Solving the big issues: Turn the cup around

I have come to love these mundane and mindless discussions about what would appear on face value to be of not much interest to people. Boy was I wrong. These small issues…well, they are quite big issues. HUGE. Important. People feel very strongly about the way a bed is made, or washing washed. Who knew?

This week I wanted to look at the placement of cups/glasses in your cupboard/shelf. Yep, that. I am always intrigued to see inside people’s cupboards and the question lies: cup up or down? I see some with the cup down – the rim placed on the shelf which would appear to me, the dirtiest part of the shelf. Others, shall we say, the people who are right, IE me, place cups/mugs up with the rim up (standing up) gathering dust and filth that way. And then where should the optimum cupboard placement for glasses be? A top shelf or down below? We have glasses up high and mugs down below. Namely because when we moved into our house my kind Mother in law unpacked the kitchen and that’s where she chose. And then there is the open shelf which I believe, is fabulous in kitchens because I like how it looks. But it’s dusty right? Should the kitchen be closed in, or open for all the world to see?

So what say you, up or down? Optimum cupboard placement? And open or closed shelves? And, most importantly, does it really matter?


  1. I’m a cup up kinda girl. Don’t ask me why. It’s just the way it happens.

  2. Rim up. Always have done this. Now feel justified as I read in a trade magazine that the rim is the weakest part of glass, mug etc and breaks more easily if placed down.

  3. Cups down all the way.
    Coffee and Tea cups on the top shelf and glasses on the next shelf down. No reason, that’s just how I roll.

  4. Cup down here, for all cups/glassware.

  5. Rim down, on a padded mat thing (to stop them moving). They fitt better this way.

    That said, our cups and glasses were in a drawer, so they needed to be stable enough not to topple over when pulling the drawer out and putting it back in.

  6. Rim up definitely. I find they get smelly otherwise with the musty air inside. You must allow the cup to breathe. We have wine glasses up top, drinking glasses and mugs below. Apparently open shelves are ok for things you use all the time so there’s no chance to get dusty. But the shelves themselves would surely get dusty, right?

  7. I’m certainly an up girl, it looks better, I’m all about the asthetics – frightenly I had never considered how gross it is to store you mugs down – eewwww. My glasses and mugs are both stored in high cupboards, the glasses beside the fridge, and the mugs above the kettle.

  8. I’m a cup down kind of girl the thought of a cockroach running around in my cup whilst I sleep disturbs me

  9. Anonymous says

    Rim DOWN! (Like you said Beth) Otherwise the dust collects in there and rewashing is necessary. The inside of the cupboards only see clean dishes so should not be dirty when the rim touches yeah?!

    We have all breakables up high and plastics down low for the kiddies πŸ™‚

    Not sure what you mean about open cupboards…I like pots hanging from the roof (or rack thing that I do not know the name of).

    Sarah Jean Xx

  10. UH! I totally thought about this last week whilst unpacking the dishes – AND I even thought that it would be something that you would write about! Go figure. I’m only devastated I didn’t get to use the subject matter first…

    In our house? Glasses and Mugs in the same top draw, all standing up. For no particular reason. But I do know that they never stay in there long enough to get dusty – I drink waaaaay too much tea for that!

  11. I don’t have a preference, but just wanted to say that’s a very nice DoF on your mug shot there. : )

  12. i don’t think i have an opinion on this one mate, doesn’t really bother me too much.
    alas, the order in which dishes are washed is like a dance with the devil. i’m talking your old school hand dish washing variety. if glasses/mugs aren’t washed first and foremost, i just about lose my shit.
    you can thank me for that nugget of craziness later.

    • Well DER. As IF you could wash up ANY OTHER WAY! If you didn’t do glasses first they wouldn’t get all that hot soapy goodness and you would have bits of food and general YUCK floating in the water when you washed them. Do you rinse in hot water too after the wash for the glasses? Essential I think.

      I love the organic nature of these discussions. Something far more important usually comes up!

    • Pamela G says

      YES. Glasses must be washed first, in the hottest and cleanest and soapiest water. And then a hot water rinse. Any other way is not different, it is wrong. WRONG! *shakes fist*

    • Yes! Thank you! My husband washes willy nilly and it drives me crazy! First baby bottles, then glassware, then everything else. It is just good common sense.
      Although I might take this dishwashing rule too far…sometimes my husband catches me rewashing glasses…and then he threatens never to do the dishes again!
      So which is worse? Having glasses that might be contaminated with yuck or a husband who won’t help with the dishes?

