Whatever kind of nightstand you have, a simple table, something with drawers, or a make-shift table from another part of the house, my guess is that it's gathered a collection of "stuff" on top and inside. Tissues (some dirty? ewww!), a few books and magazines, an old water cup, and who-only-knows-what-else.
The challenge: QUICKLY toss anything that's trash. Next, take everything that doesn't belong on your nightstand and take it off. If it needs to go to another room in your home, put it aside for now. I like to use a laundry basket to catch all of those misplaced items. Now, replace everything that stays (a box of tissue, the book your reading right now, your reading glasses, a picture frame with a cherished photo, a candle, your alarm clock).
Take the basket full of misfits and return them to their proper homes. DO IT NOW! I'm serious about this. This is the heart of this challenge. If you let them sit in that basket they are STILL CLUTTER.... just clutter in a different spot. Put them away. You'll feel better when you're done. This is another challenge that would be great to involve your spouse in. You can always entice him or her with a little snuggle time in your cleaner room once your done! ;-)
Now don't be scared! This isn't meant to be an all-day endeavor. Just take 5 minutes if that's what you have. You can do a lot in 5 minutes. If you have all-day and are really feeling motivated, then by all means feel-free to do a full purge. I won't stop you. But make sure you really have the time to devote to it. I don't want you neglecting other duties to make this happen. Decluttering & organizing should be part of your regular routine, not a disruption of your entire life.
The challenge: take 5-10 minutes (set the timer if you have to) and take an honest look at your closet. Pull out anything you know you won't wear again. This includes things that:
don't fit (especially if it's too big!)
in disrepair - holes, snags, broken zippers, missing buttons you know you'll never fix
not yours (seriously... if you have clothes from your old roommate or your mom or your sister, get rid of them!)
not your style - I know you know what I mean. We all have that item that we bought on a whim thinking it was so cool. But once we got it home (and ripped the tags off & lost the receipt of course) we realized it really wasn't consistent with our style and/or body type. Let it go!
Shoes that pinch your toes
Shoes that have seen better days
What should you NOT do... please do not purge your husband's closet! Discarding someone else's stuff is, quite honestly, a big violation of their privacy. We feel protective of our stuff, especially those clothes that have memories for us (like his holey old college t-shirt!) So if his side of the closet needs a little purging, invite him to join you for your 5-10 minute session. But don't just toss out his stuff.