Although the valet tray — also known as a catchall or catchall tray — seems like an excessive addition to any desk space, it's actually quite useful — despite its simplicity. It holds things. That’s it’s only job. It’s easy, and it’s also elegant, in an outdated sort of way.
What Is a Valet Tray?
Valet trays are not just a place to put your things. They’re a reminder about how important those things are. At least for me, without a place to put them every single time I return home, I'm more likely to lose them (i.e. leave them in a pocket or drop them into the bottom of a bag).
Having a home base for your phone, keys, wallet and whatever else (cologne? car key?) means never worrying about where you left either of these items again. And it's also a stylish way to display that well-patinaed wallet or clever brass carabiner your keys are attached to. If you opt for a bigger tray, you can store bigger things — even anchors like a bottle of whiskey, a paperweight or an oft-used tool like a tape dispenser or a mug full of pens and pencils.
Truthfully, the valet tray is a blank space, but it's important to consider the material it's made from, because leather ones will age well and look more at-home within your swanky desk setup, but metal ones might be better saved for your garage. However, no matter what place on your tray, there are several clear reasons you should make room for one of your own. Isn't clearing your cluttered desk or dresser incentive enough?
Here, we rounded up some of the coolest valet trays out there right now. Some have a unique shape, some hold your watches and phone, and still others have tech charging capabilities built right in.
5 Best Valet Trays
Craft Kitties's beautiful charging tray is a very good addition to an at-home office space. Keep your keys in one section and charge your phone in the other.
This little square guy takes up barely any room and won't let your keys get lost in the mess of the rest of your space.
For a home that loves fun shapes and neutral colors, we make odd-shaped valet trays in three different sizes. They look even cooler as a group.
As far as wooden valet trays are concerned, the Catch Valet Tray might very well be the most elegant and the most clever. You see, its design is make it easier for you to pick up anything that might otherwise be a chore to pick up — like cards or coins. It’s also made in the USA from solid American Walnut and is so beautiful, you’ll be proud to display it front and center in your home or office.
There is beauty in simplicity, but there is also beauty in utility. The irregular trapezoid Valet Tray, thankfully, offers both. This version is crafted in the USA from solid American walnut. The higher edges on this tray make it a little more visually interesting and do a little more work in containing stuff, which might be important.
Turns out, for the disorganized in both behavior and in spirit, disorganization will follow you wherever you go. The key to keeping it mostly together is to follow that sage old advice: have a home for everything. That's a little dramatic, in my opinion, but having a home for stuff that you need and that which is very annoying to lose is super useful. A valet tray you keep right at your entryway—a home for your most important leaving-the-house items—is one such useful piece.
Valet trays are little pieces of organizational wonder. They're small because they're just meant to hold those things that you're picking up and putting down often. It's open—because you need to actually see those things—but having them contained in this little space looks and feels so much more organized than just throwing them on the entryway table. Plus, having a dedicated spot for them frees up any headspace you might otherwise have to use in locating them every time you go to leave the house.