Trays are great to use for organizing groups of things that go together. It is sort of like framing a picture--put everything on a a tray that was at one time spread about and it creates an instant sense of unity. The tray in the picture above has been used for several functions around my house but always seemed too small for mail, magazines, etc. I finally had the thought of putting it in my bathroom to corral a few items and also just for decor on the counter top. You can use trays all around the house--in entryways to gather keys or mail, on a side table to make an instant bar, on a coffee table for magazines--the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite design blogs is absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com. It is written by Anna Spiro, an Australian designer. She creates absolutely beautiful tablescapes with trays. Check out her website for inspiration. The first two pictures below are from her website; the last one of the bar tray is from Domino magazine.
I am now a stay at home mom but in my former life I was a French teacher--I have my B.A., M.A., and A.B.D. (next step to Ph.D. in French literature). I love teaching and miss it but in the meantime I am enjoying operating a part-time home organizing and design business. Contact me for more info if you are interested!