Please Remove Your Shoes

image credit: Rustilee Etsy Shop

You know I’m not a controversial blogger by any means.  In fact I think I’ve only posted twice on two different topics that really fired up quite the debate in both instances.  The first time was quite by accident that was for sure.  Turns out that asking guests to remove their shoes as they enter the home can be quite the hot topic depending on what part of the world you live in.

I really had no idea.

When I casually mentioned in this post that I have a guest slipper holder by my front door I didn’t think anything of it.  You see here in Canada (at least in the three provinces I’ve lived in) you would never need to ask your guests to remove their shoes.  They just do.  It’s absolutely hands down rude to just walk into someones home with your shoes on here.  You just would never do it and it’s no big deal.  It’s just the way it is.

I now know that this isn’t the case in many areas of the US.  Each to their own right?  The whole thing just fascinated me though let me tell you.  I walked right into that can of worms that is for sure LOL.

Anyway the reason I dare to even bring it up again is because I just recently saw this post over on Tip Junkie’s site and it made me laugh.  Her whole post is made up of various signs you can display in your home asking guests to remove their shoes (like the one above).  Then I read in the comments that she is from Ft. Worth and they all take their shoes off there when they enter a home.  Go figure, I can’t keep up.

I suppose if I lived in a place where it was the norm to leave your shoes on I would just follow suit.  I really don’t know how I’d handle that one.  But I’ve got to tell you I’m kind of glad I don’t only because it’s so much less clean up with shoes coming off especially on beige carpet!   Not to mention all the germs my family isn’t being exposed to.  Have I ever told you that I’m a bit of a germaphobe?  It comes with having a child with severe food allergies, you can’t help but be hyper-vigilant.

For those that leave shoes on maybe it has something to do with living in a climate where there isn’t much dirt.  Here there is so much rain and snow that we practically live in winter boots six months out of the year.   It’s mud and dirt central….gross.  I can’t imagine anywhere where it would be okay to track all THAT yuck into someone’s home, can you?

The whole thing just fascinates me to no end, it really does although I may regret bringing it up again :)

Anyway my point is…if you do live in a place where you request shoes off then be sure to check out Tip Junkie’s post for some fun sign suggestions.

Want to know what my second controversial topic was?  Yep, not sorting my laundry…gasp…can you believe it?  Hahaha….that’s about as exciting as it gets around here folks although I think I’ll have to come up with something else real soon just to keep you all on your toes….with or without your shoes on of course, you pick :)

Filed under: Silly Fun

Comments

117 Responses to Please Remove Your Shoes

  1. 1
    Heather B says

    ooh you rabble rouser! ha ha! My peeps are from New Jersey and we lived in Virginia for a long time. I am so grossed out now thinking back that we did not remove our shoes. Then we moved to Hawaii and that’s just how it was. Now we’re in Washington and we have our “Mahalo for Removing Your Shoes” sign at one door and a cowboy boot that says “Leave your boots here”. It is just gross all the nasty things you would track into your house on your shoes. All the ensuing floor washing would seriously crimp my blog reading time!

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      I know just call me the wild and crazy one hahaha.

  2. 2
    Pip says

    I commented on that post..I remember watching The View once (and only once) and they mentioned how rude it is to ask someone to take their shoes off in your house. I was shocked, jaw on the floor shocked. I live in the same province as you and hate it when someone says “oh don’t worry about your shoes” Yes I will worry! I can’t imagine how filthy carpets and floors would be if I didn’t worry about my shoes lol. How Canadian, eh?

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      When someone says that to me, I just can’t do it. I always have to take my shoes off LOL. Well unless of course they are in the middle of construction and then I figure it’s probably safer if I leave them on :)

    • 2.2
      Sarah says

      Did you ever think about this? When someone tell you not to worry about taking your shoes off but you do anyway…what are your bare feet stepping in?!

      • 2.2.1
        Sarah says

        Why are you wearing bare feet? I wear socks. :)

        • 2.2.1.1
          Sarah says

          Well…it’s summer where I am and when I’m wearing sandals I don’t wear socks!

          • 2.2.1.1.1
            Stacey says

            Hey…I see what Sarah is saying….You may think your floors are clean enough to eat off of but I don’t know that. What are my bare or even socked feet going to step in….especially for those who have pets! However…the couple that hosts our weekly Bible study has white carpet..so everyone takes their shoes off at the door. I realized most of us stopped doing that when they moved to another house with hard wood floors.

