Coffee Mugs – More Organization

Before I moved from the valley I had five milk crates of various coffee mugs listed on eBay. I stored them on a shelf in my garage and it was not big deal to pull one to ship. When I moved to the mountains and stored them in the eBay room in the Quonset Hut, it was a pain! When one would sell I dreaded having to search through the crates to try to find the right mug. I also had to wash them because they were covered in dust and just didn’t look very good. Not a big deal unless you’re on a tight schedule and trying to get your shipping done before the postal carrier arrives. I realized that my ‘crate system’ was not working!

As with most dilemmas like this, I spend some time thinking about the process. What could I do to make things faster? Better? Easier? Then one day it hit me….the simplest thing! Store the mugs upside down. I was like DUH! I kept thinking about this and pondering ways to streamline the entire process of finding, pulling and shipping a mug. If they are stored upside down, how am I going to be able to easily find what I need and pull it from the two-layers in each create? And then it hit me!

With the help of my fabulous minions, we pulled five crates of mugs from the Quonset Hut and brought them to the porch. We wiped every one down and then took them to the kitchen to be washed. I decided that washing them all at once was going to speed up the shipping process when one sold. We washed them and sat them out to dry. Then we sorted like mugs together, first all the Starbucks, then Disney, then we grouped similar themes together.

When they were all lined up on the counter, I took a dry erase pen and I numbered the bottom of each mug! Simple and genius, right!? I did do a test to make sure the dry erase would easily come off and it does. I packed the mugs safely back in the crates, stacking them two high and carefully noted which crate each mug was in. I transferred this date to the Custom Field of my listing (#05 Green 1, #89 Green 2, #34 Gray) and each time a mug sells all I have to think about is how much profit I made on that sale. Pulling my inventory to pack and ship now just takes minutes.

So the moral of the story is store your mugs upside down and number the bottoms with a dry erase pen. You’re welcome America!