This DIY Bedside Organizer has a step-by-step photo tutorial and FREE printable plans! It’s easy to make, and is the perfect organizer for your nightstand!
As I’ve talked about before, I’m not a naturally organized person. In fifth grade, my mother had me professionally tested for learning disabilities solely because my organizational skills were so poor.
As an adult, I’d like to think my organizational skills are better, but they’re still not great.
Enter my nightstand. A plethora of things that I use daily sit on top of it: contact solution, hair ties, a contact case, my glasses, nightly medication, a few pens, deodorant, chapstick, hand cream, and at nighttime, my phone and planner.
Now, you’re probably wondering if my nightstand has a drawer. Yes, it does. Theoretically, I could put these things in the drawer. But I know myself. Opening and closing a drawer is an extra step that I just wont do if I have the option of leaving the stuff on the top of the nightstand.
The solution? An organizer that has a spot for every item.
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I grabbed all the things from the nightstand, and laid them out in a way I imagined the organizer holding them. Then I grabbed my laptop and made up a quick sketch.
Since I wanted to make this out of scrapwood, I ran to the basement and took a quick look at what I had around. Honestly, I have plenty of scrapwood, so it wasn’t hard to find 1×2, 1×6, and 1×8 pieces to use for the project.
I based the plans around these three sizes of wood, so while a few pieces require two different cuts on the miter saw, no table saw is required!
Finally, I knew from the beginning that I was going to paint this piece. Because of this, all of the joints use normal 1″ countersunk screws. Before painting, I filled all the screw holes with wood filler so they wouldn’t be seen.
This is not an option if you want to stain the piece. Because of this, if you plan to stain the DIY Bedside Organizer, you’ll need to rework the plan using pocket holes!!
Materials and Tools
- (1) 1×2 – This divides the back section of the organizer, and only a few small pieces are required.
- (1) 1×6 – Makes up the majority of the organizer. I’d imagine that all the pieces together form close to an 8′ length, but I haven’t actually measured.
- (1) 1×8 – This makes up the base of the organizer. Only one relatively short piece is required.
- 1″ Wood Screws
- (1) Angle Bracket
- Wood Filler
- Spray Paint – I chose to paint the piece after assembly, since I wanted it done quickly. Therefore I spray painted it, since that was the easiest way to get paint into all the small places.
- Right Angle Clamp – I have a super cheap one from Harbor Freight, and it gets the job done.
- Miter Saw
- Orbital Sander and Sand Paper
For exact cuts and dimensions, download the FREE printable plans!
DIY Bedside Organizer Assembly
Part 1: Assemble the Frame
I started by cutting and sanding the three outer frame pieces as well as the base 1×8 to size. Since they were all pulled out of a scrap wood pile, they needed a bit of work to look pretty. I have a pretty formulaic process that I use for this, which you can check out here!
Then I attached the three sides together. The right angle clamp comes in handy here to keep things square, although I typically add another clamp on top to keep the pieces tight. My setup looks like this:
That scrap piece of 1/2″ plywood you see underneath the ends of the wood is just there to keep everything level.
Then I just add three screws from the outside corner into the joint as seen in the photo below. As you’d expect, I remove the clamp to drive the last screw.
Since these screws are on the outside of the organizer, I make sure to countersink them so I can cover them up later. It’s easy to do by pre-drilling the hole with a countersink bit.
Once the three sides are attached, I flipped the frame over and attached the base. To do this, I drove screws from the top down into the frame (or, in terms of the organizer, from the bottom up into the frame.)
Then I had a frame!
Part 2: Make the Back Section
Since I divided the back section in three parts, I wanted to have the smaller dividers attached before securing the back portion to the frame. I started by securing the 1×2 pieces together in an “H” shape.
Then I attached the “H” shape to the main piece.
I started with just two screws on the bottom half of the piece because two higher screws would be visible from the front, but I ended up adding two more screws later in the process because the “H” was wiggly.
Finally, I attached the back piece to the frame. I drove screws from the outside of the frame into the back piece on all three sides.
You might notice there’s a visible gap on one side of the back piece. Yeah. I did a bad job cutting accurately, apparently. I just filled it with caulk later, and everything was fine!
Part 3: Assemble the Front Piece
I actually broke the front portion into two different parts. I started with the middle and shelf pieces, attaching the shelves to the middle piece.
The right angle clamp came in handy again here – definitely the MVT (most valuable tool) of the project!
Then I attached this to the frame. In order to ensure the shelves were level, I put some small scrap wood pieces underneath them while I added the screws.
I put two screws into each shelf from the outside of the frame. Additionally, I added two screws that went from the bottom into the middle piece.
Then I added the last two pieces. I started with the bottom of the shelf. Two screws went from the outside of the frame into the shelf bottom. Once again, I shimmed the shelf to make sure it stayed level.
Since there was no good way to add screws on the other side of the board, I added an angle bracket to make sure the shelf was sturdy.
Finally, I added the last front piece. I added two screws from the front, two from the frame side, and one from the shelf side.
All that was left was finishing the piece!
Part 4: Finishing the DIY Bedside Organizer
I wood filled all of the screw holes and gaps between boards. For gaps that were particularly large, I grabbed some caulk and used that instead, which was a bit easier to work with.
Then I sanded down the wood filler, and spray painted the piece!
My nightstand look so much better with this organizer corralling all the junk! Plus it was free – everything I used I already had in inventory!
It took me about 3 hours to build the DIY Bedside Organizer, which I definitely thought was worth it! I love projects that are done in an afternoon!
I’m absolutely thrilled with how this turned out; if you like it too, go ahead and save it to Pinterest so you can find it again later. And if you think you might build it, make sure you download the free printable plans so you know exactly what to do!
Tuesday 14th of January 2020
I LOVE this tutorial. Thank you! I too need something to organize my bedside. I am definitely going to make one soon.
Monday 20th of January 2020
Oh, I'm so glad to hear it! Let me know how it turns out!