  3. 3
    Holly says

    I’m just curious… what would you say to a guest who did not remove her shoes? I wonder this because my sister (a girl from “the mainland”) married a guy from Hawaii — 20 years ago this summer. We traveled to Hawaii for a reception and were frequent visitors in the homes of several of my BIL’s family members. My mother never removed her shoes upon entering any of their homes and, to this day, she never has… even though my sister and her husband as well as some of his siblings and their spouses now live in the same (mainland) area that our folks do.

    How would you handle that situation? Would you insist? Do you offer ‘house shoes’ or ‘house slippers’ for guests who are not comfortable barefoot or in stocking feet?

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Gosh good question. Do you know that has never happened to me before. It seriously just doesn’t happen here where people just leave their shoes on but if it did I would definitely ask them to take them off though. Yes I do have a guest slipper container that hangs by my front door. If you click on the link above you’ll see a picture of it in my old post about this topic. It’s more though for the cold. It can get chilly on the tile floor in my kitchen in winter time.

      • 3.1.1
        Paula says

        My MIL always tries to come in without taking off her shoes. I’ll pull out the chair (main door is in kitchen) and say ‘here’s a chair to take off your shoes’. It drives me nuts because she’s the one that put the beige carpet in our living room (on a farm!). You’d have to be half dead before I let you in my house in shoes -yuck!

        • 3.1.1.1
          Lisa says

          We live on a farm in Wisconsin. We take our shoes off in our house and especially in other people’s houses. I understand there are times when the guys don’t want to take their heavy boots off, especially if they are just coming in to grab something or use the bathroom. I put out throw rugs that lead a path to their most frequented stops (the bathroom and the coffee pot). They know to only step on the rugs. They also know anyone who walks elsewhere on the rugs with boots or shoes will be handed a rag and spray bottle to clean the floor up behind themselves. At least if they stay on the throw rugs, I can pick them up and throw them in the washer.

          • 3.1.1.1.1
            Paula says

            I know exactly what you mean Lisa. Hubby usually just calls from the door when he needs something in the house.

    • 3.2
      Amanda says

      This is exactly why the shoe issue is so difficult. I would prefer all bare feet in my house, but I live in a “shoes in the house” zone. The problem of non-compliant guests is hard to deal with. In my opinion, it’s like smoking in someone’s house. If they ask you not to do it, you certainly don’t!!! But others view your request to remove their shoes as if you’d asked them to disrobe in the living room. Eek! I’m glad to be moving to a “shoe free” zone in the next few months. :)

      • 3.2.1
        Holly says

        Amanda, this made me laugh! It seems like that’s how my mother feels — like she’s been asked to disrobe. :) I am shoe-free at any/every opportunity, so it’s certainly no trouble for me. My BIL is so laid-back that he has never said anything and my sis ‘gets’ how stubborn (and a little self-centered) our mom is. Their kids, though, don’t let Nana off the hook so easy — she still hasn’t complied but she gets an earful from the littler kids every time… “Nana, shoes off!”, “Nana, you forgot your slippers (all shoes are ‘slippers’ to the 4- and 6-year-olds)”, “Uh oh Nana, we don’t wear shoes/slippers inside.” LOL! I think they may accomplish what no adult has yet been able to.

    • 3.3
      Maria says

      I think it is up to your sister to confront your mom about the shoes issue. Depending on your BIL’s background, it could be seen as very offensive to where shoes in the home. (20 years ago many homes did not take their shoes off and now it’s actually a lot more “common”) If your mother insists on leaving her shoes on, there are various ways to approach it. Having slippers for her to wear, having shoe covers (like hospitals have) to cover her shoes…also, does she realize that her shoes can actually damage the floor and carpeting of other people’s homes? If you have hard wood or laminate, heels are the worse thing in the world to wear! (We had a “friend” who insisted on wearing her heels inside at our dinner party and our laminate had chunks missing and dents. Wood floors can dent and crack. Carpet and sneakers ruin the carpet fibers faster.) Unless your mom intends to pay for cleaning and repairing the floors of their home, she should respect their home as she would like her home respected.

