No Shoes Allowed

The no shoe thing started when I moved into my very first place entirely on my own and found myself surrounded by wall to wall light beige carpet. I was broke.  I didn't have money for repeated carpet cleaning so I saved money by leaving my shoes at the door and keeping the carpets clean.  It started as a matter of economics and then it became a matter of dirt when I walked by a neighboring doorway one day and saw an icky trail of brown leading from the doorway to the kitchen.  That was it.  Shoes are dirty and after five years of keeping them out there was no going back for me.

It's a pretty easy rule to enforce when you live in a 400 square foot studio by yourself.  Throw in a husband who agrees, but tends to get lax about the rules and it felt impossible.  When we moved into our new house five years ago I started looking for a cute no shoes allowed sign to help my cause and quickly realized that I would have to be the shoe police if this was going to happen. 

What about my flip flops?  Can I wear those in the house?
Do you wear them outside?
Yes, but they aren't real shoes.
Do you wear them in public restrooms?
Then you can't wear them in the house.

I caught him putting on his shoes in the morning upstairs and then wearing them downstairs.  Bare feet on floors and carpets sounds different then shoes.  I was half asleep and half blind so I grabbed my glasses to take a peak.  Busted. What part of no shoes in the house wasn't he getting? 

And the conversation repeated.

I'm getting dressed in the morning upstairs and the shoes are upstairs.  I'm just going straight out the door.
Do you wear those shoes outside in the streets and public restrooms?
Then you can't wear them in the house. 

I even caught my dad upstairs with his shoes on when he stayed at our house a few months ago and I had to say it.  Take them off please.

When we replaced our carpets with hardwoods downstairs MJ relapsed a little thinking it wouldn't matter so much but dirt is dirt and we walk through a lot of it on any given day.  Sidewalks, black top parking lots, public restrooms and that grimy movie theater floor.  I like the idea that the hardwoods are fully cleanable, but I still don't like the idea of dirty shoes tracking in outside grime.  We compromised on house shoes since those are only worn occasionally outside and not in public places.  I had to give him something. 

Not wearing shoes in the house seems so simple yet it is ever so complicated to enforce and a real pain in the butt sometimes.  Like, when you put your shoes on and then have to come back inside because you forgot something.  Also, dealing with all the shoes that inevitably pile up.  We have a nice bench with a shoe shelf underneath it by our front door but we don't use our front door very often.  We park our cars in the garage and enter through the garage door which opens right into the kitchen which is not an ideal location for removing shoes while juggling a lunch bag, a purse, the mail and a water bottle.  Especially tall boots that require at least one hand to remove.  When leaving the house he wanted to put his shoes on by the front door and walk through the house to the garage and again I had to be the meanie and put my bare foot down.  Yes, it's easier to sit on the cute little bench and put them on, but a rule is a rule and if we agreed on no shoes in the house we will not wear shoes in the house.  It might sound like I'm being a bitch and in a way I am, but it's kind of an all or nothing thing.  If you are going to wear shoes half the time don't bother at all because you have already defeated the purpose. 

Then there are the guests.  We don't entertain a lot, but when we do if it's an inside type of deal I have no problem with asking people to take their shoes off.  If he won't ask his friends I will.  If it's an outdoor/indoor type of thing with a large group of people it can get a bit more complicated and I'm willing to make exceptions if need be, but in general it's not that difficult to get people to respect your house rules if you ask.  Most people either do it themselves in their own homes and/or they understand and are not offended. 

I can't even imagine wearing shoes in my bedroom or bathrooms now and it's weird (and gross) to think that I once did.  I even feel bad wearing shoes in other peoples homes.  I want to take them off on principle, but not everyone has that rule and if they don't then taking mine off isn't going to help much.

It's true that you have to pick your battles, but I'm glad I stuck to my guns on this one because it's not an imaginary germ floating through the air.  It's dirt, and I can see it when I look at the bottom of my shoes.  I wanted to throw up my hands and forget it, but MJ eventually came around and I really appreciate that he did.  I never did find a no shoes sign I really liked, but now he rarely forgets even when he's running in and out to the grill.

Do you allow shoes in your house?  Why or why not?


Maureen S. said...

I totally totally get where you are coming from! It's little things like this that couples don't think about when dating and then you get married, live together, and BOOM, there's the shoe/no shoe issue. Lol! I personally am having a problem getting my in-law to take off his shoes when coming into our home. It's even more of a problem because he will use our bathroom with his shoes on. Every time this happens we have to clean off the mud/dirt that is left behind on our bathroom rugs. It's a little frustrating, but I know I need to keep enforcing the no shoe rule if I want to keep my home clean! I'm going to have to use the, "Do you wear those shoes outside in the streets and public restrooms?" question too to seal my point. Lol!

