Declutter Coffee Mugs & Other Cups {15 Minute Mission}

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Today's mission is to declutter coffee mugs, and other cups and glasses.


Kitchen Cabinet Organization Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Kitchen Cabinet & Drawer Organization Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

For many of us this is a type of item we have way too many of in our cupboards or cabinets, and we could free up a lot of space by getting rid of some of them.

My Formula To Help You Decide How Many Mugs To Keep

It is up to you to determine what is a reasonable number based on your family's needs and habits, but here's a simple formula to help you at least think about it.

Consider the number of people in your household who actually use a mug regularly, and then multiply this by the number of mugs they use in a day, and then multiply that by one plus the number of days between running your dishwasher, or otherwise washing dishes. That number you come up with is the base number of mugs you actually need in your home for regular use (plus see below where we add just a few extras for when you entertain or have guests over).

That may sound complicated, but I'll run through a couple of examples which will help you understand how simple it is.

Example 1: If two people in your home regularly drink coffee or tea each morning, and you both only use one mug per day, and you run your dishwasher daily, then you need 2x1x2 mugs, meaning, four mugs. It works out that you need two mugs to drink from, and two in the dishwasher, and you're set.

Example 2: Two people in your house drink tea regularly, and both of you drink two cups a day in a fresh mug each time, and you run your dishwasher every two days. Then you should multiply 2x2x3 and you need 12 mugs.

Of course in the scenario of 12 mugs if you don't have enough room in your cabinets for that many you could change your habit of drinking from a new mug each time, and instead drink from one mug all day long, which would halve the number of mugs you need to keep regularly.

Next, once you've determined how many mugs you need to use regularly for household members, add a few more in for when you entertain guests and then you've got a reasonable number of mugs to actually keep.

What About Mug Collections?

I understand that for some people mugs are not just a practical thing used as a receptacle to drink hot beverages, but instead, you collect them.

But it is important when doing this mission to understand there is a difference between collections and practical used items.

Now, I'm not saying you can't keep your mug collection. Everyone has things that bring them joy and the purpose of decluttering is not to make you unhappy. But you first need to really evaluate whether that collection makes you happy, or not.

I encourage you to narrow your collection down to the best of the best, so you continue to have a collection that brings you joy and fond memories, but that doesn't add headaches to your life because it is so large it is cluttering up your kitchen cabinets.

If you collect mugs, and you have space to store all of them, they make you happy, and you use them all regularly (or for holiday mugs, at least annually when that holiday comes around), don't declutter them. For you those mugs are not clutter. But be careful that all of your mugs in your collection that you keep meet the three criteria I mentioned.

Things To Consider About Your Mugs When Deciding Which To Keep

Here are some things to consider when doing this mission:
  • Get rid of those which are chipped, broken or stained

  • How much room do you really have in your cabinets to devote to mugs?

  • Which ones do you regularly use, versus which ones have you not even touched in 3+ months? We all have our favorite mugs that we always reach for if they're clean. Those are the ones to keep, for sure!

Consider Repurposing Some Of Your Mugs To Get Them Out Of Your Kitchen

Finally, if you realize you don't use all of your mugs but you really don't want to part with some of them in your collection I encourage you to get creative.

I personally believe that a collection needs to be displayed and it should make you smile each time you pass it. If a collection is shoved in a box, or in the case of mugs, into the back of a kitchen cabinet, what is the point of having it?

If you have more mugs that you absolutely love, and do not want to part with, but that number exceeds the number you can regularly use that we figured out above using the formula, then get them out of those kitchen cabinets and elsewhere in your home so you can see them and they can make you happy.

Just a few ways to repurpose mugs include as a pencil cup or a small planter. I'm sure there are a lot of additional ideas as well, so make sure to tell me your ideas for repurposing mugs below, in the comments.

Below are some pictures from readers who've already taken on this mission, sharing what they decluttered. I hope this can inspire you to declutter yours as well!

Top photo courtesy of Ewen Roberts

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Now I Have Less Mugs & Maximized My Storage With An Extender Shelf

Michelle says:

I just decluttered mine when we recently moved and parted with a bunch of mugs. I gave them to Goodwill.

My cupboard for mugs is much smaller now, but I maximize the storage by using racks on each shelf. I can easily store 2 layers of mugs in my small space, without worrying about the mugs slipping from atop the row below.

I have a mix of Christmas cups in there now, but it looks like this.

Taylor says:

I love this idea of the extender shelf to keep more mugs in your cabinet, without having to stack them on top of each other, or to use a smaller amount of space for them.

Because even when you declutter them, the ones you keep can still take up quite a bit of room.

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Here's The Coffee Cups I Decluttered

The photo above is from a reader Barbara, who already taken this mission.

Barbara says, "All cups going to thrift shop. I kept 6 additional cups that now have a great spot in me cupboard."

In addition, here's a photo submitted by Brandy, who also to get rid of some her mugs.

Coffee cups and mugs that Brandy decluttered as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101


Have you done this mission? If so, please share your photos here and I'll add them to the page.

