When it comes to taking care of our homes, there are countless questions humans will be arguing about until the end of time like:
- Can you crawl into an unmade bed?
- Which way should you hang a toilet paper roll?
- How often do bed sheets need to be cleaned?
And when it comes to the kitchen, perhaps the most asked question of all is: should your cups, glasses and mugs be stored on the shelves or in your cabinets upside down or right side up?
It’s an age-old question with staunch supporters on each side. However, we’re strong advocates that cups should be stored upside down. Still, this divisive opinion does come with a few caveats.
Here’s why you should put away your glassware upside down, how to do it right—plus a few tips on storing glasses for storage or a move.
Why Worry About Placing Glasses Right Side Up vs. Upside Down?
Think this argument sounds ridiculous? You’re not alone. However, there is a lot of validity behind why people commit to storing drinkware in a certain way. From health concerns to minimizing damage, how we put away our more fragile items matter.
Dust, Mites and Other Floating Objects
By placing your cups upside down, those nearly microscopic floating objects can’t fall in. You know those gross, tiny specs that sometimes float up inside your freshly poured drink? That’s often because the cup was placed right side up and those specs settled inside.
Even if you keep a clean home, mice, spiders, cockroaches, ants, and other pests often manage to find a way inside. Once there, why wouldn’t they wander into kitchen cabinets and walk their dirty feet all over your glassware?
Or even worse, these creepy critters sometimes make their way up the glass and fall inside. Surrounded only by tall, slick surfaces, they’re often trapped as they contaminate the cup. With no way out, they’ll also be patiently waiting inside for you to finally get thirsty and grab that glass…
If that image doesn’t give you the chills—what will?
The Argument for Putting it Right Side Up
Those all sound like pretty solid reasons to store your glasses upside down, right? So, why is there still such a push by some to store them right side up? Honestly, there are a few valid reasons worth considering.
When cups aren’t completely dry while putting them away, it’s possible for moisture to get trapped inside. If cups are left upside down for a long period of time, mold and bacteria can potentially grow.
If cleaning isn’t your forte, then the bottom of your shelves or cabinet could get sticky, dusty or even germ-filled. Who wants to put their lips to a glass rim that was just resting a filthy surface?
Thankfully, both of these problems are easy to remedy. Once solved, placing your cups and glasses face down will be a no-brainer.
The first thing you’ll need is a plastic or silicone dish drying mat or shelf liner. These items can be placed on your kitchen counter while cups dry, or even inside the cabinet itself. By allowing cups to fully air out even while upside down, rest assured that no moisture will be stuck inside the glass.
Then, just make sure you’re keeping the bottoms of your cabinets spic and span. It’s easy to forget about this nearly hidden part of your kitchen but only takes a few seconds every week to wipe these surfaces down. With mats and liners, this chore becomes even easier.
The Only Exception
The one time we do suggest storing your glasses right side up is for very delicate, thin glassware and stemware. With such fine, fragile rims paired with a heavier bottom, placing any extra pressure on the glass can lead to damage over time. For these items, store them right side up and carefully clean them out prior to every use.
How to Pack Your Glasses and Cups
As mentioned above, the glass rims are incredibly fragile. By placing the heavier bottoms upwards, the more fragile rims are more protected from chipping as additional items are placed within the box. Also, since they’ll be thoroughly protected by bubble wrap or packing paper, the added pressure mentioned above is minimized.
Now, here are our tips for packing up glasses, cups and mugs:
- Wrap up each glass with sufficient amounts of bubble wrap or packing paper.
- Place a thick layer (or two) of additional bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper at the bottom of your box.
- Place each glass upside down into the box. Ensure you’re not squeezing too many glasses close together as this can cause breakage.
- After one layer is full, place another layer of bubble wrap or packing paper and repeat Step 3.
- Repeat Step 4 until there are at least two inches of space between your item and the box’s top.
- Add another layer of bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper while being careful not to overstuff the box. Note: The top of the box should be entirely flat.
- Tape the box up, label the contents inside and write “FRAGILE” in large letters
Now, you’re all set to safely and securely move your glassware to their new home.