Label my nightstand with something amusing
October 6, 2013 8:57 PM   Subscribe

I got this slightly card-catalog-ish nightstand for my bedroom, and the drawer labels being empty is driving me crazy. Help me think of an amusing way to label them? Further details within.

Okay so I hated my nightstand for TEN YEARS because it was awful and I finally found one I love and yes it it awesome. But the little slips of paper in the drawer fronts are sitting there unlabeled and it makes me crazy. I'd like to label them with something amusing, but related to what's in each drawer. Nobody's ever really going to see this but me and my family, so it doesn't have to be anything that would amuse outsiders. (However, it also shouldn't involve four-letter words or child-inappropriate dirty jokes. Innuendo that will go over their heads is fine.)

My first thought was to go a bit steampunky and label the drawers something like "Unguents," "Devices: Angelic," and "Devices: Infernal," but I couldn't think of what to label the last couple drawers. You could maybe come up with labels for the last couple? Or a totally different label theme entirely. I am open. I just gotta get these suckers labeled amusingly! I want something that at least loosely describes what's in each drawer, and that also makes me smile when I notice them.

Here's what's in the drawers:

Top row:
1) Moisturizers (and ped-egg, nail file, etc -- this would have been unguents)
2) handkerchiefs/kleenex
3) various night necessities like a bite guard and allergy medicine and chapstick and other random things as needed like nighttime medicine doses for sick kids or whatever

Bottom row:
4) A couple small devotional books and things like headphones and random converters and pens (devices infernal)
5) a charger and my kindle and phone plugged in at night as necessary and also usually a paperback (devices angelic) (And yes if you get this nightstand you can totally run a charger up from behind and underneath the drawers and into the drawer and charge your devices out of sight it is great.)

This is a totally silly question but also the sort of silly question metafilter is great at. Go to it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
If you wanna keep the steampunk approach:

Handkerchiefs and Kleenex drawer: Tapestries
Bite guard/allergy medicine/chapstick/etc. drawer: Apothecary
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 PM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Pessaries? (I just love the word)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:23 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

the middlemost of the drawers should be labeled Under No Circumstances Shall You Open This Drawer
posted by elizardbits at 9:59 PM on October 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Brain-storming, I came up with a few for each drawer; maybe you'll like some?

1. Balms, unguents, daily ablutions
2. Linens, kerchiefs, snuff
3. I'm tempted to label this drawer 'nocturnal enissions' hehehe *snort*. Other choices: Apothecary, physics, tonics, tinctures, or potions
4. Devotional, aspirational, inspirational, occipital, audible, aural
5. Divers wonders, innovations, sorcery

When in doubt, "sundries" is a good all-purpose descriptor, too!
posted by misha at 9:59 PM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

1) Mostly Feet
2) Mostly Nose
3) Mostly Mouth
4) Mostly Mind
5) Mostly Phone
(Or 4 and 5 exchanged, depending on the character of the books involved, or, if you use the headphones really often 4: Mostly Ears, and 5 Mostly everything else).

But Hey, this is one nightstand! Nice find. Soo. What I also considered was to write 5 labels with

One Night Stand I
One Night Stand II
posted by Namlit at 11:49 PM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I’d be tempted to give them the scientific Latin names for plants/animals and have a good time finding ones that appeal. I’d also find someone with a working inky-cloth ribbon typewriter — not the later ones that used plastic ribbons and essentially worked like rub-on decals (too crisp). With that, I’d also try to find index cards to type on that are slightly cream off-white instead of bright white.
posted by D.C. at 1:06 AM on October 7, 2013

the middlemost of the drawers should be labeled Under No Circumstances Shall You Open This Drawer

or "Boîte Diabolique"
posted by en forme de poire at 1:14 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Similar to Namlit you can go with the five sensesn (or perhaps latin/greek sounding variations thereof):

1) Touch
2) Smell
3) Taste
4) See
5) Hear

Obviously, you would have to move the headphones from 4 to 5 and the paperback from 5 to 4.
posted by KMB at 1:42 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Devices: Devilish
If you have any drawer contents you forgot to mention.

