How to mount an alarm clock with no nightstand or permanent wall damage?
September 22, 2009 2:42 PM   Subscribe

How can I have my alarm clock near my bed even though there's not enough room for a nightstand and I can't make holes in the wall for shelves? There's a chest of drawers on one side of the bed but it is too tall to reach the alarm clock from on top. The other side of the bed is bordering the wall. Are there shelves without permanent mounting hardware that work? I have a usable wall corner. Maybe a super duper skinny nightstand out there somewhere? Use the headboard somehow?
posted by madscientist01 to Home & Garden (25 answers total)
Sandwich a small board between the mattress and box-spring so that it sticks out like a diving board. You'll probably want at least 1.5 - 2 feet under the mattress (to make sure it doesn't move; having it go the whole width of the bed would be better), and maybe 8 inches sticking out.

If you have problems with it wiggling around when you roll over, you could experiment with c-clamps or bolts (if you are willing/able to drill holes in your bed frame).
posted by Commander Rachek at 2:46 PM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Use double stick foam tape to stick your alarm clock directly to your headboard.
posted by Mitheral at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2009

Use your cellphone as an alarm clock, open up one of the drawers near your bed, and drop it inside.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:50 PM on September 22, 2009

Can you sleep wearing a watch? Choose one with an alarm function.
posted by yawper at 2:51 PM on September 22, 2009

You could use 3M Command hooks (removable) to attach a lightweight shelf. If you do this, don't skip the rubbing alcohol step. It makes all the difference.
posted by Sheppagus at 2:55 PM on September 22, 2009

um... as odd as this sounds... I'm a very sound sleeper and generally don't move. In the event that I needed an alarm clock (4:50 AM alarm on occasions past) I used to put the clock on my forehead or on my chest.

When it goes off its amazingly effective...

Also, while I don't know exactly why a wallmount is not possible, if its strictly the holes that concern you a canister of drywall compound, a putty knife, and a pice of sandpaper are pretty cheap... well worth the aggrivation of a year with an inconveniently placed alarm clock.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:59 PM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have a small travel alarm that lives between my pillow and the wall, although it can be a problem if it works it's way into the bed (muffles the alarm). Alternatively I'd pull a drawer out a bit and sit it on the clothes, although then my cat would get in there for a nap. You could make a little hammock to hang from the top drawer or headboard.

You can get shelves to fit into a corner which don't require permanent attachment. Depending on how big/heavy your clock is you migh be able to use something 3M-ish like a corner caddy or loft shelf. They really do come off clean as long as you pull directly downwards and they also do hold the amount of weight each product is rated for. I've also seen triangle shelves which apparently push against the wall without making a hold (so kind of spring loaded) but I've never tried one so can't vouch for it's effectiveness or lack of damage. A local homewares or hardware store might have something.
posted by shelleycat at 3:01 PM on September 22, 2009

Get one of those alarm clocks that display on the ceiling?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:01 PM on September 22, 2009

Are there shelves without permanent mounting hardware that work?

Leaning shelves
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:02 PM on September 22, 2009

I have a usable wall corner.

If the wall is smooth enough, you may be able to mount a shelf using suction cups. I think you could find a nice one in the bathroom section. That saem section will have corner tension shelves that could work too. It's a pole that stays up from the tension between the floor and ceiling, and small shelves are mounted on the pole.

Otherwise, the Command hooks Sheppagus mentions are good.
posted by soelo at 3:03 PM on September 22, 2009

seconding Commander Rachek. I did this for a time and it worked well. There's no need for the board to go all the way across the bed. Mine was about a foot and a half of board under the mattress and about a foot sticking out for the alarm clock, phone, and whatever else I wanted to keep handy during the night.

If you can't find a board or re-purpose something you own, you can buy a particle board shelf (white, black, or wood-grain) for just a few bucks at a hardware store.
posted by BlooPen at 3:09 PM on September 22, 2009

Or, alternately, I also used a small plant stand as a night stand for a while. It was about 8 inches square and had a small shelf near the bottom. Here is a place to look for ideas, but I got mine for about $10 at a local store. Hobby stores (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.) sometimes have things like this.
posted by BlooPen at 3:12 PM on September 22, 2009

You could try a clip-on alarm clock for your headboard.
posted by amyms at 3:15 PM on September 22, 2009

Mount a shelf on the side of the chest of drawers. Put the alarm clock on the shelf.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:25 PM on September 22, 2009

Ever consider using light as an alarm? I have a timer on my aquarium light that I use for an alarm. It is a very pleasant way to wake up if you are not a super sound sleeper. It has the advantage of not needing to be within reach.
posted by stubborn at 4:07 PM on September 22, 2009

I strapped my $10 alarm clock to the headboard of my Ikea Daselv bed frame with ribbon. Worked like a charm.
posted by dhn at 4:14 PM on September 22, 2009

If your bed isn't completely flush with the wall, you might be able to wedge a box or something between the wall and the mattress, or the wall and the bed frame. Or are you looking for a non-tacky solution? Maybe you could use this shelf thing instead of a box?
posted by gueneverey at 4:17 PM on September 22, 2009

This shelf will stick to your wall and come off cleanly.
posted by oceano at 4:17 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a little lightweight shelf with a few dowels sticking out for hangers. It's light enough that you could use double-sided foam stuff to stick it to the wall. I have a little hanging pouch that I put my alarm clock or cell phone alarm clock into. I can also hang up a hair doinker and a few other things [barette, lip gloss] and it's super useful and yet up out of reach and pretty small.
posted by jessamyn at 4:27 PM on September 22, 2009

I use this alarm clock. It clips to my pillow and vibrates. You can also set it to beep.
posted by classa at 4:31 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think Rachek's solution is best. If the board is at the head end of the bed, you won't be able to detect it, really, no matter how princessishly you sleep.

I sleep with my iPhone, which is my alarm clock, and it tumbles around the bed, usually ending up under a pillow somewhere. My girlfriend, always jealous of the attention I give to gadgets, often comments on how convenient it is that the iPhone has such an "easy clean" surface to wipe off.
posted by rokusan at 5:28 PM on September 22, 2009

My alarm clock is nowhere near my bed, but it came with a remote control that I can use to kill the alarm. I just keep the remote next to my bed. I like this because that way I don't have the digital clock light glaring in my face all night, but I can still turn off the alarm without getting up and roll over for ten more minutes of sleep. Would you consider a remote controlled alarm clock?
posted by pemberkins at 8:10 PM on September 22, 2009

do you have a saw, a hammer and some nails? You could build a narrow table type thing that fits in the small gap.
posted by mary8nne at 5:46 AM on September 23, 2009

In college I used 3m strips to mount my alarm clock on the wall on my lower bunk bed.
posted by borkencode at 6:50 AM on September 23, 2009

I know it's late, but I thought of this question when I saw this on the web today. It's an alarm clock that attaches to the wall and is designed to be read sideways. I'm not sure how it attaches, and it is a bit pricey, but an interesting idea.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:55 PM on September 27, 2009

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