Caught Off Guard? How a Simple Tray Transforms Messy Entryways

If your entryway is anything like most households, it’s likely a disorganized mess of shoes, bags, keys, mail, and other items strewn about. Recent surveys suggest a staggering 68% of people rate their entryway as “very cluttered.” And it’s no wonder why when you consider everything that ends up in this high-traffic zone.

Wallets, phones, and sets of keys seem to always top the list of “most lost items” in cluttered entryways. In fact, a 2022 home organization study found that on average, people lose their keys once a week and spend nearly 13 minutes per day hunting around to find essentials like keys or phones before leaving their home. That adds up to almost 95 hours per year spent scrambling around a messy entry!

All of this lost time and frustration piles up. And that’s not even considering the costs of replacing lost items like wallets or phones, which can run hundreds of dollars. For many households, the entryway has become a kind of black hole swallowing up both time and money.

Why Entryways Attract Clutter

It’s easy to see why entryways often turn into clutter magnets. As the transition zone between the outside world and your inner sanctum, a lot of stuff passes through this high-traffic area every day.

You’ve likely experienced first-hand how quickly the crumpled mail and receipts empty from your pockets when you walk in the door. Then there’s the daily influx of delivered packages and letters. Before you know it, every surface is covered with stuff.

catch all tray entryway

The problem is most entryways simply aren’t designed with sufficient storage. Apart from maybe a small table or narrow shelf, there aren’t a lot of organizational tools built into this space. So loose items inevitably end up scattered about.

Benefits of an Organized Entry

Clearing entryway clutter provides some clear benefits for households. First, you gain back those lost minutes searching for misplaced items in a rush out the door. An organized entry cuts down on the morning scramble to get out on time.

A tidy entryway also creates a welcoming first impression on guests entering your home. No more sheepishly apologizing for the mess while kicking shoes out of the way.

Knowing exactly where important items like keys or wallets live also brings a sense of calm rather than panic. Simply put, an organized entry sets the tone for a less stressed day from the moment you walk out your front door.

Introducing the Catch All Tray

What Is a Catch All Tray?

A catch all tray offers the perfect solution for corralling entryway clutter. As the name suggests, it’s generally a container or dish designate to “catch” personal items you want to keep organized. Other popular names for these handy trays include key dishes and entryway valets.

You’ll find catch all trays made from a variety of materials like metal, wood, woven rattan, plastic, or even cork. Trays range in size from small dishes to long narrow troughs designed to sit on console tables or shelving. The defining feature is a receptacle to conveniently stash items rather than letting them pile up.

Key Features to Look For

When selecting an entryway catch all tray, keep an eye out for designs specially made for this high-traffic purpose.

Look for sloped or curved surfaces that subtly corral loose items toward the center–preventing phones or keys from sliding out. The sides should be deep enough to safely contain objects without them tipping over easily.

Due to heavy daily use, durable scratch-resistant materials are essential for long wear and tear. Trays made of metal, finished wood or woven plastic can withstand years of use without showing scuffs.

Naturally, you want something stylish enough to match your existing decor. Clean designs in neutral tones tend to complement most color schemes and styles. Or make a statement with a vivid painted or patterned catch all tray.

And don’t forget to consider capacity! Choose a tray large enough to contain all the small items you want accessible right inside your entryway.

Placement Tips for Entryway Catch All Trays

When positioning your catch all tray, look for a convenient spot near the main entry point without impeding foot traffic.

For quick grab-and-go access, make sure there’s a clear line of sight to the tray from the door. You don’t want to lose precious seconds hunting around for your valuables.

Pay attention to heights and proportions. Aim to complement the height of nearby furniture like console tables or coat racks. Scale and visual balance create a welcoming vignette.

And allow enough flat surface area around the tray to actually toss items in easily. Though elegant, a dainty tray perched on a narrow console may ultimately frustrate more than help!

Top Items to Corral in Your New Tray

Once you settle on the perfect catch all tray for your entry, it’s time to start corralling the clutter! Here are some of our favorite ways to put these stylish holders to work:

Key Storage

House keys top the list of most commonly lost items. Designate a spot in your tray just for keys to prevent hunting around each morning. Use a small dish or divide tray compartments to file keys in their place.

Wallet, Watch & Jewelry Holders

Pockets unload personal items like watches or jewelry almost reflexively upon walking in the door. Provide a dedicated landing spot for these precious belongings before they go astray. Small trays help separate and organize items.

Mail Organizing

Paper mail ends up scattered across most entry spaces. Use vertical sorters or trays to neatly file envelopes, flyers and magazines in their place. This prevents an ever-growing pile taking over surfaces.

Charging Station

To prevent a tangle of cables draped over furniture, use tiered trays or stands to neatly dock and charge devices in one place. This keeps electronics accessible but out of the way of foot traffic.

Style Spotlight: The Craighill Cork Catch All Tray

One of our favorite catches for entryway organization is the Craighill Little Cloud Cork Catch-All Tray. We love the slope-sided cork design which subtly funnels items toward the base of this generously sized tray.

The rich yet neutral golden-brown tone beautifully complements a range of decors from traditional to contemporary. And the subtle rounded rectangle nearly 14 inches wide provides plenty of real estate to contain keys, gadgets and other small items.

Sustainably harvested from cork oak trees, the durable material resists scratches, stains and dents despite heavy handling. We also appreciate that harvested cork bark regrows every nine years allowing for an eco-friendly renewable resource.

Overall, form and function beautifully merge with this well-crafted catch all tray ideal for gathering life’s little necessities in the busy entry zone.

More Entry Storage Solutions

While catch all trays provide an attractive first line of defense against entry chaos, a few additional organizational items can also help tackle clutter.

Wall Mounts & Key Hooks

Install wall mounts, rails or key hooks near the main doorway to immediately catch keys before they disappear into a pile. Multiple hooks allow sorting keys for different family members.

Mirror Trays

For a clever hidden storage trick, choose a wall mirror with a built-in tray at the base. This offers a discreet catch basin while reflecting light to brighten entry spaces.

Umbrella Stands

Provide a tall narrow container near the door designed expressly to neatly corral wet umbrellas and keep floors dry on rainy days. Even a basic stand prevents umbrella chaos.

Entryway Furniture

Strategically placed furniture like a bench or small cabinet can provide supplemental catch all space. Opt for furniture with built-in shelves, drawers or cubbies to organize additional items entering this zone.

With a little strategic planning and the addition of handy catch all trays, it is possible to transform even the most chaotic entryway into a peaceful organized space. No longer will precious minutes or belongings get lost upon walking in your front door.

Outfitting your entrance with practical storage solutions ultimately sets a more relaxed and welcoming tone each and every day. Just imagine no longer dreading that scramble trying to get out the door on time! By catching clutter in its tracks, simplicity and calm replace frustration in the daily routine.

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