A Second Life: Mugs

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One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday or Sunday is what I call “shop” my own home. While finding a fun new addition to your coffee table at HomeGoods can be thrilling, I often forget that I already own a lot of items that aren’t being used. Sometimes I’ve put them away to reduce clutter, or I hadn’t previously needed them in a way I do now. For me, giving something old a new life in my home makes my space feel all the more hygge.

If you’ve ever been to my apartment or my mom’s house, one thing that is absolutely always overflowing is our mug collection. It is frequently our go-to souvenir from our latest adventure, and we can’t help but hold onto the old classics we’ve gravitated towards for years.

So during my most recent day of “shopping”, I decided to take a good hard look at my mug collection, and I started to play with the idea of using my mugs for more than just my morning joe.

Make-up products and brushes


While I’m a frequent traveler, I’ve noticed that actually unpacking my makeup and creating a little vanity station for myself has given me a small spark of joy in my morning routine. After a few days at home it’s easy for everything to get jumbled up into one big pile, and having some organization in that small space makes all the difference. Cue: mugs! I’ve been burned before with some of the makeup organizers that have 12 compartments where only 2 fit any of my different cosmetic items, so the mugs I own make for a great solution. I use them for my brushes, pencils, and other lose items that don’t sit well on their own.

Vanity tray mugs

Keys and change

If you’re anything like me, not having a specific place to empty my pockets when I come home turns exiting the apartment into a scavenger hunt for my keys, headphones, etc. Mugs or unused bowls make for a great “foyer” catch-all dish where you can drop these essentials right when you walk in the door.


I spent the first 6 months in our apartment constantly struggling to find a pen or sharpie in my purse, between the seat cushions, or where ever else those buggers make their way to when they don’t have a home. Finally, I realized something I use so frequently should have a home. Living in a small apartment, drawers and storage are limited, so utilizing a mug was the perfect solution.


While you can’t go wrong with a typical vase when you bring home a bouquet of flowers, I love the look of breaking up a larger bouquet into smaller bunches and placing them into mugs that I scatter around our home. I think flowers make any room so much happier, and a little bunch nestled on my bed-side table really makes our space feel more hygge.

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My favorite part about re-purposing these mugs is that I not only get to avoid spending money on something as silly as a makeup brush holder or a pen cup, but I’ve been able to put these pretty items on display rather than keep them tucked away in the back of my cupboard. Even if you don’t have spare mugs and you need a vessel for organizing some of your knickknacks, opting for a cute mug instead of a standard container can give a homey feel to your space that you’d otherwise miss.