      • 3.3.1
        Holly says

        Ugh! I’m sorry that happened to your floors. I’ve seen that happen… sadly, at a housewarming party so the floors were brand new. I’m sure my sister would have no problem insisting our mom paid for damage (severe enough, anyway) but so far it hasn’t happened. I totally agree with you that it’s disrespectful to ignore the request of one’s host/ess like that. :(
        I feel a little guilty like I’m making our mother sound rude… she’s really not like that… but this is one issue she can’t seem to let go of/understand. I just don’t get it.

    • 3.4
      Sarah says

      My in-laws don’t like to take off their shoes so they tie plastic bags around them instead (their idea). If you wanted to get a more permanent solution you could buy those shoe covers made for bowlers who want to protect their shoes when they are off the lane.

    • 3.5
      Mary Newman says

      I am a Canadian living in Connecticut and ask my guests to remove their shoes here. Sometimes it’s awkward but ultimately it’s my home and I like to prevent messes. (When people wear their shoes in the bathroom the little drips of water instantly become mud spots. Soooo gross!)
      Most people are never that in your face rude. I did have one friend say her feet stunk so she’d prefer she leave them on so she did. If it’s just once in awhile and they wipe their feet, I’m not so crazy. But my tummy does silently do flip flops bcs of the germs!

      • 3.5.1
        Stacey says

        why are there drips of water on your floor…you got little boys with less than perfect aim?

        • 3.5.1.1
          Mary says

          Eww no! haha! It’s from when people wash their hands. I always have a few drips on the floor next to the sink from dripping hands reaching for the towel.

      • 3.5.2
        Trixielikafox says

        I am on the fence with this issue because I really like having shoes off in the house but I always seemed to have a shoe pile up problem no matter what I used from different racks to basket but also there are a few places in the house that it just grosses me out to not where shoes (flip flops are my go to in house footwear) the bathroom and the kitchen(more so the bathroom) because for some reason I just can’t trust that either of these places are ever completely germ free especially if it is someone elses house. And I can’t always trust that someone elses feet are anymore clean than their shoes. Maybe I should just keep a anti bacterial spray or something…a well.

  4. 4
    Sheila says

    I think the no-shoes-inside-policy also stems from cultural backgrounds. Personally, though, I don’t really have a preference. My house has half carpet, half linoleum. The main entryway is through the linoleum area so it’s ok if guests bring in their shoes there but most of the time they take it off anyway, sign or no sign. On the carpet I try to keep shoes off as much as I can since my toddler usually plays there. But if I’m having company at the house, I don’t expect guests to take their shoes off. I just vacuum after the party. I live in a mostly warm weather city so it’s no biggie. If it’s rainy season though, I put out a mat by the door…sort of a subtle message to guests to take their shoes off.

  5. 5
    Rae says

    I’m also Canadian and also used to shoes off at the door! I can’t imagine wearing shoes at home. How uncomfortable!

    I also do not sort my laundry by having no ‘lights.’ Clothes go in one load; sheets, towels, and dish cloths go into another that gets hot water and a soak. I apparently wash my clothes like a bachelor. :)

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      I’m with you, I love getting my shoes off and putting my comfy slippers on. I even bring my slippers with me to other people’s homes.

      Each of my kids have a laundry basket and everything gets thrown into one load. So much easier!! Bachelors have it right LOL

      • 5.1.1
        Kira says

        I live in the UK and i find that most people take their shoes off at the door. It also seems to be the norm to leave the families slippers by the door for them to change into. This is what we do. Like yourself I also take my slippers with me when I visit friends and family. Even my kids take theirs. The English can be very uncomfortable about asking direct questions, and I suspect feel especially so about asking guests to remove theirs. I think it’s polite to always offer to take your shoes off if unsure.

        • 5.1.1.1
          Matthew C says

          I live in the UK, but I am happy to ask visitors to take their shoes off. I have a doormat that says ‘Pleast take your shoes off.’

          I think more people in the UK are requiring shoes-off in their homes.

          I have an whole blog on this subject: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.

  6. 6
    nebuchudnessar says

    Here is Sydney, Australia, it is personal preference as to whether guests have to take their shoes off. I don’t ask my guests to take their shoes off, I have wooden floors and I don’t find that my guests bring in lots of dust.

