I grew up with a sister, traveled with ten girls during my semester abroad, and lived in a house of eight girls for my senior year. The one constant? Girls have a lot of stuff. It’s hard for a place to ever really feel clean when every surface is covered with baubles, cosmetics, and various knick knacks (and that’s the good stuff). One trick I’m learning for instant organization? Say it with me: trays are the answer.

Placing items on a tray instantly makes them feel like part of a collection, whether it’s glassware or liquor or makeup. Doesn’t the gold tray remind you of this one in my boutique?

Place one on your bedside table to corral jewelry you wear every day and one in your bathroom to display makeup. (Side note: have you seen how Grace from Stripes + Sequins stores her makeup brushes? In the monogrammed pencil cup from my boutique! Genius.) This tray would be perfect for either purpose!

I love how Nicole uses her Tilly Maison tray! It makes me want to stock up on Chanel nail polish and Tom Ford lipstick 😉

I love these silver pieces! You could find similar vintage items on Etsy or go for a modern take with the silver lacquer tray in my boutique. Why didn’t I learn the tray trick before I graduated from college? 😉

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Shop all the trays available at Design Darling here and tell me — what are your tips and tricks for feeling better organized?

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  1. Trays are the best! But even better is to say goodby to all the stuff you no longer need and love in your life. That’s why a garbage bag is THE number one organizing tool.

  2. I could not agree more with this post! I keep my home bar on an Oscar de la Renta black and white chevron tray and it definitely pulls everything together. I love the lucite tray and I also love the gold tray. It really pops against Cassandra’s vintage silver and other accessories.

    My number one rule for feeling more organized is to edit, edit, edit. I almost always feel better when I live with a little less!

  3. I’m obsessed with trays- they are all over my tiny apartment and really help organize all of my stuff! I think I need to get a lucite monogrammed one now 🙂

  4. Great photos. I love using trays too and to stay organized I also like to use bags. They really help keep me organized & neat, from projects I`m working on to books and magazines Ì have to read to stuff I have to drop off to things to return etc I will start a seperate bag. they really help, and if they are cute bags it works even better!

  5. I try to organize like this but I mess it up almost immediately!! I need to make more of an effort to organize!! Thanks for the inspiration! xo Elizabeth

  6. Thank you for featuring my photo of the Tilly Maison tray! Might have to get your monogrammed cup to put my makeup brushes in now!

  7. Trays definitely help polish up a space. Our home bar looked like we had just thrown a bunch of bottles up there until I corralled them all with a tray. Love that gold tray in the Rue image!

  8. Could not agree more Mackenzie! Love ’em and always recommend them to my clients. They give a whole bunch of stuff a home, so it does instantly look neater. Love this post!

  9. I’ve been trying to figure out a solution for liquor and barware—looks like I may have to try out a tray to see if that will do the trick!