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365
I hope seeing these pictures has inspired you to declutter your cups and mugs.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

How to declutter coffee mugs and cups {one of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Box of decluttered mugs courtesy of a reader, Kim

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Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Challenge

Go From Declutter Coffee Mugs & Cups To Home Page

Comments for Here's The Coffee Cups I Decluttered

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let each person choose their favorite that you don't declutter
by: Betsylan

When I decluttered our coffee mugs I let each person choose their favorites. We made the kids pick no more than 3 to keep, however I think each of them may have taken one each to grandma's house, but it's not in my cabinet now.

Gift mugs
by: Anonymous

My issue with mugs has always been that so many of them were gifts and I hate giving away gifts. I finally had to come to terms with that and give away a few which I either did not really care for or I thought it unlikely the giver would ever be having coffee at my house! 😊

things given to you - hard to give away
by: Anonymous

It is a wonder how we collect more cups and glasses. Then give them to charity and they have so many but very few that are the same. I hate to give things away that some one has given me; even if it is a cup or glass. How do feel good about getting rid of things people have given us? I have cups and saucers that was giving to me over 30 years ago. They asked me not to give them away when they gave them to me.

Hooks
by: Anonymous

I installed cup hooks under two of my shelves. I can store the coffee cups from my china set as well as 1 additional set of mugs. I still have a few mugs that sit on the shelves but I have reduced the number considerably.

Double Decker Lazy Susan
by: Deana

I recently added a double level lazy susan, from Amazon, into my coffee mug cabinet. Love it. Holds a perfect amount and easy to spin around for my mug of choice for the day. Mostly Disney. Instead of the same ones getting used over and over.

Mugs x people x dishwasher - my formula for how many to keep
by: Dennis

I have cut down the number of mugs according to how often the dishwasher is run! People using mugs, 2. Dishwasher runs about every 3 days. Soooo, 2x3 = 6 mugs. Maybe 2 more as backups. Or I could just wash the same 2 mugs everyday.

Cups are the hardest! Who would have thought!
by: Vi

I cannot tell you how I have struggled with this one! It seems I have bought a coffee cup at various occasions. Like when we went to Cirque de Sole (forgive my spellings), in Vegas, I bought the neatest Elvis cup I can't seem to part with. And then there are the gifts! Lou gave me a cup from the new firm he joined! Actually I think this one is another problem. I can't seem to discard anything he gave me, and that is even more profound since he died 5 years ago.

I did take two boxes of cups to the good will, but I kept all the "Special" ones, 8 to be exact. Not counting the 8 that came with my dishes. The funny thing about this is I don't drink coffee anymore! I drink herbal tea, which I drink out of the 6 porcelain cup I got from Japan.

I think I am hopeless when it comes to cups!

Ah - the mugs!
by: Heather

In my tender youth mugs were starting to be a "thing". There was a restaurant called Muggs and mugs were displayed everywhere. Mugs were given to me by work colleagues in Secret Santa exchanges and by friends. I bought them as souvenirs. Until recently I had 10 mug trees, two mug racks and an accordion hat rack full of mugs. I'm down one rack, three mug trees (for now) and still ridding myself of mugs. I swear someone snuck mugs into my place. I don't remember some of them.

Me, too!
by: Marty McGrath

This has been SO much fun to read! Am also a mug hoarder, working on getting rid of one or more, gifting to relatives. The mugs at the thrift store just seem SO lonely!

Keep the memories and gain the space.
by: Anonymous

For mugs bought on trips - take photos of them and add to your vacation photo book. Photograph 3 or more mugs in a line with a plain background. Print a 8x10 and add your favorite morning poem or coffee quote. Keep the memories and gain the space.

Storing Cups and Glasses
by: Anonymous

I'm just curious how many people put their cups/glasses upside down or right side up?

We were just having this argument in my house.

Why we turn our cups upside down.
by: Martha Lane

The reason people turn their cups upside down, according to an article I read, is this:

There were days long ago when cabinets did not have doors, just shelves. The glassed were turned upside down to keep the dust out. Today we do not have that problem. I do not turn my cups upside down because the rims are touching the bottom of the cabinet and because I stack cups inside of each other. It seems to me the bottom of the cabinet would need to be cleaned each time I put the cups away. Hence, I sit them in the upright position.

Collector vs. minimalist
by: Anonymous

DH has DOZENS of mugs in his collection. I put up 16 cup hooks: 8 for him and 8 for me. I only use 4, including our two soup mugs, and he uses his 8. The rest are stored away, making us both happy.

10 left!
by: Rose

We just cleared out 10 mugs. 1 for each person and special mugs were the only ones that made the cut. We are down to 10 mugs in the house.

Mug uses - repurposing
by: Barbara Mock

I recently put a tall decorative bottle of olive oil and different vinegars in mugs I didn't want to get rid of yet. That keeps the bottles from tipping over and the handle makes retrieving from the cupboard easier.

I keep one in the bathroom for drinking water with medicines. It is much easier to handle with my arthritis than a tumbler. Still need to declutter, but at least I've repurposed some of them.

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