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Yes wooden floors would make a difference wouldn’t it but here it gets so muddy even some businesses ask you to remove footwear at the door. I think that’s taking things a bit too far.

      • 6.1.1
        Matthew C says

        Preserving floors costs businesses money. If they can have a shoes-off policy without scaring away their customers, fair play to them.

  7. 7
    Michelle says

    We live in Fargo, ND and it is pretty much an unwritten rule….no shoes in the house. It’s rare to have to ask someone to take their shoes off and believe me….I’m not afraid to point it out to offenders. It’s just plain rude…not to mention gross!!!

  8. 8
    ter@waaoms says

    oh it drives me nuts if people have to be told to take off your shoes, just do it. lol I always just automatically take my shoes of when I go into someone’s home. Also how can you sit comfortably on your couch with your shoes on? plus like you said, doesn’t it just add to the dirt factor? I don’t think we should have to ask people to take off their shoes, they should just do so, especially if they see that we are not wearing ours!

  9. 9
    Amanda A says

    I live in TX and I hate when people wear their shoes past the door. It’s gross. Think off all that you’re tracking in. If they want to shampoo my carpet daily, then they can wear their shoes. Otherwise…leave them at the door.

    And I don’t sort my laundry either. Everything gets washed in cold….darks, lights, delicates. It doesn’t matter. It all goes in and it all turns out just fine. Never had an issue.

  10. 10
    Eileen says

    Great post. I’m from AZ…lots and lots of dirt…and when people come to our house, they just take off their shoes. I don’t really care either way…maybe cause my husband’s Hawaiian? Or they just see some shoes at the front door and add theirs to the collection?

    Anyway it’s pretty nice to have cleaner carpet, especially with little ones crawling around. Should be this way everywhere. :)

  11. 11
    Lizzy says

    I’m from Queensland in Australia, where it’s normal to not wear shoes around the house at all. However I do think it’s rude to force someone to remove their shoes. I remember going to a party where the host’s grandmother was made to walk around on a hard floor in her stockinged feet as they didn’t want their wooden floors damaged or dirtied. My feeling is my guest’s comfort is MORE IMPORTANT to me than my floor so my guests can do as they feel comfortable. Floors can always be cleaned!

    Also we have to get over this fear of dirt and germs – an over-sanitised society is one that is prone to sickness. And yes, I do clean my floors every day (I have five children!) :)

    • 11.1
      Matthew C says

      Asking people politely to remove their shoes is not ‘forcing.’ If you want to know the difference between the word ‘ask’ and the word ‘force’ take a look at the dictionary.

      Germs are a red herring; your shoes pick up nastier stuff like lead, pesticides and toxoplasmosis. Not stuff that is good for small children.

      • 11.1.1
        Lizzy says

        Thanks for your comment. I used the word “force” because that has been my experience (see the very next sentence). Also my Autistic son is obsessed with football, and is constantly in and out of the house with his football boots on, as kicking his football is a great stress reliever for him. So if you look up the word “priorities” you’ll see why I’m not too worried about “toxoplasmosis” being present on my floor.

      • 11.1.2
        Stacey says

        I think asking can be forcing if the guests doesn’t feel free to refuse. If I see a pile of shoes by the door…I’ll take my shoes off. If they are wearing their shoes so will I.
        I volunteer in my church’s nursery and we have booties for shoes or the volunteers can feel free to take their shoes off while in the nursery.
        When my kids were crawlers I vacuumed, swept and mopped very often. I also figured at some point they will be outside and “gasp” crawling on grass where everyone’s shoes have been. :J Perhaps I’m just blessed to have children with an overactive super strong immune system.

  12. 12
    Adriana says

    Is this how it’s always been? Maybe it is where there’s snow and lots of rain? I grew in California, and during the 70′s through 80′s I never thought of or heard of people taking their shoes off in a home. Just wasn’t thought of. Once your shoes were on they usually stayed on. In fact the rule at our house was no bare feet at the dinner table. My mom still doesn’t take her shoes off at her home.

    We do now. After my husband and I were married we started doing it at our first place in AZ. There was so much dust outside that we just did. Then when we moved back we kept it up. It seems rare now to find people that don’t take their shoes off in the house. However, I would never ask someone to take their shoes off. We have laminate flooring and the floor is cold. I say keep your shoes on- unless their wet from rain.

