How Home Organizers and Baristas Organize Their Coffee Mugs


For many of us, coffee is an essential part of our morning routines. As home organizers and baristas know well, having an efficient system for storing, organizing, and accessing coffee mugs can make our mornings run more smoothly. From keeping mugs readily available to coordinating colors and patterns, organizers and baristas have developed clever solutions for coffee cup organization that help set their days up for success.

In this article, we’ll look at various tips, ideas, and best practices for organizing coffee mugs at home and in cafes. Whether you need to corral a vast collection of mugs or make your favorites readily accessible for daily use, these systems can help you keep your cupboards and counters clutter-free. Read on to discover how home organizers and baristas organize their coffee mugs!

How Home Organizers Arrange Coffee Mugs

Home organizers know that an organized coffee mug collection not only looks great but also makes daily coffee prep a breeze. Here are some of their best tips for arranging, storing, and displaying mugs in kitchens and dining areas.

Store Mugs Near the Coffee Maker

Storing mugs near coffee makers for easy access is one of the most important principles organizers emphasize. Keeping mugs by the coffee pot eliminates extra steps and makes it easy to grab a cup when brewing your morning joe.

Use hooks, hanging racks, or open shelving to store mugs right above or next to the coffee station for efficiency. A wall-mounted rack or hanging mugs organizer can clear up counter space while keeping mugs within arm’s reach. For open shelving, consider adding a coffee bar shelf divider to neatly separate mugs from other supplies.

Arrange Mugs by Usage

Home organizers recommend keeping mugs you use most frequently on the most accessible shelves or hooks, while less-used mugs can go on higher shelves or in back rows. Group mugs according to daily use for easy selection in the mornings.

For example, keep mugs for yourself and your partner on the main coffee station hooks, while mugs for guests or occasional use can go on a high shelf nearby. This system ensures you won’t have to hunt through a jumbled mug collection first thing in the morning!

Sort Mugs by Color and Pattern

Arranging mugs by color makes for easy access and a visually pleasing display. Group solid color mugs together, keep patterned mugs like polka dots or florals separate, and store any holiday-themed mugs together.

Consider using interior cup dividers in shelves or drawers to neatly separate different mug groups. You’ll be able to find the perfect mug to match your mood or outfit!

Store Extra Mugs Out of Sight

While it’s nice to display a few favorite mugs, keeping your whole collection visible can create clutter. Home organizers recommend packing surplus mugs neatly into storage containers out of sight.

Look for lidded plastic bins, drawer organizers, or over-the-cabinet coffee mug holders to neatly stash extras. This clears clutter from main work areas while still keeping mugs accessible.

Consider Mug Shapes and Sizes

When arranging mug collections, organizers recommend grouping mugs of similar heights and widths together for optimal use of space.

Store shorter mugs on lower shelves or hooks and taller travel mugs and bulkier handled mugs on higher shelves where they’re less likely to get knocked over. This helps maximize storage and minimize messes!

Barista Tips for Organizing Cafe Mugs

In busy coffee shops, organized mug storage is essential for smooth service. Baristas have perfected specialized systems for keeping mugs handy but out of the way. Here are some of their best tips for organizing the mug collection at a cafe.

Store Mugs Just Under the Espresso Machines

For speed, efficiency, and ergonomics, most baristas store mugs directly underneath espresso machines within easy reach. This setup eliminates extra steps and makes it easy to go from pulling shots to prepping drinks.

Look for shelves or racks that fit neatly under the espresso machine. A mounted rack works perfectly and keeps the mug shelf hidden away from customers. For a more compact setup, opt for a tiered mug tree placed right below the machine.

Separate Personal Cups from Cafe Drinkware

To avoid mix-ups, baristas recommend storing house drinkware separately from customers’ personal reusable mugs. Use different shelves, hooks, or mug trees to keep these mugs easily distinguishable when prepping beverages.

Labeling shelves and hooks with “Cafe Mugs” and “Personal Mugs” signs helps baristas quickly differentiate. This prevents personal mugs from accidentally being used for other customers’ drinks.

