I'm so happy to be over here at Jen's blog today talking organizing. I've actually been on an organizing kick at my house since January when I resolved to tackle the 10 biggest problems areas of our house and hallelujah! I just completed #9 on my list, the Master Closet! It feels good to get those major spaces decluttered. But, sometimes just corralling small things or making little spaces more organized and pretty is very satisfying too.
I organize and "make pretty" our home by utilizing trays in nearly every room. Are you with me that things just look better when they are sitting in a nice tray?
In our kitchen, we currently have three trays defining our space. First up, this gorgeous blue and white bone inlay tray I picked up at HomeGoods. Such a bright, happy color goes perfectly on our white counters, sitting right by the stove and holding the spices and oils we reach for most frequently while cooking. (I also keep prepped ahead oatmeal and ground oats with flax for my protein pancakes in those jars to the side). Makes busy mornings run much smoother.
What kitchen would be complete without a coffee station? At least in my house it's a daily necessity! We don't have an elaborate set-up, but I do like to decant the coffee beans and sugar into glass jars. It doesn't take long and it's much prettier to look at. And a simple cutting board can function as a tray too. The cute little fox is a tea bag holder, but I like to use it for my spoon after stirring my coffee. I picked him up at Target.
By the sink, we have a small white/clear plastic tray that holds our dish soap (again, decanted into an inexpensive oil jar and I love bright green soap!) as well as our hand soap.
And now that SPRING is upon us, I can use my bright yellow tray from West Elm to hold a few bottled waters and paper straws. Combining decorative and functional is the goal.
You don't have to have a bar cart to create a mini bar station in your home. A large tray can hold your liquor bottles, glasses, and other accompaniments. The natural raffia on this tray gives it a great texture.
This mirrored tray from Target was a steal at $40. I've kept my eye out for another one, but so far I haven't seen it. We usually keep all.the.remotes here, but I wanted to show you how pretty the tray is without them. This reflective tray really brightens our living room. Of course, I do have to wipe a certain 5-year olds fingerprints off of it on a regular basis.
For my birthday recently, some friends put together a spa gift basket (thank you!) and it came with this unique wooden decorative tray. I put it to use in my bathroom to hold my toiletries. Now when I'm getting ready in the morning, all my products are close at hand and I have the fond memory of a special gift from friends.
Did you realize you can make a small tray out of a shoebox lid and duct tape? That's what I did with a sturdy shoebox lid and snakeskin patterned tape. Just cover the lid completely with the tape, aligning as best you can the pattern and pressing down as you go to push out any air bubbles. Have you seen all the different patterns and colors that duct tape comes in these days?! So many options.
Or you can use fabric or paint to give a tray more personality. I added a feminine pastel fabric (shhh- it's a shower curtain from Target!) to the bottom of a rather boring brown tray and then topped it with plexiglas to protect the fabric from spills, etc. You can get the plexiglas at most craft stores and they will cut it for you for a nominal fee. To get the fabric cut just the right size, lay the plexiglas on top of the fabric and trace around it. You'll be able to position your fabric exactly how you want to this way too.
Finally, I modernized a traditional wooden tray with a couple of coats of craft paint. Just let the paint completely dry between coats and you shouldn't have any issues with paint peeling off with the tape.
And don't forget, trays also make great stationary stations either during the holidays or even year round!
I'm constantly switching out the trays in our house and always keep my eye out for good deals. Please tell me I'm not alone! I'm sure my husband thinks I'm a crazy tray (and basket!) lady. Thanks again Jen for letting me share some of my organizing tips here. I'd love to hear your ideas for tray transformations and how you use them in your house.
"My name is Megan and I am a lawyer by day, design and decor lover by night, and Mama to the sweetest 5-year old boy you've ever seen. I'm passionate about fitness (and chocolate!) and could not live without my relationships, girl talk, and my morning coffee. I've been blogging for four years over at Honey We're Home, sharing my love of keeping things organized and beautiful at our house. My efforts to live in the moment and cook more are an adventure in progress."