Rachel said...

I am on the no shoe rule. I break it myself sometimes but we are in the country and I can't afford to let my hardwood floors get ruined by muddy shoes.

Nylse Esahc said...

its my preference - no shoes but its hard to enforce. o well, i try to vacuum more.

Faith said...

I was ALL about no shoes indoors and then we got our first dog. Now we have two and it has become almost useless. I vacuum, sweep and swifter way too much now but I have no choice.

NONSuperwoman said...

We have a no shoe policy that became strict when the babies arrived. The thought of crawling babies on dirty floors was not appealing. I ended up buying a sign for the front door that says: "Since little fingers touch our floor, please remove your shoes at the door." I've found that this has helped enforce the policy better than me requesting people to take their shoes off :-)

Pegster said...

I have the same policy in my house, no shoes period. Leave them at the door the end. It was hard at first but once we had kids people were a bit more understanding. I just blame it on the fact that the kids roll all over the floor and sometimes eat stuff off the floor.

Stick to your guns on this one. It's actually a good battle to fight

That Blue House said...

I've only been to two houses ever that had a no-shoe policy. One was an Asian household and the other bc they had little kids. I think this is really prevalent in a lot of other countries, I guess I'm just not that much of a germaphobe and I actually think germs are good for you bc it helps build up your immune system, haha. Plus when you think of all the germs that exist EVERYWHERE, it just gets the bottom of your purse, the gas handles at gas stations, shopping carts, etc... I would also find it nearly impossible to enforce in our house because we have a pretty big indoor/outdoor area.

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

Ha, ha put your "barefoot down" :) Don't get a dog..why bother with taking our shoes off when the dog brings in even more dirt. Though we try not to wear our shoes in the carpeted bedrooms, even though the dog goes in our room too. I don't mind people asking for shoes to come off when visiting. I get the idea behind it.

Janna Renee said...

We have {faux} wood floors, so I don't have to inconvenience guests, but we NEVER wear shoes at home. Not because we care about the floors (unless it's raining), but because we both hate wearing shoes or pants when we don't have to. Haha! PS. Not that it's a huge inconvenience to people, but some people have smelly feet that might embarrass them, maybe they forgot to match their socks, and if they planned their outfit around their shoes then I wouldn't want to wreck their outfit or something. Just the little things I think about ;)

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

This is a really great rule! Shoes track so much in! We didn't have this rule in our house and now I need to get our carpets cleaned professionally. Once that's done we will be a no shoes in the house family!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

Jessica said...

I allow shoes in my house but my entire house is hardwood floors. If were wall to wall carpet it might be a different story. Personally for me though I take my shoes off as soon as I get home and wear slippers around the house but that is because I think it is so much more comfortable.

Ashley R said...

We allow shoes- mostly because our carpet is one of those colors (for better or worse) that hides EVERYTHING. I think I will change my mind when we get nicer flooring.

JD said...

I allow shoes too, but I just hate wearing them! I always take them off when I get home because I am just more comfortable in socks. Most of my guests do also when they see my shoes at the door, but there's no rule saying they have to.

Ameena said...

We do not wear shoes in our house...never have. It's so gross when you think about where one's shoes have been! And our floors stay SO much cleaner.

I have no problem asking people to take off their shoes when they come in. And most people (at least Indian / Pakistani people) have similar traditions so it's usually no problem.

Kari | The Kari Diaries said...

I'm kind of opposite from your shoe ban. I don't walk through my tiny apartment often with shoes but then again, it was never a rule as much as practicality. What drives me crazy is when my boyfriend walks barefoot through my apt and then gets in the bed. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm horrible at vacuuming and because there's no "no shoe rule", I'm always nervous about picking up dirt then bringing it into the bed and then like what if the blanket gets turned around and then the dirt infest part of the blanket is in my face OMMMGGGG. Lol mini-vent. Ha!
But it all comes down to germs I think. And like you, I'm a no germs kinda gal ;)

jackie jade said...

i grew up in a house of no shoes in the house ever. but then i got lazier out on my own. in our old house, we wore shoes out of laziness. but in this house, i reallllly wanted a no shoes rule because the upstairs carpet is all white/cream. we sorta compromised by having some shoes inside on the main floor since it's wood/tile. but then i just clean constantly. it's so much harder when you have multiple entrances. and two stinky dogs. ha.

Anonymous said...

I never logged in.. WHOOPS!

I am kinda guilty for wearing shoes/flip flops in our house. Our carpet is destroyed anyways. We really want hard wood floors but we aren't entirely sure if we will buy this house in 2 years. I want to but we need an extra bedroom. I really love your blog Cece!