What to Do With All Those Coffee Mugs
A while back, Julie wrote a great piece on affordable gifts for five dollars and under. Afterwards, there was some discussion between those who enjoyed gifts packaged in coffee mugs and those who did not. Regardless of the debate, one thing was clear. There are more than enough of these things floating around out there. What to do with them if you happen to have a large batch kicking around?
1. Cosmetics holder.
Vertically stored lip and eye liners, make up brushes, cotton swabs, lip gloss, mascara . . . Loads of daily use personal items can be stored in these.
2. Men’s shaving items.
The lather bar, safety razor and brush will need to be purchased separately of course, but this is one way to go green and not toss another disposable razor into the landfill.
3. A thrifty re-gifting option.
Obviously, you’ll want to use an undamaged, non tacky one. But if you’re looking for a way to cut back on the number of purchased ones floating around, this option might be for you.
4. Seedling starter.
A great house warming idea for someone just starting out would be to bring some herb plants in coordinating coffee mugs. This would also work if you were changing your color scheme or dish set and wanted to help the recent college grad in your life get a head start on setting up a home.
5. Package a gift in it.
This is basically the area where most of the discussion took place in Julie's post. If you’re seriously OK with suggestion number three, or are comfortable with yard sale purchases of good condition mugs, here are some great gift ideas you can package in, or give with, a mug: candy, chocolate covered spoons, cake-in-a-mug, old fashioned shaving kit, coffee and Irish cream, soup mix, etc. Particularly a good idea if the mug is a sentimental one, handed down within a family.
6. Pay it forward.
If you are looking to get rid of a bunch of extras around the house, consider donating them to a prison release program, homeless shelter or women’s transition program. Usually, these folks are trying desperately to reintegrate into society and fit in well at a new job. When you are starting from scratch, not having to dish out even a few extra thrift store pennies can be a huge help, and something as simple as being able to bring their own coffee cup to work on the first day can be a huge initial step towards feeling normal again.
7. Office hospitality.
Clients, college student tours, the new intern, or drop by investors. These are all people that could show up at your office needing some sort of vessel to drink from. Sure, a few of these go a long way. But isn’t this a better idea than storing and tossing all that styrofoam?
8. Impromptu scoop.
You need something to refill the smaller containers with, so why not use what's on hand? Keep one in that food storage bucket of grain or macaroni, or in the salt bag you might have next to your door to keep down the slippery factor on your front steps.
This may not be the sexiest list of ideas on the web, but if it helps a few other items stay out of a landfill and find a second use, I’m happy. Let me know if you have any other great ideas for reusing old mugs. I’m sure the rest of our readers could benefit from the information.