Look, keeping a home uncluttered isn't easy. Modern life involves a lot of stuff, and it's easy for that stuff to clutter up, and even overwhelm, your space. But over the years, I've learned a few tricks. One of which is: trays. Trays won't help you eliminate stuff, but they will help to contain the stuff you have, and make it look less like debris and more like something you meant to keep around. And if you love trays, you should really turn your attention to another common garage-sale find: the cake stand.
If you think about it, for a moment, a cake stand is a tray: it just happens to have a pedestal on the bottom. But this makes a cake stand even more useful than a tray, because you can also make use of the space underneath the stand, as well. A few of these examples involve those tiered pastry stands, which, when it comes to containing small things, are really the best of all. Here are some of our favorite ways that cake stands can contain your clutter.
By the Sink
As seen on Clean & Scentsible, a cake stand can be a great spot for the sinkside combo of hand soap, dish soap, scrubber, and scrubbing sponges.
For spices and oils in the kitchen
If you cook often, having to constantly retrieve things like olive oil and salt and pepper from the cabinets can be a bit of a pain. Keep those oft used items within easy reach on a cake stand, as seen on Kulor.no.
In this photo from Martha Stewart, a cake plate corrals oils and spices on the counter—and frees up the space underneath for other things.
For holding silverware
I have experienced firsthand the pain of having a kitchen with absolutely no drawers. Where do you put your silverware? Provided you have the counter space, a cake stand (as in this photo from My Sweet Savannah) could be the perfect solution with the help of jars to separate your spoons from your knives, et al.
For organizing makeup
All those little bottles are pretty, but they can make a bathroom countertop a bit chaotic. In this photo from Cosmopolitan, a cake stand turns a constellation of perfume bottles into a pretty collection.
As seen on The Gloss, a cake stand (or a multi-tiered pastry stand) is a great solution for organizing makeup. (Also of note, this actually likes like a glass taper candle holder attached to two plates, which is totally easy to DIY with the right glue.)
For organizing craft supplies
Another situation where you find yourself trying to contain lots of very small elements is crafting. In this photo from The Crafting Chicks, markers and crayons and all kinds of craft supplies find a home in a multi-tiered stand.
Here's another example of craft supplies on a cake stand (or numerous cake stands stacked on each other, as it would appear), from HGTV. Those tiny jars of buttons are definitely organization goals.
One plant is charming: multiple plants can start to look like a jungle. In this Oakland loft, a cake stand helps to unite three plants into a single design statement.
For keys and sundries in the entryway
When you come into your home, do you just dump all your stuff (keys, change, wallet) in a pile on the entry table, or the kitchen counter? A cake stand, as seen on Stone Gable Blog, can give all those things a place to live, and maybe free up some space underneath, too.
So there you have it. The next time you find yourself at a garage sale or even thrift shop and you spot a cake stand, scoop it up and put it to work in your home (and by all means, serve some cake on it every now and again if the mood strikes).