Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Shoes Off at the Door

It's Wednesday, time for "Works for Me Wednesday", a blog carnival hosted by We Are THAT Family. To see more of this week's "Works for Me Wednesday" posts, click here.

True confession: Having something to do with the fact that I grew up in a household where shoes went on in the morning and came off at bedtime, I once thought that the "shoe free" household concept was kind of a prissy one.

Then, quite some time after becoming parents, we shampooed our carpets again and were mortified by the color of the grimy water in the tank - not to mention the amount of sweat that went into moving the furniture so that the steam cleaning could be done in the first place!

We decided then to institute a shoes-free household where shoes come off at the door, and have now done so for about 7 months. It was hard at first since neither my husband nor I had ever regularly done it - and now we had to convince our toddler that it was a good idea, too. But I am glad that we did it, and here's why:
  • It's just plain cleaner, and from the standpoint of a parent of rugrats, healthier. Less dirt tracked into the house in general - cleaner carpets for my baby (we put a blanket down for her to play for now, but at some point this summer, she'll be crawling all over and harder to keep off the carpet and floors).

  • It saved our socks! You can actually lay down my socks and see a timeline in the white athletic socks (which I wear most often). The "pre-shoes-off" era socks have an impermeably dingy color on the soles, while the ones from the "shoes-off" era still look essentially new in terms of whiteness. Guess which ones will probably last longer, ergo continue to enable more frugal sock-buying long-term?

  • Our kids will have it as an ingrained pattern and probably do it at other people's houses as habit. And, there's a better chance that they'll grow up to do it in their own households.
We are not militant about this rule - we usually unofficially suspend it when company is around. Only our parents and other regular visitors are asked to doff their shoes, but since we as a nuclear family account for 90%+ of the traffic in the house, removing our shoes makes the biggest difference.

Taking our shoes off at the door works for me!
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Meghan said...

In college (many years ago) I had an officialy "no shoes" policy, but now I find we frequently just take our shoes off at the door because we're more comfortable wearing just socks around the house. It's not an official policy, but our guests see our shoes by the door, think we have a rule, and take theirs off too.

Teaching Money to Kids said...

Apparently in Michigan, and maybe other midwestern states, (I don't know, I grew up in california) taking your shoes off is standard procedure.
It makes sense now, when we have so much snow, that you would want to keep all those little icy bombs in one mine field, instead of all over the house.
NOt to mention the mud/poop that comes along in the other months.