  13. 13
    Nolie says

    Here we take our shoes off. Unless you are my dad and step mom. They never take off their shoes even when I tell them to. They think they are special I guess and it gets on my last nerve. I can’t Stan the dirt on my feet.

  14. 14
    Ginny says

    It is not the custom where I live to take off your shoes upon entering a home. Even if it were, I would have to leave mine on. You see, I have severe osteoarthritis in one of my knees (can you say, “how long can we hold off having a joint replacement?”) and I must have comfortable shoes to absorb the shock from walking. I have always loved going barefoot, but alas, I can do that no more. So there’s more than one side to every issue.

  15. 15
    shilpa says

    Hi, i am from India and it is a part of our tradition and respect when we visit someone that we need to remove our shoes outside. You will always find Indians reaching out for their shoes as soon as they come to the door step. It is the way of living here. and the reason is also apt. we consider our homes and temples very pure, hygienic and full of positive energy and shoes are something which has gathered dust, impurities from outside.

    • 15.1
      Sarah says

      Hi, Shilpa
      I’m just curious – do you know how that custom is adjusted to colder climates like Western Canada? Would you still remove your shoes outside (even in the cold & ice), or would that change?
      :)

  16. 16
    Joyce says

    I’m with you on both the taking the shoes off and also not sorting my laundry. I think in most Asian cultures, we take off our shoes when entering someone’s home. Even with that, there are still stray pebbles and dirt that come into our home. My younger daughter accidentally kneeled on a little tiny pebble once, and it cut her knee. I feel weird when I don’t take off my shoes at someone’s house. I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I know very few people who wear shoes in their house. However, if people are wearing shoes in my house, I want everyone to wear shoes because that’s not fair to the people who are wearing socks to get them dirty with the dirt that comes in. Luckily, we have hardwood floors. I’m not sure what to do if we had carpeting.

    I have never had any problems with my clothes fading or bleeding when I wash all my clothes in the same load. =p

  17. 17
    Robin says

    Thank you for posting this!!! Born and raised in Manitoba. Moved to the US and married an American. Everyone thinks I’m crazy! My husband is on board now and you know the one person who seems to give me the most grief??? My own father! He claims to be 100% Canadian but grumbles and grumbles about removing his shoes. I remember when my grandmother made me crawl on my hands and knees as a little girl across her living room carpet because I forgot my Easter hat in the kitchen and my dress shoes took too long to undo!

    Most people made fun of me until I had a baby. Then I would say “my daughter crawls/ lays/ plays on this carpet, can you please remove your shoes?” No more arguments!

  18. 18
    Imelda says

    In my opinion, as with other habits and practices, this is strongly culture-based. Here in the Philippines, we have a tropical climate. That usually translates to a lot of dust and rainshowers every now and then. Not to mention dirty streets to walk on. But most families who hail from Metro Manila do not practice taking their shoes off when entering another household nor do we require guests to do so. I would rather walk away with my dirty shoes on than walk barefoot on any floor! It is too intrusive. Foot rugs are always provided for the purpose of dusting off outsoles. But of course it is just as offensive to walk around with muddy shoes on. That is reason enough to walk with socks instead or ask for slippers. If there are none, then stay outside. The people I know who are used to (they even insist!) take their shoes off when visiting other houses are mostly from the provinces. But the ratio of those who do from those who don’t are really lopsided.

  19. 19
    Jeana says

    Not so fast! I live in a suburb of Ft Worth, and shoe removal varies from home to home. It’s not uncommon, but I wouldn’t say everyone does it. Perhaps everyone in her social circle does.

  20. 20
    Living the Balanced Life says

    We have not ever instituted the no-shoes policy in our house, but I wish we had. It is especially difficult as we do not really have an entry way and you walk straight in onto carpet. Ugh. I have always said I wish we had put a 3 foot square of tile at the front door when we did the carpet.

    As far as it being rude? I don’t think so. If I were asked to remove my shoes, I wouldn’t have a problem with it at all. And I love the signs!

    What! You don’t sort YOUR LAUNDRY? ;)
    Bernice
    Frustrated with the ever-present mess?

  21. 21
    stacey@Havoc&Mayhem says

    We’re in Virginia. It’s muddy. red clay muddy, but we don’t ask people to take their shoes off. We ask them to wipe their shoes on the mat. Rain or snow boots get taken off but I think that is more of a comfort thing. Those boots get hot & sweaty.

