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Warning: Mugs on the loose! What to do with your surplus of office mugs.

by Celine on February 22nd, 2008

Whether it’s a souvenir from your company or a gift from your coworkers, you probably receive at least one mug a year.

See the photo above? That’s all the extra mugs I own. Extra. Meaning, these are the mugs left unused in my home. From my count, these are 24 extra mugs. Do you know how old I am? I’m 24. It’s like I’ve been given at least one mug a year since I was born!

Obviously, it would sound insane to keep all these mugs (even if that’s what I’ve been doing the past few years). So what does one do when their home or office is overrun with mugs? Here are some ideas:

Regift them. Just make sure you don’t give them back to the same person. That would be embarrassing. Also, make sure the regifted mugs are in good-as-new condition.

Give them away. To charity, to a needy person, etc. I gave half of mine to the junkyard dealers who showed an interest in them (they came over to pick up some other stuf, but saw the mugs too). If you’re not going to use them yourself, it’s much better that they go to people who can actually use them.

Art-ify them. You can make old, boring designs your own by turning the old mugs into an art project. Here’s a great tip from instructables on how to do it.

Plant in them. You can put soil and a seedling or seeds in old mugs and watch them grow. The downside is that the mug doesn’t have a hole under it, so you risk drowning the plants. Either be careful with your watering or find a way to carefully drill a small hole under it. (The picture on the right is from my plant mug.) Great to put in your cubicle.

Sell them. You can host a garage sale and include your mugs. If you really want to sell them quickly, you should price it at a “please just take it away from me” price. I don’t think you could sell personalized mugs, though. So try to keep those instead.

Any other ideas on how to reuse those old mugs?

POSTED IN: Workplace hacks, Workplace pimps

3 opinions for Warning: Mugs on the loose! What to do with your surplus of office mugs.

  • Jennifer Hofmann
    Feb 22, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I always wonder - where do they *come* from? And why does everyone think that a mug makes a nice gift? Personally, I already have a favorite mug that I picked out myself and will accept no substitute.

    There ought to be a national “Don’t Buy Another Mug Day.” Or, at least, don’t give Celine a mug for her 25th birthday! :)

  • Sublime to Ridiculous: Organizing tips from business gurus
    Feb 22, 2020 at 10:17 am

    […] Celine at Pimp Your Work writes about the perennial problem of too many mugs at the office (and what to do about it). […]

  • Celine
    Feb 22, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I agree, Jennifer, a “Don’t Buy Another Mug Day” is needed. As for where they come from, here are some theories (some of which are proven):

    - relatives who don’t know you well
    - your mother who keeps buying them as souvenirs from whatever state she visits (Virginia! Texas! Washington!)
    - aliens from outer space

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