Simple Solutions: What To Do With All of Those Cups

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There are three small, always-thirsty people living  in my house. This means, of course, that I spend a good portion of my day getting drinks for those small people. And don’t even get me started on how many drinks I pour when my children have play dates. The answer, if you are doing the math at home, is many.

My children have this wonderful little habit of drinking half of whatever is in their cup and then leaving the cup behind on the kitchen table, on the counter, by the computer, in the basement—just about anywhere. And then, they have the nerve to come and find me half an hour later and ask me for another drink. I have about fifty plastic cups in my house and I’m fairly certain all fifty get washed on a daily basis.

I think, though, that I may have come up with a solution to this cup dilemma. I have designated a spot on our kitchen counter; a spot that is easily accessible to short people. When I find half-empty cups that have been abandoned in the house, they get put in that spot. If a child is thirsty, he or she can go and reclaim the cup. That’s it. They get one cup.

What about you? Any good ideas avoiding a dishwasher full of cups?

—Ali, senior associate editor of

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