I had a standard two-drawer filing cabinet with those label holders. I named them "Snips & Snails" and "Puppy Dog Tails." It made me smile often. Make sure whatever you choose makes you do that.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 1:54 AM on October 7, 2013

Best answer: For the steampunk theme:"Dainty Trifles" for the handkerchief/kleenex drawer? For the medicine drawer: Tonics & Elixirs, or Remedies, or Physicks, or Apothecarial.
posted by taz at 1:57 AM on October 7, 2013

3 should be Elixirs. Maybe Tonics.

5= Infernal Devices
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:10 AM on October 7, 2013

'Pessaries' are tablets for the vagina, so I wouldn't go with that unless you get thrush a lot.
posted by mippy at 2:44 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

1 - apply
2 - remove
3 - protect
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:14 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

5) damned if you do
4) damned if you don't

1) lotions & potions
2) hanky panky
3) bits n' bites
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:29 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

It might be even more fun if the labels have nothing to do with the contents. How about putting one or two of these on each label:

fenny snake (fillets)
newt (eyes)
frog (toes)
bat (wool)
dog (tongues)
adder (forks)
blind-worm (stings)
lizard (legs)
howlet (wings)
posted by Dragonness at 4:39 AM on October 7, 2013

Choose any of the following five:

odds and ends
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:48 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

That's a great nightstand. I'd ignore the actual contents and label the drawers thusly:


That ought to dissuade any casual snoopers.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:50 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

More Stuff
Good Stuff
Rubbish Stuff
posted by glasseyes at 7:20 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is always the Borgesian system:
  • Those that belong to the emperor
  • Embalmed ones
  • Those that are trained
  • Suckling pigs
  • Mermaids (or Sirens)
  • Fabulous ones
  • Stray dogs
  • Those that are included in this classification
  • Those that tremble as if they were mad
  • Innumerable ones
  • Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
  • Et cetera
  • Those that have just broken the flower vase
  • Those that, at a distance, resemble flies
For your specific purposes I would modify thusly:

Top row:
1) Embalmed ones (because these are balms!)
2) Those that are included in this classification
3) Those that have just broken the flower vase (since there are things for the kids included)

Bottom row:
4) Those that belong to the Emperor (because of the devotional books)
5) Fabulous Ones (obvs)
posted by ocherdraco at 7:40 AM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Why not some random Unicode characters? Like a single character per drawer.

There's a ton of them and some of them look pretty odd/arcane.
posted by Gev at 9:15 AM on October 7, 2013

You could make labels based on the Library of Congress Classification Codes, or some other cataloging system. So the chargers could be labeled TK4001. (Except it looks like the full LoC classification is subscription only! That's an outrage.)
posted by yarrow at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2013

Ooh, here:

...a collection of spells from Harry Potter.
Vingardium Leviosa
Here's the list.
Make many signs, exchange them every month.
posted by Namlit at 2:34 PM on October 7, 2013

Best answer: You have serendipitous opportunities in the future - like, forever! What makes you quietly chortle today can grow old, and you will have the fun of once again seeking and installing the labeling that makes you get a little zing when you get them just right. Lucky you! Ignoring the contents, there's always Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Love Letters, Opium, Dreams Come True, Messy Entanglements, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. Many good ones above too.
posted by Lornalulu at 5:45 PM on October 7, 2013

Response by poster: Okay, I went with:

1) Unguents
2) Cambric Phlegmatic
3) Morphic Physicks
4) Devices - Angelic
5) Devices - Infernal

I will definitely change them up as they stop making me chuckle! Thanks for all the suggestions, they got my brain going on what else would be fun to put there. (I think I will definitely have to do Harry Potter labels in the future!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:36 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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