    Sure I take my shoes off in my own home because I live here but unless it’s particularly muddy from a recent rain or there is lots snow it would never occur to me to tell a guest what they should do with their footwear.

    I’ve heard of this laundry sorting thing, but I don’t do it. I’m not a follower that way

  22. 22
    Laura H says

    I live in VA. It seems to be a house to house thing here…no one gets upset either way.

    However, I’m not sure what I would do if someone asked me to take my shoes off. I have severe foot problems (although I’m fairly young) and must keep my shoes on. It’s extremely painful to walk in bare feet or slippers that aren’t supportive enough. I would be very offended if someone placed the cleanliness of their carpet above my pain.

  23. 23
    Livin In Duckville says

    We generally don’t ask anyone to take their shoes off when they come into our home unless they’re muddy. However, since we put the 9-hole cubby by the door (a tip from you!) and everyone has a basket (currently to put swim shoes, goggles & bike helmets in – Winter is mittens/gloves & hats) and everyone puts their shoes & slippers in a cubby there isn’t really an excuse. During the summer, we usually walk around barefoot or in socks, winter is waaaay too cold in our house (circa 1830′s) & we need to wear socks or slippers.

    As for laundry? Well, I’ve taken your tip too – almost. I still like to put bleach in with my whites. So all clothing goes in one bin, towels in another (I used to put towels in with the clothes, but found it IS easier to do a full load of towels) & whites in another. I try to do a load a day & whites get done once a week. I also switched to GreenWash Balls for my laundry, white vinegar & essential oil drops for my rinse and Nellie’s Dryer Balls in my dryer. I’ve been using them since February & I’ve noticed our clothes are much softer. I have front load, HE washer & dryer… so the balls do work. Anyhoot, I couldn’t believe how much time I saved (or at least I felt I saved) from NOT sorting laundry. The only way it could be faster is if I did it by family member (ie. They put all of their clothes in one hamper & then I just wash one complete hamper at a time).

    The future tip we’re planning to use? Re-using our bathroom towels – our bathroom is getting ‘re-done’ in a week & so I’m waiting until then to start.

    Thanks for all of the tips & making my life easier & more streamlined!!! Great job, Laura!

  24. 24
    Trina says

    I’m in south Texas, in an area that is mostly rural.

    I don’t expect guests to remove their shoes with they come into my home, and I would never request that they do so. To combat the tracking-in problem, I have a mat outside each door and a mat inside the door to wipe shoes, and then an additional runner that people walk across before getting into the main living area. We have combination tile and carpeting. If someone tracks something in, I just clean it up. That’s a part of life. If any guest prefers to remove his shoes, I accomodate that as well.

    There is noone in our circle of friends, or in our family, that has a no-shoes in the house rule.

  25. 25
    Amy @ AboutOne says

    I WISH I could ask people to remove their shoes when they come in my home! But I know I would offend some people if I did. Some take their shoes off automatically and others wouldn’t even think of taking off their shoes because they wear shoes in their own homes. It makes me crazy that people would be offended by this request. We live on the East Coast.

    • 25.1
      Matthew C says

      Really? They would be offended? Have you tried politely asking them to remove their shoes? How did they react?

      • 25.1.1
        Amy @ AboutOne says

        There is 1 person in particular that feels that people should bend over backwards for guests. When I asked him to take off his shoes once because I had just scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, he said he couldn’t believe I would ask a guest to do that. He asked what was more important – people’s feelings or a clean floor. I dropped it immediately because I didn’t want to make a scene and never asked anyone again.

        • 25.1.1.1
          Matthew C says

          You will always get a few people who will be unpleasent over petty things. Don’t let yourself be bullied!

          I am sure you will find most people to be more reasonable than this person.

        • 25.1.1.2
          Trixielikafox says

          Maybe this is more bold and I am not sure who this person is (husband, father) but you can very politely but with conviction say, “I asked nicely for my home to be respected. But if you would care to repeat all the work that I just put into the clean floor I will try to refrain from ‘hurting our guest’s feelings’.”