Organize Mugs by Size and Type

Baristas often store mugs on tiered racks with the tallest mugs on top shelves and shorter ones on lower shelves. This allows them to easily select the right sized mug when making each beverage. Keeping like sizes together also helps maximize storage space.

Beyond height, baristas may also group mugs by type, keeping espresso mugs separate from coffee mugs. Labelling shelves by drink type or mug size makes for ultra-efficient beverage assembly.

Opt for Durable Commercial-Grade Racks

In a busy cafe, mug organizers need to be durable and secure to withstand heavy daily use. Baristas recommend sturdy commercial-grade mug racks made from strong materials like metal and industrial plastic.

Shelves with lip edges help secure mugs, while weighted racks prevent tipping. Materials like powder-coated steel resist rust and scratches even with heavy use. Sturdy racks protect both baristas and mugs!

Allow for Quick and Easy Restocking

Baristas need to be able to swiftly restock mug shelves between the morning, lunch, and evening rushes. Opt for open racks rather than enclosed cabinets to allow quick access.

Make sure shelves are within easy reach for restocking. Wall-mounted racks allow mugs to be loaded at ideal heights. Ample space also allows baristas to replenish mugs quickly as needed throughout the day.

Key Considerations When Organizing Coffee Mugs

Whether you’re arranging mugs at home or work, keep these key factors in mind for an optimized setup:

  • Prioritize Accessibility: Keep frequently used mugs within easy reach. Reserve higher, hard-to-access space for extras.
  • Group by Usage: Arrange the mugs you use daily together for easy selection. Store special occasion mugs separately.
  • Separate Personal & Shared Items: In cafes, keep staff and customer mugs separate to avoid mix-ups.
  • Consider Dimensions: Store shorter mugs on lower shelves and taller items up high. This allows you to maximize space.
  • Materials Matter: Opt for organizing systems made of durable materials to withstand daily use.
  • Allow for Restocking: Open shelves and racks make it easy to swiftly replenish mugs as needed.

Creative and Practical Mug Storage Ideas

Beyond the basics, there are lots of creative ways to store coffee mugs at home or work. Here are some fun and functional ideas to try:

With a little creativity, the possibilities for cool coffee mug storage are endless! The key is finding a system that keeps your favorites within easy reach.

FAQs About Organizing Coffee Mugs

Should coffee mugs hang or sit on shelves?

This depends on personal preference! Hanging mugs saves space and keeps counters clear, but makes accessing them slightly less convenient. Open shelving takes up more room but allows ultra-easy access. Choose whatever works best for your kitchen or cafe layout.

How should you organize mugs in deep drawers?

Use small drawer dividers to create compartments for stacking mugs inside deep drawers vertically. You can also lay mugs sideways and use tall cutlery dividers to keep rows and types separate.

What kinds of materials work best for mug organizers?

Look for mug organizers made from durable materials like powder-coated steel, thick plastic, or solid wood. Chrome-plated steel, aluminum, and bamboo also make sturdy, long-lasting mug organizer materials. Avoid thinner wire racks or flimsy materials prone to bending.

How do you prevent coffee mugs from chipping in storage?

Use liner materials inside storage systems to cushion mugs and prevent chips or scratches. Felt, foam, or silicone cupcake/muffin liners work great inside cabinets or drawers. You can also wrap mugs with soft dish towels before stacking to protect the surfaces.

What’s the best way to organize personalized mugs?

Keep personalized mugs separate from other drinkware for easy identification. Store each person’s mug(s) together, using methods like initial charms or name labels to mark whose is whose. A wall-mounted rack with hooks lets everyone claim their own spot.


Organizing your mug collection helps make coffee prep a breeze whether at home or work. By keeping frequently used mugs within reach, separating personal and shared drinkware, and using sturdy storage methods, you can optimize your coffee station efficiency. Get inspired by these tips from professional home organizers and baristas who have mug organization down to an art. Find a system that clears clutter, fits your space, and makes your favorites easy to access. Your mornings will feel simpler and smoother when you’re not digging for mugs!