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10 Items You Must Have On Your Nightstand

night time routine

September 9, 2022

Have you ever wondered how to set up a nighttime routine and make sure it sticks? Having a nighttime routine that allows you to wake up well-rested and ready to start the day is what we all strive for, right? Pinterest has so many different examples, trust me, I have looked at them all, but I want to give you something that will take only 5 minutes every night.
 
I have been using this routine forever, and yes I have a longer one if I have time for it, but it all comes down to what is on your nightstand. I know you are wanting a routine that is easy and simple to follow so you can get to bed on time and get your day started on the right foot the following day. Go grab your notebook so you can jot these tips down and let’s get started.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

5 Minute Bedtime Routine

This month of April has been one for decluttering. It’s time for Spring cleaning and I am in the vibe of getting my house ready and in order before summer arrives. I often look to my own life for inspiration for this blog. I also look at the struggles that many of you may be experiencing. I look at my day and for this specific topic, I took a look at the end of my day.
 
Do you know why I love the end of my day? I love sleep! But honestly, I love what I have next to my bed, and the nighttime routine I have set in place. Yes, there can be magic when engaging in a long bedtime routine, but let’s be real, most of us are just trying to wash the makeup off our face from our long day before hopping into bed. Especially if you have kids and you have a lot of life happening, this routine is vital.
 
It’s also important for me to realize that so many women struggle with this very thing. Trust me when I say that you can do a lot in 5 minutes if you have a system put into place. I want to talk to you about what I have on my nightstand and what I DON’T have on my nightstand. Let’s talk about the 10 things you should have on your nightstand if you want to have a quick but impactful nighttime routine.
 
Most nights I’m not washing my face at the end of the night. I try to do this while the kids are getting their baths and getting ready for bed or I just won’t do it. I’m really trying to get better at this part of the routine. I know that as I mature in age, I should be taking care of my skin and adding all the creams and serums to my skin, but it’s a work-in-process. My goal is by the time I’m in my 40’s, I will have this specific part down flat.
 
I really think you can all do this and be successful in it. Remember, this is a “let’s get er’ done and get in bed” kind of routine. If you need to practice it a little while before you really get it down, that’s okay! Now here are the 10 things you need to keep on your nightstand.

“Remember, this is a “let’s get er’ done and get in bed” kind of routine. If you need to practice it a little while before you really get it down, that’s okay!”

10 Items You Must Have On Your Nightstand

1. Prayer or Gratitude Journal

This is hands down the number one thing that should be on your nightstand. If it’s not visible and in your line of sight, you won’t use it. Make sure it’s there and in arms reach. Whether this is a guided journal or a blank journal it doesn’t matter. I enjoy the guided journals that have specific questions and dates printed on them. My journal actually has two spaces on the page where I can write down my prayers as well as a few other things. I have been using this one for years, but I can’t remember where I got it from. I know Amazon and Target have some good options, so you might want to check there first. I usually take 2-3 min to write in this nightly, which leads me to our next must-have…..

2. A Pen

You have to have a pen on your nightstand. The goal is to get into bed and have everything you need right there at your fingertips. You don’t want to get into bed and then remember that the thing that you need is in the other room which will require you to get out of bed. This defeats the whole purpose of this 5-minute bedtime routine. Over the course of 2 years, I have perfected this routine to know what I must have on my nightstand in order to stay in bed once I get in it.

3. Chapstick

If I don’t have chapstick I tend to get all kinds of squirrelly without it. Just another must-have!

4. A Jewelry Dish

Whether it’s a bobby pin, a hair tie, my rings, whatever it is, I need a place to put all the things once I take them off. I have this cute one that my brother got me from an art fair and I use that one for all my trinkets at the end of the night. You can literally find these everywhere and they are super cute. Go get one, you’ll love it once you do.

5. A Prayer or Meditation Stone

This honestly has become vital to me. If I had to keep only one thing, this might be it. This is something I can just hold in my hand. I end my night every night with this prayer stone and it really helps to keep my thoughts in one place and not drift, especially when I’m holding down the fort by myself if Blaine is working shift. They make these kinds of stones with little thumb dips already in them, mine happens to be made of real softwood. It’s just something that has honestly become life-changing and I use it nightly while I pray and it helps me to stay focused. I don’t know where or when I found this, but it has changed my life. Make sure you put this one high on the list for your must-haves.
 

6. Diffuser

I love having this on my nightstand. I don’t use it all the time, but I have it ready to go with water at all times and I keep my favorite oils right next to it as well.
 

7. Soft Light Lamp

If you don’t have this yet, you for sure should. It needs to be a soft glow, nothing too harsh. You should be able to turn off all your lights and just have this soft light on while you write in your journal right before you fall asleep. It’s part of the system. Remember you have to have all the steps in order so the system works. Once you’re done writing you can easily just click the light off from your bed and go to sleep. No more getting out of bed to turn the bedroom light off.

8. Tissues

You need tissues on your nightstand even if it’s a little pack of them. I won’t go into all the details as to why you need them, but you definitely want tissues nearby. I always need a Kleenex when I least expect it, so it just makes life easier to have them in reach.

9. Notepad

Even if this is a stick pad or a regular notebook, you’ll want this nearby so you can write down any ideas that pop into your mind right before you fall asleep. Things will come to me as I’m drifting off to sleep and I know that if I don’t write them down right away, I’ll forget about them. And since you already have a pen on your nightstand, you’ll be ready to go and won’t need to get out of bed for anything.

10. Water

You must have water on your nightstand. Whether you become thirsty in the middle of the night, or you just want to start your morning with some freshwater, you want to have this available to you. I also love having my big thermos of water on my nightstand for my diffuser. Sometimes I may forget to fill my diffuser up and having the water right there makes the routine flow so much easier.

What To Not Have On Your Nightstand

What you should NOT have on your nightstand, 100% of the time, is your cell phone. It should be on the other side of the room. Your phone should not be within your reach. It will take your 5-minute routine and turn it into a NO routine. You will get sucked into your phone and it will be such a waste of your time. It’s a horrible thing to put into your brain and in front of your brain at the end of the day. Just get rid of your cell phone and the charger from your nightstand.
 
If there is something on your nightstand that I didn’t mention, see if you can clear it off. If you have a picture frame or something small that is decorative, that’s totally fine. But all of the bottles, cups, medication, whatever it is, should be in a different area. I don’t want you to have any other distractions before bed. Your fit bits, apple watches, all gone! It’s not on your nightstand!
 
I know someone will ask about books, and I do have books nearby, but this is for the 5-minute routine. If you are like me and reading books will keep you up at night, you will want to schedule your book reading for another time during your day. When I am ready for bed, I am ready for bed! This routine is easy peasy and it allows me to stick to the 5 minutes that I want right before bedtime. If I chose to write in my journal for a few extra minutes, then I’m normally in bed within 7-8 minutes.
 
I can’t wait for you to come over to the Facebook group and share your nightstand pictures with us. As always, until next time, I’ll see you right here on the blog.
night time routine

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I'm having trouble with a night time routine because I can't get my kids in bed?

The foundation to the solution to that problem are your time blocks. If you haven’t had a chance to get those down, make sure to use my free Time Blocking Workbook. My post on bed time routines for kids is also a great resource. Getting a night time routine in might seem so far away but keep working at it, it’s such an important part of your day!

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