Wednesday, May 9, 2018

9 Trays to Help You Get Organized

tray with light wood sides and dark blue bottom; teapot, which and other things on the tray

When you think of trays, you may picture something like the Frame Tray from Munk Collective — on clearance sale now at Design Within Reach, but also available outside the U.S. at stores like Illums Bolighus in Denmark. These have wood sides and a waterproof MDF bottom. (via Better Living Through Design)

tray with stylized owls

Or you may picture something more like this Orla Kiely tray, made of melamine-coated birch. Rectangular trays with a rim, no matter the style, are flexible tools with many possible uses.

tray with fish, birds and ducks - dark background with white and light blue images

A lot of interesting trays come from Scandinavia and are made with birch or birch veneer. This one is from Made by Lyng, in Norway.

tray with sky blue background and pictures of three cats, plus some plants

Avenida Home has a cat tray and a dog tray, both with illustrations by Anne Bentley. They're made in Sweden.

white tray with picture of fish

Anna Wright's melamine and birch veneer trays are also made in Sweden.

round white tray with red handle sticking up in the middle

And this one from LUprints is also made in Scandinavia.

two-tiered round white tray; top tier is smaller than bottom one

There are also trays with extra features, which may sometimes be useful. The General Tray from Good Thing has a handle with four color options.

round white tray with red handle sticking up in the middle

The Rotary Tray from Vitra is a two-tier thing; the top tier can rotate outward.

round yellow tray with yellow cup in the middle

And the Vitra O-Tidy combines a cup and a tray. One of the places you can get it, besides directly from Vitra, is the Finnish Design Shop.

Related post:
Organizing with Trays


Julie S. said...

These are great, functional pieces of art -- however, I would like to see how they actually work to make organizing or decluttering the focus... In my environment, they could be overstuffed, and not at all a good idea. Another place to collect stuff! How do you use trays effectively? What about different sized trays? Trays for different rooms and needs? Serving trays that double? Personalized ones? When you write about stuff I hope you can share more about how to use it, please!

Jeri Dansky said...

Julie, sometimes a tray can be used to pull things together: a bunch of condiments or other items in the kitchen, for example. And they can make it easy to move a group of things from one place to another.

You can see how I used a tray here:

And in the comments here, you'll see how two other people used them for storing items being used in craft projects:

The New York Times quotes designer Annie Selke:
”They’re also about organization,” she said, noting that they can help corral objects that would otherwise look like clutter. In her home, Ms. Selke uses different size trays to hold toiletries in the bathroom and remote controls in the living room.

As Apartment Therapy says, "A tray takes a bunch of stuff and turns it into one element. It's great to bring together like (or unlike!) items to create one more unified and uncluttered look. It also makes cleaning much easier (bonus!)."

temporary name said...

One can also use them as pseudo pull-out shelves. For example, in a cupboard, instead of having to reach over and around objects to get what's in the back, slide the tray toward you like a pull-out shelf. It's true, for some people trays become another horizontal surface on which to toss things. But used mindfully, they can be handy tools.