych teacher says. “I think I try to organize the things I can because other things are sometimes disorganized”.

His simplistic, decorative style deeply contrasts his humorous and quick-witted personality. Maybe our nightstands are more complex than what it seems? They may display what we attempt to portray ourselves as or may oppose who we truly are in attempts to balance out traits of our personalities.

Mr. Leporini describes his nightstand as “boring on purpose”. He creates simplistic spaces in order to focus on the people around him and be present in the moment.

So do our nightstands matter more than it seems? If your space is organized, your mind may be more organized, allowing you to prioritize other things in your life.

“I clean my nightstand like every other day. It helps me clear my mind,” Libby adds.

The spaces around us and the way they are organized can deeply impact our actions, thoughts, and behaviors. When my room is messy, I feel extremely stressed. I feel as though if I am in an organized space, my mind will feel more put-together.

Or it may be more simple than that.

“My nightstand reflects that I’m a seventeen year old boy” Chase Hirsig (‘24) states. It has your typical items — a candle and a phone charger, but also an Xbox controller, because what could be more teenage boy than that?

Chase Hirsig’s (‘24) simplistic nightstand.

Separately, our nightstands can evoke memories from our past. Picture frames, nostalgic memories, birthday cards, there is a sense of sentimentality within what we feel is important enough to sleep besides.

“I keep everything” Chase says. While his nightstand itself is simplistic and organized, it is decorated with various stickers from throughout the years. The items on it are “definitely more practical,” he says, but the ornamentation of it allows him to be reminded of his past.

Math teacher Mrs. Courtney Hendry explains that the outside of her nightstand deeply contrasts with what’s on the inside.

“I feel like I’m an organized person and I have a process of organizing everything, but what’s inside the drawers is messy”.

Typically, the items on top of our bedside tables are more practical; necessities that we may need every day, but underneath all of that tends to be items with no other place to go. Mrs. Hendry claims that her nightstand presents her as “somebody that has it all together”. While unintentional, is this a deeper reflection of how we want to appear to others?

Our nightstands are not the only areas that may reflect who we are. A teacher’s classroom, from the posters on the wall to the way the desks are arranged, varies from person to person.

While Mrs. Hendry is an organized person, she states that “her classroom is chaos” and she would like it to be more organized. “My nightstand is more simple — its what I need”, while the classroom is an entirely separate entity. Most teachers create a fun and comfortable learning environment for their students, but may prioritize the organization of their home.

Seemingly simple, our nightstands serve as a silent diary and subtly reveal the unique quirks of our personalities. Whether the items displayed on it are for necessity or convenience, they show what you feel the need to keep within easy reach of you while you sleep. So next time you go to bed, take a look at what’s besides you, and ask yourself, how does this reveal who I truly am?

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