Greetings from Tumbleweed Tidings!  I hope you are all enjoying a safe and sunny summer, full of beautiful flowers and the fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables available this time of year. We sure are, but typical of the summers here in tumbleweed land, the temperatures are rising to a predicted 110 this week.  Yikes!

Today, it’s time to head for the corral. And by that, I mean the organizational and decorating trick of corralling items together, using trays or other vessels. Whether it be in a nursery, bathroom, kitchen table, or living area, corralling objects creates a cleaner, and more organized layout. In other words, it just looks and functions better!
In the kitchen, a tray can be used to corral cooking essentials such as bottles of oil, vinegars, spices and salt and pepper. Even a caddy full of wooden spoons and spatulas can be included. By corralling these items, they are all ready for your next culinary adventure. You need only pick up the tray and move it to your prep or sautéing area, and you are ready to go.

On my bathroom vanity, I am making use of a hammered pewter tray I recently purchased second-hand for $10. It holds several bottles of perfume. Having these bottles on this handled tray just seems to elevate the whole area, and it is so much easier to pick up one tray to dust under than to move all of those bottles, so there is a functional advantage as well.

When my three kids were babies, having a basket on the end of the changing table with wipes, powder, diapers and other baby necessities made my life so much easier. The last thing I wanted to do was to leave the baby unattended while I rummaged around the room looking for what I needed. This also made it easier to just grab the basket and move it in to other rooms where baby was later in the day. Everything at your fingertips is the perfect corral solution!


In the living room, trays are a great way to corral items on the coffee table. Remote controls, your latest book, eye glasses, a favorite candle and a coaster can all come in handy when they are at arm’s length. I have a Magnolia Market galvanized tray that holds some of these items on our coffee table, and it adds the functionality mentioned above, but another metal to the mix of brass, copper and gold already in there. Have I mentioned lately now much I love mixing all kinds of metals in one room?

Also in the living room, a small ottoman holds a copper tray with a coaster and candle in it. This is a sturdy place for a guest to set a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, rather than on the soft surface of the ottoman. Practical and safe, all in one.

In the our house the room known as the “Kid’s Room,” I have a tray on the round table that holds colored pencils, paper, playing cards and crayons. Everything they need for spontaneous creativity is right there, and when they want to use it for a puzzle, board game, or Legos, the tray can easily be lifted up and set aside.

In a guest room, a small tray or plate on the nightstand is an excellent place to corral items that your guests might need during their stay. A bottle of water, a coaster, some chocolates, reading material, and small toiletry items are just a few ideas that are practical and thoughtful.

One of my favorite places to corral items is on our kitchen peninsula. I have a large copper tray that holds my latest candle for burning, some flowers, and a tall shabby pedestal bowl full of wine corks. When I need the space for dining, a buffet, or even wrapping packages, moving the tray is so much easier than picking up the individual items.

On the kitchen table, there is a wooden vessel that my talented husband built, that holds an arrangement full of greenery, pinecones, and candles that I add and subtract to for various holidays. Setting the dinner table is a snap when all you have to do is pick up the box and the table runner and move it aside.

In our office, we use a faux leather tray to hold a collection of books, a stapler, sticky notes, a re-purposed floral frog that holds pens and pencils, and containers that hold paper clips. Having these items corralled in one area takes all of the guesswork out of where they are, keeping them in plain sight in an organized, attractive way.

I could go on and on….obviously!…about how corralling items is the way to go. It is not only esthetically pleasing and a great way to add another texture to your space, but it also provides organization and functionality.

These ideas I’ve mentioned are only the tip of the ice-burg. If you look around your home, I’m sure you will find areas where putting items on a tray, or in a box or basket, could provide some practicality and organization to your life.

So, come on y’all, it’s time to head for the corral!

Good tidings,

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