We all have our big “no-nos” and rules in our homes, but one major rule that most people think I am crazy for is absolutely no shoes inside of the house. Anyone who comes into our home has to wear socks or go barefoot, or wear booties which we keep in supply LOL. Beyond being crazy, which I am, here are my reasons why! ALSO this applies to packing your bags too, friends!! Keep your shoes separate or in bags.
Because it’s Not Just Dirt
Having done research on the topic and experiencing it first-hand, I know that more than just dirt and particles from outside are brought in via shoes. Our feet are how we get around places, not just outside but while we are inside stores and restaurants, our shoes are picking up bacteria and particles along the way. I mean, I’m just going to say it – YOUR SHOES ARE COVERED IN POOP. Obviously, there is less of this now if you aren’t going out much – but…
I want to share details on a study done by the University of Arizona. They analyzed the bacteria that was discovered on the inside and outside of people’s shoes and found that an average of 421,000 units of bacteria live on the outside of the shoe, while 2,887 reside on the inside! Yes we need exposure to some of this of course, but sadly, this bacteria isn’t harmless. The most common form was E. coli. In addition to the bacteria, it is also likely you are dragging in pesticides, chemicals, and other unwanted substances into your home.
If you don’t spend a ton of time crawling and sitting on your floor, maybe this is okay for you but with kids – I live on the floor! Graham eats off the floor. The floor is our home. Speaking of…
Pets and Kids
Little ones and pets spend more time on the floor than we do – so they are the ones who are most at risk of becoming sick from the stuff we track in. Think about it. You walk into your house and track through everything from wherever you might have just been. Then your dog eats a piece of food you dropped off of that floor. Your baby just learned to crawl and is doing so all over the floors that you were just walking on. Your older kids sit on the floor and play with their toys. If the study I mentioned above doesn’t make you think twice, just think about the gross factor!
Now think also about the gross factor of other people, whose shoes and travels you don’t know well at all. Buy some shoe booties!
Keeping it Clean Without Over-Cleaning
I feel like people usually fall into one of two camps if they have shoes on in the house. Either they just don’t care, OR they clean so often that they feel they are removing all the poop. If you steam clean the floors and carpets on the daily, sure, maybe it’s clean. However, with 3 under 5, I absolutely do not have the time to keep up with that level of disinfecting, even when they weren’t home full-time with me. We’ve always kept a shoe bin by our doors as a reminder to us and the kids to take off shoes before entering. Some people aren’t fans of barefeet or socks, so for those individuals, I would recommend having a pair of indoor or house shoes that are only worn inside, or shoe covers.
How to Start
If you’re going to start implementing a no-shoe policy in your house here’s some ways to start!
Buy a shoe bin or shelving for shoes and leave it right outside or right inside the main entries to the house from outside.
Get creative and make a cute sign for guests to see that shares your policy. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest! I have a sign I bought in Hawaii a few years ago that says something cute.
Deep clean floors and carpets. If this is new for you, you’re going to want to make sure you deep clean now in order to avoid tracking already existing germs throughout the rest of the house
Keep shoe cover/booties for guests and anyone entering your home for work (ie electrician). We bought a pack on amazon and keep them in a basket by the door.
If you have formal guests coming who you know it won’t sit well with if you ask them to remove their shoes, try to keep them to one area of the house and then clean that down with Thieves when they leave!
Do you have a no-shoe policy in your home?