The Apartment Therapy faithful know that finding a cool vintage tray is the first step to an organized and stylish bathroom (If you don't, check out How to: Create a Hotel-Style Bathroom). But did you know that you can take the same visual-clutter-eliminating trick and apply it to your home office desk?
Every hotel bathroom we've ever stayed in featured a small melamine tray on the counter to stash those teeny tiny bottles of shampoo and body wash. But the tray isn't actually doing anything to physically keep them in line—it's just a visual stand-in for the bare counter.
Hotels know that grouping lots of little small objects on top of a larger, defined space keeps them from looking too messy.
Where else do we need to keep tons of tiny doo-dads? Oh yeah, our desks. Steal hotel bathroom style for your office and use some kind of tray to keep everything from paperclips to pencils in order:
Make an inbox into an in-reach box.
Use your inbox for more than just paperwork. Place your Post-Its and calculator in a new cool wire tray. Or just give your stapler a squared-off home on top of your existing paper box to keep your whole desk looking neat and tidy.
Pull an in-drawer organizer out.
An everything-in-its-place compartment tray can be a great way to group desktop knickknacks together.
Re-purpose serving ware.
Remember, it's more about visually grouping than actually holding. Slide a square plate under your stapler and tape dispenser or use a tea tray to keep it all together.
(Images: Bathroom tray, Kathleen and Alex's Guest-Ready Condo; Compartments on desk Killed by Crafts; Stapler in inbox Jupiter Images; Wire inbox organizer, 26 Olive Street; Red, green and peach compartment organizers, all 26 Olive Street; Blue serving tray, Real Simple; Binder clips on plate, The Bella Life.)