Avoiding kitchen counter cup clutter!

**This is a repost I did about how to try to control all those cups on the counter. I’m assuming that’s a common problem right now, with the kids home from school.**

I don’t nag (as much) anymore about those cups all over the counter. What I call ‘cup clutter’. The ones that always end up filling the counter then being enough to almost fill the dishwasher. It was beyond me that we could have a dozen cups/mugs on the counter within a couple of hours and we are only a family of four!

Here is what I did. Is this picture self explanatory?


I saw a post on Pinterest and it gave me my project idea. This link takes you to the original creator’s website. It is custom coasters on a custom-made tray. It is so cute and so creative!
Cute coaster tray.

I loved it but I wanted to be able to put everything away quickly without a storage challenge. Plus, I was too lazy to figure out how to make the tray. So, I modified.

How well did it work? I’m happy! It’s not perfect, but I’m happy. The implementation was easy. I didn’t gather my family together to nag over the cups on the counter. One afternoon, I cleaned all my counters and put the coasters, each with a family member’s initials, on the counter. The kids looked at them quizzically the first time. Then, magically they began putting their cups on their own coaster. The best part was I didn’t have to say a word. No begging, pleading or nagging. It was funny though because the space between the tiles kept getting bigger and bigger. The kids wanted to make sure their cups have no opportunity to touch. Brother germs :)

Much less of my counter looking like this:


My husband was the last convert. His morning coffee mug was everywhere but on his coaster. I didn’t say a word about it and about 4 days later, his mug was on his tile! You would have laughed at me about how happy and excited I was. But, I didn’t say a word….

The key is, I must have the dishwasher empty so that other dishes don’t start cluttering the counter. When there is one bowl or dish on the counter, an hour later there are tons. I honestly think a big part of the success was that I didn’t say anything about how to use the coaster system or that everyone HAS to use it. I love it. Anytime I do a load, I just take those 4 cups/mugs and add them into the dishwasher. So much better than unloading the dishwasher only to totally fill it with another load of cups from on top of the counter.

Yes, I got very excited about this. That comes from living in Wisconsin, a long winter and having no where to go. Sorry, but that is my reality right now!

Tiles were from Home Depot. Plain white ones are as cheap as $0.11. Of course, my tiles cost $3.00 each. They are a frosted glass. The initials are what make these! I was able to choose my own color, font and size. You can too! I was thrilled to find someone in my own subdivision that could make permanent letters for the tiles. Find a friend with a Circuit machine and ask if they’ll help you out. Of course, you’ll want to reimburse them for supplies. Or, you could Modge Podge something on the tile too. I haven’t tried mode lodging yet, but I have bough the supplies!

How do you control cup clutter in your home?


  1. says

    Yes, the best part was the fact that there was no nagging, lecturing or anything. That is what I think will make this succeed! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Anonymous says

    So I read your blog…then did an inventory of our kitchen counters…sadly 5 cups/glasses and all mine (and I dare not venture into other rooms or will witness my trail of abandoned cups!). Good for you for creating a fun solution without the need for nagging!

  3. Lori van says

    Great idea! I’ve been trying to implement a similar strategy. We have lots of tervis tumblers with different pictures so each kid picked one and they are supposed to use that one instead of continually taking new ones. Mixed results. The problem is when the cup is taken up to the bedside table at night and then left there.

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