The spare change issue is handled, as it has been for some time, by a hollow architectural glass block. I removed a lamp which I never used and a what-not box full of... not-sure-what, and filed numerous bits of paper and disposed of even more numerous bits of paper. After clearing some space, I needed something in which to drop keys and pencils and billfolds and things.
The first solution which came to mind was to use the utilitarian clay bowl by Warren MacKenzie which was a gift from friends several years ago. Yes, I own a piece of "name" art pottery; I trust you are duly impressed. As it turns out, the MacKenzie bowl is currently in use by other household members, filled with rubbish that makes my rubbish look... less rubbishy. Also, upon looking at it, I realized the bowl was probably too small for my needs.
Now that I had the idea of a ceramic piece in mind, I pondered my options, which were pretty much limited to plastic, until I had the brilliant idea of raiding the potting shed.
Okay, I don't really have a potting shed. It's more like a pile of old flower pots and plastic pails half-buried in dirt and leaves near the back porch. In this pile, however, are a half-dozen fairly standard red clay pots with matching red clay saucers. I have something of an appreciation for red clay flowerpots, and I purchased these several years ago. They've spent much of the intervening time empty, being moved from storage place to storage place. It's a bit sad, I suppose, but the pots are rather stoic about it.
I found the cleanest of the red pots, which was none too clean, chased a baby centipede out of it, found a matching saucer, and scrubbed 'em up in the kitchen sink. There's still a touch of green in some of the crevices, but it's sufficiently nominal to qualify as "patina" rather than "dirt."
So, I'm using a clay flowerpot to hold my wallet and keys and checkbook and, yes, "pocket cahier." I should write a book based on my decorating acumen: Funky Things to Keep Your Keys In.
As for the rest of the crap that was on the dresser, the fifteen books and twenty-gazillion pencils and all that: I dumped most of it on the other dresser, where it shall remain as a task and a story for another day.