Great tip! Before gardening/yard work, drag your nails across a bar of soap, claw-like. The soapy buildup will protect the area under the nail bed from a soily invasion. Once you are done mucking about in the dirt you*ll find that washing up is a breeze!
Instead of using the nightstand just for a single purpose, increase its utility to serve a variety of uses. It should be small enough to fit into a tight corner but large enough to accommodate a small chair making the piece double up as a desk.