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Too many coffee mugs

Categories: Decluttering


I’ve been writing here a few weeks now, and I feel like we know each other, so there’s something I need to tell you.

My name is Busy Mom, and I have a bit of a coffee mug problem.

In the event of the zombie apocalypse, I could serve each of them coffee in a mug:

Sadly, that’s not my entire collection, and I’ve even pared down the second string mugs recently. The whole thing doesn’t even begin to cover the mugs that are part of my china set.

I may write a column called “Ordering Disorder”, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ordered all my disorder, as evidenced above.

I drink coffee, but probably not more than the average person. But, even if I drank an extraordinary amount, I could only use one mug at a time, so this really makes no sense. I’m not even sure how it all started.

When we got married, we got the requisite “everyday” dishes as well as china, and the coffee mugs were just part of the sets, nothing special.

I work in health care, and back in the days when pharmaceutical sales reps gave out goodies, it was considered a “score” if you got a coffee mug from one (as opposed to the requisite ballpoint pen, or something less awesome).

So, come to think of it, that’s where my problem might have started.

As the years have gone by, we’ve also acquired them as vacation souvenirs, gifts from the kids, favorite restaurant and job mementos and there’s also a sizable population of cool mugs of unknown origin.

I realize this is how people who wake up one day and discover they have 47 cats get started, but even though the cabinet is crowded, we like all of them. Each is a work of art, a nice memory or a gift and I have no idea how to weed them out.

I’ve boxed up some and set them free in the teacher’s lounge at my husband’s school, but other than that, they all just live in harmony in the cabinet. The very crowded cabinet.

I have no idea if I need an intervention, psychological counseling or a organizing tips, but the first step is to admit the problem.

Do you share my coffee mug problem? Any tips?

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4 comments so far...

  • We’ve repurposed our favorite mugs into other rooms of the house. One holds q-tips in the vanity. One holds pens by the phone. One holds washable markers by the fridge (we keep grocery notes, etc on the fridge.) One lives on my dresser and collects coins.

    It’s a good way to distribute the little pieces of art throughout the house and get them out of the cabinet.

    Avonelle  |  September 20th, 2011 at 9:13 am

  • You could also drill small holes in them and plant small houseplants or flowers in them. That would be cute! Or bust them up and use them for a mosaic table top?

    Otherwise I have no clue. I have a similar problem. My husband loves the mugs with the pictures of the kids but they fade. I have about 4 that are so faded that you can’t hardly see the pictures yet he won’t let me get rid of them.

    Headless Mom  |  September 20th, 2011 at 10:24 am

  • I put them all in a box and gave them to another victim who appeared excited to have them! I kept 2 of my absolute favorites.. I kept 2 big giant ones for my husband and I (we used to eat ice cream out of them, but now we eat ice cream out of the pint..) I kept them somewhere separate.. and realized that I really love my “everyday” mugs so I am going to use them, darnit. Thankfully there is only 8 of them, and I have gotten up to 6 before washing the rest so it works out nicely.

    I just don’t let mugs go in the cabinet anymore.. also, moving to a smaller house with limited cabinet space is sure to keep them away…

    jen  |  September 20th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  • I could have written this!

    My OH won’t let me even look at new mugs until I’ve gotten rid of at least a dozen, plus he doesn’t know about the 15 or so I’ve wrapped up & ‘hidden’ in the garage……….!

    Lanny  |  September 21st, 2011 at 2:34 am