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For my entire adult life (and I'm sure this will never change), the process of bill-paying always winds up being done in the kitchen. And something tells me that I'm not alone, especially among my fellow city dwellers.

The modern day kitchen looks so different than it did in our parents' and grandparents' day -- the granite countertops, the built-in microwaves, the espresso machines. Yet decades later, the kitchen remains the center of action in most households. Even though it's the hardest-working room in the house -- or maybe in spite of that -- we want out kitchens to look pretty. That's why I love this simple idea: repurpose a vintage toast holder to sort and display your invitations and incoming bills.

I need my bills front and center, or I have a bad habit of ignoring them. A vintage toast rack, with its shiny metal dividers, was almost made for sorting bills and other paperwork. Except that it wasn't. True to its name, it was -- and perhaps still is -- used to hold slices of toast fresh out of the toaster.

But these accessories are just too pretty for such a mundane task. So go ahead, skip the generic, plastic accordion organizer from your local office supply store and score one of these vintage treasures to keep your bills and invitations at the ready.

The best online hunting grounds for vintage toast racks would be Etsy and eBay. I've seen vintage shops on Etsy selling cool toast holders for as little as $14. One tip when searching eBay: use the minus sign to narrow down your search results. For example, I think the toast holder idea works best with a silver rack (not the more kitschy ceramic models), so I would type in this search term on eBay: vintage toast rack - silver (or vintage toast holder - silver).

I'm planning to attend the amazing Brimfield Antique Show this week, and I hope to score a vintage toast rack there. You can also check your local flea markets, antique thrift shops, salvage yards, and junk shops to hunt down one of these vintage gems.


  • Picky

    Ahem. A toast RACK is not anywhere near being the same thing as a TOASTER. It's like calling a platter a grill.

    Reply
  • bob

    The ad said TOASTER you dumbas

    Reply
  • bob

    Maybe it's time to find another reading area...

    Reply
  • anni

    I use my toast rack for, toast. I like to live well.

    Reply
  • Audrey, CA

    The ad clearly said, "Toaster Rack", I remember them well back in the '30s and '40s. Since I'm sure they would be difficult if not impossible to find in the stores, I would suggest you go to an office supply store and but a Collator, which is like an enlarged "Toaster Rack" and you would be able to organize mail, file folders or whatever!

    Reply
  • hjnytoni

    I've been doing that with the toast rack we got as our first wedding present 28 years ago next week. When we opened the box from my great aunt, we said "what is this?" N0- she was not there. Not having a fondness for cold toast, we though it would be great for mail. It looked classy on the table in our entry of our first apartment. Now it lives in the kitchen and holds mail and important papers that need a temp home. It's brass, and doesn't match our kitchen, but by now it's "tradition" and we wouldn't have it any other way.

    Reply
  • Pookie

    What an exciting article. Who knew a toast rack could be used as an organizer!!!!?!?!??!? Now my day is complete and I can sleep better tonight...lol.

    Reply
  • Pookie

    My dog uses our toilet as a water bowl. Should I write an article?

    Reply
  • Mary Kay

    We used to visit England and we referred to them as "toast coolers." The English don't like their toast warm and ahem, toasty, they like it frigid, so the cold butter just sits there in lumps. Yes, we snuck a few back home and we use them for --- mail!!

    Reply
  • 9 Comments / 1 Pages
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