Photo of Rebecca's bedside setup
Photograph of Rebecca’s bedside setup . The colors are warm, in red, pink and orange. There are some pops of turquoise. Two carts and a school desk are visible, as is the side of the bed. All the contents are described in detail in the post.

I spend about 90-95% of my time in bed. I’m able to get up to use the bathroom, grab something from the kitchen, get a book from the living room, but I don’t move around much more than that. And my goal is to do everything I can to minimize how much I move. That’s because my energy production and recovery system is severely malfunctioning from ME/CFS, and the goal is to do as little as possible to maintain, and in some cases regain, function. Over the last six months, I’ve been slowly iterating the design of the space I spend the most time in so that it can support me in the best ways I know how. I used to love those “what’s in your bag” posts. So I thought I’d do a long “what’s next to my bed” post.

To start with, there’s my bed itself. I have an amazing mattress, and this year I’ve added two wedge pillows. My back went out again in November, and they’ve made a big difference in supporting me and minimizing some of my pain. There are a variety of pillows with different characteristics, including a meditation cushion and a yoga bolster. I rotate a sheet on top of any blankets on my bed so that I have an easy way to keep things clean with a dog and a cat. It’s easy to pull a sheet off the bed for the wash, and replace it with another. I can do this myself if I need to, where I can not change my sheets or do my laundry myself. Right next to my bed is a poof that my dog uses to springboard herself up into bed with me, or sometimes she uses it as a dog bed.

NIghtstand. It’s an old metal cart on wheels I found for free on the side of the road. It is exactly the right dimension to fit in the small space I have next to my bed. Directly underneath it is the power strip that most of my electronics are plugged into. On the bottom shelf, my trash can.

On the middle shelf a beautiful wooden box that holds my face-care products. Exfoliating face wipes can take the place of actual washing. Moisturizers and a face brush.  I sometimes wear simple makeup – brows, mascara, lipstick (these can greatly increase one’s video-call confidence, and sometimes they’re just fun!). They’re all in the box too. And next to it is a two-sided makeup mirror with a battery powered light ring.

The top of my cart holds my sunrise-simulator alarm clock. While I rarely use an alarm these days, it is also a dimmable light. Wireless charger for my phone. An old letter sorter that belonged to my mom is one of my favorite organizers. It holds my paper planner, note paper, pens, pencils, scissors, remotes, and my tablet. There’s a long charging cable wrapped around the corner support on the cart. It charges my tablet, and every night it charges my Fitness tracker.

On top of my cart is a three-tiered wire rack. It’s designed to be mounted on a wall, and I believe I originally used it to hold hats and gloves and scarves inside my kitchen door. But the bottom is flat and sturdy, so it can stand. The bottom tier has things like moisturizer, nail file, sleep mask, microfiber cloth for my glasses. The middle tier has tissues, hand and body wipes, dry shampoo, a hair brush, tape roller, floss picks. The top tier has two of my four daily pill-strips, and other medications and supplements I’m likely to need with some frequency.

An old school desk is to the right of my bed. Inside it are my journals/notebooks and my laptops. They are easy to reach and easy to charge here. There’s a pencil case with markers and highlighters and such. I don’t use the desk as a desk, but I often use it to hold the tray that comes back and forth between my room and the kitchen twice a day with my food. Under the desk is a basket that holds some books and miscellaneous papers. Somewhere down there on the floor are my flip-flops.

Next to that is a rolling IKEA cart. The wheels are super smooth, so it is very easy to move this. The top tier holds my water bottles, my other two pill strips, a ceramic tumbler, a dish for my pills, electrolyte powder. The middle tier I’m using for some additional supplements that I need to dissolve in liquid, and also snacks – currently pistachios, corn Chex and potato chips. The bottom tier is a mishmash of stuff, but is often holding accumulating recycling.

It’s all an experiment, and I iterate constantly. In fact, I’ll have a new bed soon. It will take up a bit less space than the one I have now, at 6-8″ shorter. And it will make my air conditioner setup much less cumbersome.


Bed-tethered Life Hacks: Bedside Supplies
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2 thoughts on “Bed-tethered Life Hacks: Bedside Supplies

  • November 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I love all these ideas and suggestions. I have recently become more and more be bound and it bothers me that the space where I spent 90% of my time is complete chaos and I need to call help all the time. Thank you

    • November 19, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      I’m so glad it was helpful!


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