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You Have HOW Many Coffee Mugs?

Updated: Apr 3

Everyone has a favorite mug. That one you reach for every morning.

Then there are all the others.

Do they reproduce by themselves at night? How have they taken over my kitchen? And – how many do I really need (or want)?

It’s great to have mugs that remind you of a particular event or person. But when the mugs start to threaten the existence of anything else in your kitchen – like, food – it’s time to take a hard look at what could be discarded or donated.

Where do they come from?

Special Holiday Mugs. Maybe your family has a tradition of using Christmas mugs during the holiday season, or you just can’t celebrate Halloween without that special hot cider container.

Ask yourself – how many do you really need? Can you possibly put them in a longer-term storage area rather than prime real estate?

Gifts. Given with such enthusiasm –“here’s a very special gift for you!” The reality is, that a gift of a mug signifies that it’s the thought that count, ‘cause it’s really not a super special present.

News Flash! You are not obligated to keep the mug your ex’s sister gave you, or one from an event you’d rather forget. Or from someone you really detest. Or if it’s really, really ugly.

Trip Souvenirs. It always seems like a good idea at the time – you want a memento of your trip and you use coffee cups all the time, right?

But you add up the mis-matched cups after a few years and you’ve got a mishmash of styles, colors and designs. Better to take a few vacation photos, upload them to Amazon and save the shelf space.

Free Promotional Mugs. Just ‘cause it’s free doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Going to trade shows, I used to be in a frenzy collecting all the free stuff. Until it started to pile up and I realized what it really was – junk!

Unless it’s from your company and displaying it on your desk shows an esprit de corps. But those mugs you get from clients with their logos you can safely and quietly donate to a charity.

Sets. This is a tough one. You may have one mug from a set that is broken or chipped, and you don’t want to give it up because – well, it’s part of a set.

The thing is – someone is going to cut themselves on that sooner or later. Now you may want to reduce the set to an even number and keep it – but it’ll never be the same! Be brave and relegate them to the donation bin.

With a saying you’d never say. Mugs are great gag gifts for retirement parties,

engagements, office gift exchanges unless you get ones like “Kill all the stupid people,” “OK, I’m ready for you bitch,” ”I’m still hot it comes in flashes now.”

One person’s sarcasm is another’s vulgarity and unless you think it’s really funny and something you wouldn’t mind your mother or your kids seeing, then – OUT!

Other Uses? Ideally, you probably want to have no more than one shelf delegated to mugs. So here are some ideas for what to do with those that you still like but are willing to take out of heavy rotation:

  • Planters

  • To hold pens and markers on your desk

  • Corral make-up pencils, mascaras, brushes

  • Store spoons on your counter

  • Vase for fresh flowers

  • Candy dish

  • Paint brush caddy

Think about what you want to see when you open your cabinet to take out something to hold your coffee or tea.

Your favorite mugs with sayings you find funny or inspiring – a complete set which visually relaxes the eyes in colors that complement your color scheme or that just make you happy –things that are easy to access - and not an overwhelming selection of mis-matched mess.

And don’t get me started on water bottles…..

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1 Comment

Janet Barclay
Janet Barclay
Feb 24, 2022

I definitely have mugs I never use but I can't seem to let them go. Thanks for the suggestions of other ways to use them!

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