A lot of families have a no-shoes rule for their homes. It
just makes sense, especially for those of us who do the cleaning up
after our kids stomp around in mud, playground gravel, and goodness
knows what else. And wearing slippers or socks indoors makes everyone
feel more cozy at home. I feel like taking my shoes off as soon as I get
home helps me transition into a totally different (more relaxed!)
mindset. It's the way I was raised, and wearing shoes inside just feels
But I take this healthy habit a step further. I make all our visitors take off their shoes, too. Whether
it's kids on a play date or adults coming over for dinner, I'll
politely ask you to remove your shoes. In fact, I'm totally shameless
about asking everyone.
I know some people think it's rude to ask visitors to remove their shoes. And I still remember that Sex and the City episode
where Carrie's Manolos got stolen when a host forced her to remove
them. Not everyone comes over prepared to go shoeless, I know -- and I'm
not sure hanging out barefoot in my home is much better.
But ... I just can't abide shoes indoors. In New York City, we're always walking over urine, garbage juice, dried vomit, and all kinds of toxic waste.
I don't want that tracked into my home! Plus, I don't want to torment
my downstairs neighbors with the sound of noisy shoes clunking around
overhead. That sound carries like crazy in my building, even with rugs
on the floor.
The only people who are exempt are workers. If
you're here to fix the sink, install cable, or paint the walls, by all
means: Keep your shoes on. Asking fix-it guys to take off their shoes
just feels like going too far.
know what, though? Asking our guests to remove their shoes in my home
is never a problem. Maybe it's just that in the city, it's sort of a
given that most people take off their shoes when they get home. Usually,
my adult visitors kick off their shoes automatically out of habit (on
the other hand, most kids will just run in). I don't even say anything.
by the way, shoes are safe in my hallway. I've known my neighbors for
14 years. They are not shoe-stealers. And none of my friends wear
Manolos. For the record, no one covets their dusty brown Merrell mocs,
their dingy gray New Balance sneakers, their scuffed clogs. No one. And for those who are worried, I have no problem with people leaving their shoes just inside next to the door.
Ideally, though, I would have a lovely basket filled with soft guest slippers in all sizes.
I've known other families who do this and I've just never gotten
organized enough to do it myself. I know it would make asking a lot more
gracious if I could also hand over the perfect pair of slippers. Make
yourself more comfortable! (And help me keep my home clean ...)
Do you ask visitors to remove their shoes in your home?
Image via Ingermaaike2/Flickr