Families are often conflicted by a simple choice: do they let guests and their own family members wear shoes into the home, or take them off in the mudroom / entry way? It is a matter of convenience versus cleanliness. For many Eastern countries, cleanliness is preferred—it is expected for any visitor into the home to remove their shoes at the door. But in the common American home, you’re more likely to see this decision split down the middle.
What should a family do?
3 reasons why you may want to take off your shoes in the home:
It has been practiced all over the world for centuries
Consider this: during the 15th century in Holland, no one was allowed to enter a home without first removing their footwear. Disease was a lot more common during this time, and sanitation efforts seemed like nothing compared to today. This meant that someone was a lot more likely to trek in sewage and bacteria, which could spread further sickness. Fortunately, we’re not as likely to bring in as much bacteria these days, but we are more likely to bring in outside pollutants, which can damage carpets and cause allergies.
Your carpet will stay cleaner and healthier
Carpet is essentially a sink hole for dust, particles, dirt, and toxins that you bring in from the outside. This creates a pollution buildup that will slowly eat away at your carpet, shortening its lifespan.
Pets and children spend a lot of time on the floor
Due to their smaller size, pets and young children are closer to the floor than we are. They touch it more and may also put objects from the floor into their mouths. This can lead to exposure to many different particles that can cause harm and sickness. Heavy metals such as lead and mercury can also be brought in from walking in our shoes on driveways and parking lots, which is not something we want our pets and kids being near!
Considering these different factors, it is recommended that your family implement a policy to take off your shoes while in the home. The best way to do this is to designate a specific spot for shoes to go. If children are taught this is where shoes go, they will be more likely to continue the habit. In addition, you can purchase house slippers for guests or family members that may want them.
Lastly, don’t forget to get your carpet cleaned regularly! Despite our best efforts to stay clean, we’re still going to have dust and dirt build ups, as well as the occasional stain that occurs.