What do you keep in your bedside drawer? Your diary? Medicine? Your vibrator? Although a beside table is a good spot for safekeeping, it's also a home for clutter best filed under 'miscellaneous'. From the set of keys to the house you don’t live in anymore to the souvenir lighter from Magaluf 2010, that little drawer is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful items that don’t quite fit anywhere else.
To pay tribute to the diverse contents of the humble bedside drawer, we asked members of the Refinery29 team to empty theirs for all the world to see. From empty packets of birth control pills to commemorative Busted concert tickets, click through to discover all the delightfully diverse items our writers like to (usually) keep hidden...
Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
My drawers are bursting with beauty products (perk of the job) but the top one contains my nighttime essentials. A gentle retinol by French beauty brand SVR (which my acne-prone skin is responding incredibly well to), Glossier’s Bubblewrap Eyecream (out of hundreds I’ve tried, it's hands-down the best) and Ole Henriksen’s Phat Glow Facial Mask. It looks and smells like melted Drumstick lolly, but it makes my skin glow like no other. I also love Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne – it perks me up in the morning.
I started taking contraceptive pill Cerazette (top right) a few months ago and it hasn’t been an easy ride. My skin is breaking out, I’m constantly bloated and irritated and my period turns up unannounced. Cue the emergency tampons. I also like to pretend that my music taste is good but I’m a huge teenybopper at heart, hence the Busted tickets. I think there’s some McFly, Son Of Dork and Funeral For A Friend ones in there, too. But can you please let me uphold that cool, glam beauty editor vibe?
Jazmin Kopotsha, Entertainment Editor
Where do we start with my hot mess of a bedside table? It's where I like to store the things that I'll really need (painkillers for hangovers, headphones for when the flat upstairs are noisy, needlessly fancy lube for, well, you know) and the things that have nowhere else to go (my four-year-old disposable camera, a very smashed iPhone 4, a wad of American dollars and someone's long lost car keys).
No, I don't know why I have a compass. Yes, that sperm-looking device is a rape alarm. If I had an explanation for the Chupa Chups lollies (coca-cola and strawberries and cream flavours, in case you were wondering) I'd give you one but I can confirm that the Pritt Stick, pink highlighter and tiny roll of black thread have never been used. That weird sports watch thing in the middle? Definitely not mine either.
Jessica Morgan, Staff Writer
Believe it or not, I don’t tend to keep a lot next to my bed except the essentials and I know, to you, 'essentials' doesn’t include La Mer The Mist spray for that early morning spritz and a Mandarin language book. But alas, they are items I use on a day-to-day basis. First up, my asthma pump – an essential item what with the rising pollution levels. In the same breath, my fluoxetine antidepressant tablets remain a necessity to keep me on the straight and narrow.
I cannot live without my silk eye mask, bareMinerals Ageless Beauty Eye Cream , lavender Neom pillow mist and Beauty Bio’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller; all four allow me to slip into the land of nod with ease. I also keep a selection of other books that mean a lot to me: Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig, a great book that I always refer to on my low days; The Little Book of Gratitude, an Oliver Bonas purchase that proved necessary; and my Mandarin language book, as I am trying to learn another language (it’s a struggle).
Poppy Thorpe, Photo & Design Intern
I only recently bought myself a bedside table so I haven’t had long enough to really fill it with rubbish. But in the one tiny drawer it has, I have an ever growing supply of hairbands, my passport, too many iPhone cables and earphones that don’t actually work (need to dispose of these). My mum has a very nice habit of leaving 'love you' notes whenever she sees me and I can never throw these away. The last one she gave me was on a napkin with a sandwich she made me so I put this safely away with a card from my boyfriend from when I graduated.
I also keep a notebook and pen next to my bed as I like to try and write morning pages as often as I can to keep on top of everything. I no longer keep anything sex-related in my bedside drawer after my dad (!!!!) helped me move and a vibrator fell out of one of my boxes. I then hid it somewhere in my bedroom out of sheer fear it would happen again and ended up losing it permanently. Tragic.
Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Health & Living Writer
I don’t so much have a bedside drawer as a pile of books I have either just started or want-to-but-haven’t-yet-started stacked precariously beside a house plant. The pile is much more daunting than this picture implies. Also in the general area are: empty packets of various medication (so I won’t forget to take them), my spare glasses (I’m very short-sighted so need them in easy access) and a beautiful but never used eye mask that my colleague Georgia gave me.
Georgia Murray, Junior Fashion Editor
Okay, I am well aware this photo makes me look like a Marie Kondo-esque psychopath but hear me out. I don’t have a bedside table because my room is too small (London life!). I just have the bottom drawer of my wardrobe and in it I keep an eye mask, whatever book I’m reading (currently: The Idiot by Elif Batuman), woolly socks, lavender spray and lip balm, aka bedtime essentials that I can’t be arsed getting out of bed for. I pride myself on being pretty organised, and a small room means you have to be cutthroat about things having their place.
Everything that’s been in previous bedside tables has its own spot: painkillers, plasters etc. are in my beauty drawer, sex...stuff...is in the drawer above that holds my underwear, passport and important documents are in a wee folder under my bed, and I just don’t accumulate bottom-of-the-bag shit like receipts and tampon wrappers because I empty and repack my bag every night... Okay, maybe I am a Marie Kondo psycho! Leave me alone!
Meg O'Donnell, Junior Art Editor
Bits! And! Bobs! I love a drawer, especially one that has no criteria whatsoever. It appears that the top drawer of my bedside table is exactly that. Let's see, there are condoms, a ring box for my wedding rings, a face roller thing (not a clue what to do with this but I’m trying), orgasm tips...sure!
An unused colouring book for when I tried to be that person, a penis whistle of course and a grey key fob thing that I have no idea about. I was pleasantly surprised when emptying the drawer to find £30.10 in cash (what a feeling) and to discover that I am a secret lip balm/moisturiser hoarder. Top right are some cute cards my friends wrote for me on my hen do, which provide some great bedtime reading, and my trusty Mooncup is by my side always, for that really awesome time of the month.