    • Dude! I wash and rinse in scalding water…not just glasses. Everything gets a scald through fresh water cos you just never know what germs are on my rubber gloves that I happen to wear whilst using antibacterial hand wash after. every. wash. Fuck, I really am crazy.

    • Also, could you please address the issue of raw meat? Specifically what you do after you cut raw meat? I was cutting chicken the other day and thought of your posts.
      After I am done with raw meat I wash my cutting board and knife in scalding, soapy water and then I put them in the dirty dishes pile to be washed again. And I also wash the sponge that I used in scalding, soapy water to get any germs off of it.
      Is that overkill? Do I do too little? Am I just right?

  13. i have a pathological hatred of kitchen cupboards.
    that. is. all.

    • I knew you would. Open shelves all the way then? It’s more aesthetically pleasing I think too. And you know what? You are an expert on the matter. Being GOURMET GIRLFRIEND and all.

  14. I have no idea why I do this, I think my mum did the same, but in our house mugs are rim down and glasses are rim up.

  15. Cups are rim down all the way May! The dust people, the moths and the bugs. Oh the humanity :)! Especially on those less often used “good stemware pieces”. It’s also often more stable for glasses to be rim down as it’s the widest part.
    Then there’s the shelf order which is apparently pretty standard: Tumblers are on the lowest shelf, wine and champers up the top with mugs etc in a separate cupboard closer to the kettle.
    PS: freaking love these posts!!!

  16. Oh look. I think Beth you and I are the same person. Totally cups up, I don’t cope with dirty rims. We have ours in fabulous pull out drawers but I do love an open shelf. Next big issue please!

  17. Anonymous says

    Rims down! I think the important matter here is why do people say the rim will get dirty if rim is down… Are your cupboards not clean people πŸ˜‰

  18. All cups rim up, no exceptions. I have a fabulous balinese buffet with slatted cupboard doors, and I have just dusted the inside of the cupboards- yucky.You wouldn’t believe the amount of dust that ends up on my serving platters and casserole dishes in there. If I had to choose again I would absolutely get fully enclosed doors!!

  19. Cup down. That way it doesn’t fill with dust if you don’t use it in a while. Also means you are picking it up by the bottom and not adding germs from your fingers to the rim. Most people have poor hand hygiene!

  20. RIMS DOWN. I look forward to the issue on pegs. I am unnatural about pegs.

  21. Our wine glasses are all up but the rest are any which way depending on who got them out of the dishwasher and I’m not that fussed either way. Heck if someone’s going to empty the dishwasher I’m happy.

  22. I thought about this one, when reading your other tough issues. I’m a rim up and the man is rim down, I’m forever turning them around. Coffee mugs and drinking glasses on bottom shelf above kettle, cause that’s where I can reach them. Wine glasses on top shelf. Typing this ‘outloud’ I think I should swap them, I need a chair to reach wine glasses, the inconvenience! Washing glasses first, had never thought of that. Shame on me!

  23. I’m with Erin! Cup down after my husband’s grandmother told me a story of finding a dead cockroach in a tea cup and I almost vomitted.

  24. My mum would store cups down, until we were cleaning out a cupboard full of things we never used and found ants (or was it spiders?) had made a nest in a bowl being stored upside down. Last. Time. Ever.

  25. I am confused about my cup placement. Sometimes I do it up, sometimes down. Sometimes just with coffee mugs, sometimes with wine glasses. I’m crazy like that…
    Although when I did have a ‘real’ kitchen in a ‘real’ house I had wine-glass-holder-er-thingos that held the wine glasses upside down, y’know??? As for open shelving…I’ve had both and I think if I ever built my own kitchen I would go closed, the dust and oil/kitchen grime got to me and the cleaning fairies never came…bastards.

  26. Anonymous says

    mugs (above kettle) and wine glasses up and water glasses down (near fridge)… and definitely always hand washed first!

    which way should the toilet paper roll be put on?

  27. Definitely down. I’m on the opinion that if they’re up you’re just asking for spiders to drop into them… not that i’ve ever seem spiders in the kitchen cupboards…crap I’m starting to see why my husband tries to buck my tread and places them up…crap it’s one cup of crazy here…spiders dropping into them…really?!!

  28. I used to be a rims up girl, having been raised that way, however after a holiday chalet experience with a cockroach IN A MUG I am now a down girl.

    That same holiday also convinced me of the merits of a glass electric jug.

  29. I love reading everyone’s responses as much as your blog on these topics. Such interesting thoughts.

    Everything is up in this house but its because we’ve got no room and they all stack inside each other.