  26. 26
    Abby says

    I feel like in the U.S. it varies as to whether it’s a requirement to take of shoes in the home. I’ve been in some homes where it’s required, and some homes where that’s just what people do (but it’s not a rule). Growing up most people in my family took off their shoes upon arriving at the house. But we were never allowed to keep them downstairs (and had to donate 25 cents (per pair) to the church if they were left downstairs overnight). Also, at my fiance’s parents house, they normally take off their shoes inside, but again, it’s not a requirement. As a result, when my fiance and I visit each other, we just automatically take off our shoes, and put them in their home. Once we’re married, I’m don’t think we’ll make it a rule to take of shoes when coming in the door, but I’m sure we’ll continue to do it anyway.

    As for laundry, I don’t sort mine either! Since I’m doing one person’s worth of laundry, it’s no use to sort it, unless I’m washing my bedsheets or for some reason have enough for two loads. In that case I might *roughly* sort it.

  27. 27
    Laura @ Homemaking Joyfully says

    I have lived in Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado and Ohio and it seems more common to remove shoes in areas where there is a lot of snow, rain and muck. My family lives in Florida and I can’t think of anyone who removes their shoes. However, in the other places I’ve lived it is common for nearly everyone (including service workers – cable, internet, etc) to either ask if they should remove their shoes, do it automatically or cover with their own booties (workers).

    We haven’t worn shoes inside our home in many years. Since we always try to live in a home with an attached garage, we have shoe racks in the garage and each family member removes and places shoes there before we enter the house. At the front door, we currently have a small tile entry-way with a rug, then I always leave at least one pair of shoes of to the side so that people see them there. I think it helps with encouraging or alerting others to shoe removal without being too forward about it (though I don’t push the issue if people don’t notice). However, I’m still absolutely shocked at how dirty my carpet gets… We’ve also taught our children to remove their shoes upon entering another home.

    The exception for shoes in the house is I sometimes wear flip flops when working in the kitchen. Especially, if the floor is messy and I haven’t had a chance to sweep. I cannot tolerate grit on the bottom of my feet!!

  28. 28
    Beth says

    Last year’s family reunion reminded me that not everyone takes their shoes off at the door. The townhouse we were renting was the gathering place for the whole group and a bunch of the family never took their shoes off the entire time! The floors (tile) were G.R.O. double S! I actually started wearing shoes inside b/c the floor was that bad. I guess I just don’t understand keeping shoes on in any climate. Even if you only ever walk on ‘clear’ sidewalks, you’re bringing in so much grossness… spit, spilled drinks and food, dog (and maybe even human!) waste… And if you ever walk on treated grass you’re tracking carcinogens throughout your house. Um, no thanks! I’ll keep it as contained as can be! Just because you can’t SEE it doesn’t mean it’s there. Just like germs.

  29. 29
    Jessica says

    I would no more ask people to take off their shoes than to take of their shirts and go topless. I live in TN, we have pretty decent weather, but if you were wearing boots or some other heavy footwear for bad weather, people would take that off. But not normal shoes. They probably only walked into their garage to get in the car and then up the walkway to your house. They aren’t traipsing through cow pastures or landfills for heavens sake.

    But I think it is SO weird to invite people over for a nice party/event and then see them walking around in dresses and suit/ties with their bare feet or slippers.

    Clean the floors people. Or just don’t have people over.

    And know this: If you move to TN and ask people to take their shoes off at your house, we are all going to gossip about you afterward. A lot.

    • 29.1
      Laura says

      In my forty years of life I’ve never once had someone ask me if it’s okay to leave their shoes on. Here in Canada, taking your shoes off is just the way it is (to my knowledge). So imagine how strange it would be for me to go somewhere where it was the norm to leave them on. I just couldn’t do it and would have to take my shoes off out of habit LOL.

      • 29.1.1
        Maria says

        Laura, “here in Canada, taking your shoes off” is NOT just the way it is. I grew up all over the States and some homes cared and other didn’t. But since moving to Canada…I find I’m often getting strange looks for wanting to take off my shoes. In fact, I am most often told that Canadians LEAVE their shoes on. Please don’t generalize as not all Canadians are like you. Canada and the US are two countries with HIGH immigration numbers and those cultural influences affect the “norm” of different communities. Your 40 years may have been very sheltered and unexposed to various cultures. What is your next generalization…that Canadians don’t sort their laundry either?

