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Promotional Mugs

2011 September 1

What to do if you GASP every time you open the kitchen cabinet!

Open up your kitchen cabinet where you keep your cups and peer inside. What exactly do you see? If you’re like most families, there is probably a collection of cups, mugs, and glasses that you’ve acquired throughout the years. The trouble is you’re running out of space for all these cups! The average family doesn’t need an array of forty promotional mugs that’s you’ve received from events and companies throughout the years, but you don’t want to just throw them away. There’s an easy solution to this “problem.” I know you probably don’t want to toss that Geico mug that your aunt gave you from her company picnic, or the Dunkin Donuts thermos that your Dad bought you when you started your first job. Instead of getting rid of all those promotional mugs, find a use for them!

Be creative with what you use these mugs/cups for. They don’t always have to be used for drinking out of! Growing up, I can recall my parents and grandparents using mugs and cups to hold all sorts of things. When my father would bring home a car dealership promotional mug, it would sit on the table for a few days until my mother would literally find things to put in it. Pens, rubber bands, paper clips, and pretty much anything else lying around the house went into the mug. Hopefully not everyone’s homes are this cluttered, but it doesn’t mean a nice looking mug won’t come in handy when you’re looking for a spot for your odds and ends.

You could also bring some of your promotional mugs to work. If you can deal with the idea of parting with your precious gifts, hand them out to your co-workers in the office. Also, make it fun by having a mug free-for-all. Put them on your desk and let your co-workers choose with ones they would like to keep on their desks or take home with them. Use them to hold things on your desk, or just to add a little something to your drab cubicle.

Another creative way to ditch the mugs without throwing them out is to donate them to your favorite restaurant. This might sound a bit bazaar, but some mom & pop type restaurants collect their best patron’s mugs to hang up around the dining room. The idea is to give it a homey feel for the regulars. I once attended a diner in Brigantine, New Jersey called Mad Dog Morgan’s, which is where I first saw this idea in put into action. Brigantine residents would bring in old coffee mugs that they would choose to represent them. The mugs are hung up behind the register, and those who visit the island get to see what the townsfolk have donated to the restaurant. It’s a cool way to make the customers feel important and like they’re really a part of the community.

Any really nice mugs, glasses, kitchen appliances, etc. can either be sold to thrift stores or donated. This could be a good way to clean out all the extra odds and ends around your house, garage, attic, basement, or wherever. If you can’t take your things to a flea market or thrift shop, try having a garage/yard sale. Lots of communities organize collective neighborhood-wide yard sales where anyone trying to have one will plan it on the same day. It’s a good way to bring people into the area by word of mouth, because everyone’s going to be advertising like crazy. Post flyers in neighboring towns and try to get as many people around you involved.

A last option could be “re-gifting.” I’m sure you’re thinking, “No way, I can’t stoop that low!” However, re-giving doesn’t necessarily mean just giving away a gift that you don’t want. It could be done in a humorous or sentimental way. For example, if your son gave you a mug saying “World’s Best Dad” when he was ten, and now he is expecting a child, you could give the mug back to him. It’s a touching way to keep things within the family, and also shows how much you cherished that very gift. A funny way to go about “re-gifting” involves a promotional mug from someone’s previous employer. Say your sister gave you a mug from the company she was working at, and then got another job. You could give the mug back to her with a note saying “Upgrade?” –implying that you want one from her new job instead!

What you should take away from all of this is that you don’t have to be frightened and overwhelmed to open that cluttered kitchen cabinet. Don’t feel as though weeding through all those old wine glasses and promotional mugs is daunting task. It’s a battle we’ve all come to know, and can be easily dealt with.


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