    Mugs on bottom, glasses on top. Don’t know why.

  30. Rim down for sure! I have always thought of the dust collecting. But now you have drawn my attention to the filth in the cupboard, off I go to whip them down (gee thanks for that!)

  31. all this talk of ‘rims’ has me thinking of other un-glass related things but that could be the wine talking.

    rims down here, I too don’t want creepy crawlies in my cups.

    and don’t get me started on how to hang washing out. my husband has no bloody idea

  32. Rim up. But must be all matching mugs/cups/glasses. Maxwell and Williams cashmere white for tea cups for big groups and fine bone china mugs different colours exactly the same style. Coffee goes in the coffee cups with saucers. All the pretty tea cups in closed cupboards and everything else in the open ones, handles pointing always to the right. It’s an OCD thing.

  33. Im with Liza all the way! And talking of husbands and washing, Mine hangs it out with no pegs, Drives me insane!!!!!

  34. Rims down, can’t have it any other way, with the rims up, they gather dust and bugs and makes more work by having to be rewashed.
    Mugs are near the kettle, glasses up top, because the cupboard won’t hold anything heavier than that.

  35. Mugs on the top shelf, rims up. Glasses on the bottom shelf, rims down. But I have no idea why and this deeply troubles me.
    Do you know what else troubles me? When people put their fingers into glasses when they’re carrying them. Even if they’re clearing dirty glasses away, it give me the goddam willies.
    BTW, my mother-in-law unpacked my kitchen for me 7 years ago and I’m still bitching about where stuff is.

  36. I put the rims up …hubby the rims down. I don’t want to put the rim on the shelf as I don’t wash the cupboard out every time I wash the mugs. On the washing up side of things…… that leads to another story as I always rinse all the food off my plates etc before they go in the sink or dishwasher!

  37. Loving these posts! I didn’t comment on an earlier one but I am totally with you on the butter + peanut butter front. Why on earth would you not?! Aaanyway… cups down here. Don’t know why, but my Dad commented on it the other day. He’s a cup-up kind of man. I like to keep glasses and cups in separate cupboards. But my mugs do share the cupboard with tea and coffee. Ahh the little things…

  38. Rims up. Storage wise, we have a drawer for cups & mugs and our pride & joy, a 1950’s Fred Ward sideboard with glass doors for our glasses. Do we feel grown up? Yes. Sides, I always like to wash our glasses for when people come around – man do I wish we had a dishwasher!
    So now you have an excuse to find that perfect retro sideboard for all your sparkly glassware, for ultimate show pony points!

  39. Cups down all the way. Too high a risk of kamikaze mice and cockroaches on a farm. I wipe my shelves out a lot…..

    I have open shelves too. But only for tidy, pretty stuff. Closed shelves for crappy but useful stuff like old tupperware and mismatched egg cups, cake tins etc.

  40. I’m more of glasses on second shelf and cups on the bottom girl – mostly because I used to knock the glasses off when they were on the bottom.

    Now sometimes I put them on the same shelf when I am feeling lazy.

  41. I am all about design cos I do rim down on any that have a repeat design so doesn’t ruin the view and/or I don’t use often so that they don’t get dusty (my selves are spotless thanking you kindly) but rim up for the decorative ones as otherwise they look crap when you come around and poke your nose in… The cute ones are in use daily so no chance for dust!

    Love open shelves but will so never have them unless just be for special bits as I would kill myself linking and re lining to have perfect the OCD would be the death of me!

  42. You are redefining Seinfeld in the modern era lady! Except you’re so much more than a blog about nothing.
    As for this little ditty, I am rims down, the idea that once they’re washed and dried, they’re CLEAN and having them facing down means no filth can drop inside the cup/glass.
    As for placement, I like them up high, preferably around eye level or just above.
    Love your big issues xo

  43. rim down so there isn’t dust in there. ideally I would like some cabinets that can be closed so I can keep it all messy but I would love some open shelves for my pretty mixing bowls!

  44. In your home its a non issue expect for those who have to live with you.

    However I work in an office and paper cups should be FACE DOWN. 1 face up not only collects dust, airborn viruses, but when people pick them up it is by the rim and the hands are the biggest carrier of germs! Think about it, you were just typing on your keyboard, touching your mouse, talking on your phone, touching the fridge to get the creamer,etc. Then you have to pick up a by the rim? Face down protects the cup and the insides. As for the bottom cup touching the counter. Its only 1 cup so trow it away, better to toss 1 cup than contaminate dozens.

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