Gone is the era of trays being used exclusively as serving pieces. While trays are perfectly useful for serving beverages or snacks, or for toting dishes and food to an outdoor table for dining, they can be used for a multitude of organizational purposes as well.
The great thing about trays is that they allow you to take an assortment of like items, and gather them together in a decorative and functional manner. Much like a cake dish, which we talked about earlier, a tray of items is easy to pick up and move for cleaning purposes. This is more efficient than moving many individual items. You can also move the tray of items if you need the space for other purposes. You can easily move items on a tray from one room to another. So, for example, if you set up a collection of candles or bar items on a tray, you could take them from the dining room to the living room depending on where you are entertaining your guests.
One of my favorite uses for a tray is to corral oils and vinegars in the kitchen next to my stove. The tray serves two purposes, other than keeping all the bottles together in one place. First, it enables me to easily clean my counter by being able to just pick up the tray and move it. Second, any drips or spills from the bottles of oil land on the tray and not the counter, or in a cabinet, which makes for easier clean up. Once a month I take all the bottles off the trap, wipe both them and the tray clean, and then place them all back where they belong.
This year I upgraded to a larger tray then I have had for the past twenty years, and now I also keep a few different salts and some toothpicks on the tray as well. Anything I might need as I am standing there with the hot pan all ready to cook, is right within my reach.
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