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As your kitchen sees more chaos and activity than any other room in the house, organizing its contents efficiently is essential. The right system will go a long way toward keeping you sane and meals timely. One of the most challenging storage issues is for glasses and cups. How do you store these? There's a hierarchy to follow whether you have plenty of space or are dealing with a tiny kitchen.
The two rules to follow when arranging your drinkware are:
- Store within easy reach, but not on the first shelf
- Organize by how often each piece is used
These general ideas will guide your organization. However, since there are several different types of glasses and cups, including juice cups, wine glasses, and coffee mugs, there's some additional nuance to storing them all.
Why The Second Shelf?
Have you ever been scrambling eggs and needed to plate them suddenly lest they burn? Or how about removed a tray of French fries from the oven and needed to appease your kids by passing them out as fast as possible?
Specific foodstuff aside, plates tend to be the item you're most likely to need at a moment's notice while you're cooking. For this reason, it's best to make them the most accessible wares in your kitchen. If an efficient organization is what you're going for, plates have their claim on the first shelf.
Of course, since glasses and cups are likely to receive everyday use, they'll need to be easy to access, as well. This makes the second shelf up an ideal candidate for their storage.
The exception would be if you have enough cabinet space to devote an entire section to drinking glasses. Then naturally storing some cups on the first shelf is encouraged.
Organizing Based on Frequency
Whether you only need one shelf for all your glasses and cups or you have to separate them by type because there are so many, you'll want to organize these items based on how often you use them. For example, if you have a favorite coffee mug and use all other cups and glasses infrequently, the coffee mug should sit in front.
From there, you should be able to come up with an optimal arrangement for your cups and glasses shelf.
Breaking it Down By Type
Still having trouble working out your ideal storage system? Let's discuss all the types of cups and glasses at length to help you along.
How Do You Store Your Drinking Glasses?
Whether they are glass or plastic, you're bound to have cups meant for everyday use. Think mason-jar like glasses perfect for both water and soda, like these.
You might also have all-purpose tumblers.
Finally, juice cups that allow you to have a nice glass of orange juice first thing in the morning also belong in this category.
Typically, these glasses will get used more often when there is company over, though some people will also utilize them in their everyday life. The best way to store them is to leave one or two of each toward the front of the shelf. Use a higher shelf to store the overflow that you can break out when guests arrive.
Is it Better To Store Glasses Up or Down?
The reasoning behind the age-old question of whether you should store glasses up or down is that one prevents dust from gathering inside. On the flip side, storing cups face-down could trap moisture inside and result in the formation of mildew.
So which orientation is cleanliest? It depends more on how frequently you use your cups.
If specific glasses see everyday use, there won't be time for dust or mildew to collect. Since storing them upside down could put stress on the most fragile part of the cup, i.e., the rim, your best bet is to go right-side up.
Since you're not likely to wash the other glasses too often since you're not using them, they shouldn't be at risk for gathering mildew. However, dust is a threat. Therefore, store less used cups upside down. Just be sure to give them a good dry before doing so.
Still not convinced that you'll be safe from mold? Learn more about mildew and how to prevent it here.
What Is the Best Way to Store Wine Glasses?
Wine glasses are special in that tricky sort of way, and storing them depends a lot on what type you have.
Do you have stemless glasses, like these?
If the answer is yes, you can follow the general principles we've already discussed. Keep a few within easy reach if you or members of your household use them regularly. Otherwise, putting wine glasses on a higher shelf to be accessed when company comes over is a good idea.
On the other hand, say you have stemware, like these.
The stem makes it a little trickier to find the optimal storage arrangement. Furthermore, both the stem and the rim can be easy to break.
To get around their unwieldy design, you have two options. The first is to get a special rack from which to hang the glasses. Take this easy-to-install gadget, for example.
The second option is to alternate storing them upside down and right-side up. This allows you to fit more glasses onto one shelf.
How Do You Keep Wine Glasses From Getting Dusty?
Of your wine glass storage options, one is more likely to cause a buildup of dust than the other. Unfortunately, it's the wine glass rack.
Having wine glasses outside the cupboard simply exposes them to more dust. The way to get around this is to rinse them and wipe them down before you use them.
How Should You Store Mugs?
Coffee mugs can vary greatly in size and shape, making them even more difficult to store. As with the other types of glasses and cups, the best way to organize them is by which mugs you favor. Frequently used pieces in the front and unused cups in the back or on a higher shelf.
Of course, if you are looking to make your life simpler, you could purchase a uniform coffee mug set. Consider this charming set with its neutral color palette.
Want something a bit more playful? Consider these.
So, Upside Down or Right-Side Up?
Because mugs tend to be a little thicker than other cups, it's perfectly safe to store them upside down. You're not at as much risk for putting too much stress on the cup.
Of course, the same pros and cons apply. Storing them right-side-up invites more dust while storing them upside down can trap moisture.
Simply be sure to wipe down mugs before use if you haven't taken them out of the cupboard in a while.
Organization beyond Cups and Glasses
Now that you know how to store your glassware, you'll need to arrange the rest of your kitchen. If you're working from the bottom up, you should start with our tips for under-the-sink storage.
Also necessary reading, we outline all the types of pots and pans you might need in your kitchen. Make sure you're fully stocked before you start organizing. Having to buy kitchen utensils after you've perfected the setup will throw the whole room off.