        • 29.1.1.1
          Maria says

          Ooohhh, that last comment came off snarky. I so did not mean it that way! I just meant to make fun of the fact that Canadians like to say they do things differently than Americans when in fact they actually do a lot of similar things even the things you think you do differently. Taking a small sampling (and yes, your blog is considered in the scientific world as “small”) is not a good case study. Sorry if I came across too snarky in the last one! :)

          • 29.1.1.1.1
            Laura says

            Oh just read your second comment here…we are good. It really is a touchy subject, but it sure doesn’t need to be. Like I’ve always said, it’s whatever works for you, right?

        • 29.1.1.2
          Laura says

          Ouch. Just having fun here…like I said it’s just a topic that fascinated me. I don’t really care either way which I pretty much said in my post. Each to their own, it’s all good. I do apologize for my generalization, As for not sorting the laundry, nope I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority there, but I am trying to change that LOL.

          • 29.1.1.2.1
            Maria says

            Yeah! I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to click as I ran to catch my kiddo as he tried to fly again and came back and shocked myself! I couldn’t find a way to edit it to clarify what I meant. Again, I do apologize for my gruffness in my previous comment. One thing I have learned from “Canadians” is that vinegar has so many uses! Glad to have learned a new one! Thanks!

    • 29.2
      Maria says

      Jessica: I have lots of dear friends in TN who would gossip about you for NOT taking your shoes off. And it’s obvious that you’ve never had your floors damaged by someone wearing heels (holes and dents in linoleum and wood) or boots (dents and scrapes) or sneakers (can destroy carpet). Men’s dress shoes are the worse as the corners of their heels scrape up floors. It’s not about cleanliness so much as repairs in some cases.

  30. 30
    Sarah T. says

    Having guests take their shoes off is not the norm here (Omaha, NE) but I just bought a new house and decided to enforce that rule when we move in. I want to keep it nice and clean! I plan to have mats for people to put their dirty shoes and slippers available. It will be an adjustment for sure (my mom rolled her eyes when I tried to have her do this in our old house) but hopefully people will get used to it! I loved the sign ideas from Tip Junkie too!

  31. 31
    Lisa says

    As someone who has traveled and been a guest in many homes, I find it is just polite to follow the custom of the home. If I see shoes by the door, I will ask if that is where they would like me to put my shoes. Most often it is. In my family, not wearing shoes has always been a matter of preference, not of hygiene. Most of my family growing up and in my current house like to go barefoot. In fact I am barefoot right now. My flip flops, for gardening, by the door. I say as a guest you follow the custom of the home. As a hostess, you can find polite ways to say,”we leave our shoes at the door”.

  32. 32
    Vickie says

    I lived in Canada when I was younger and thought that that shoes-off thing was a very smart idea- especially where we lived. But now I would much rather have people leave their shoes on. I don’t want to have to smell their feet as we sit and visit.

  33. 33
    Beth B says

    I was born and raised in Alabama and prefer to be barefoot or wear flip flops. My husband was born and raised in Wisconsin and absolutely hates to walk anywhere barefoot. I really like the idea of no outside shoes in the house, but we have dogs who live in the house so it seems to defeat the purpose of no shoes when the dogs track dirt in all the time too. Working with animals all day, there is no telling what is on my husband’s shoes so he keeps his slippers by the door and ALWAYS takes his shoes off when he is outside.

    Before I discovered the blog world, I thought only Asian cultures asked people to take their shoes off. I don’t know anyone personally who makes it a practice.

  34. 34
    Lisa @ Organized Chaos says

    We live in South Carolina….We take our shoes off at the door unless someone says you don’t have to. I’m originally from WV….and we ALL take our shoes off at the door!!!! ~
    ~Lisa

  35. 35
    Kathy J says

    I was raised in West Texas and don’t recall taking shoes off unless muddy. Also lived in East Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Never heard of it until moved to Nebraska. I understand about cleanliness, but when you have a lot of foot pain without supportive shoes, it is easy to be resistant to the idea. Now when I go to someone’s house, I try to take a pair of comfy indoor shoes to switch into.

  36. 36
    Deborah says

    I don’t mind if people wear their shoes in my house, although a lot of people take theirs off automatically, leaving a big heap of shoes to trip over by the door (I don’t have an entryway area, really; the door just opens into the living room). This actually gets on my nerves more than the wearing of shoes. I don’t like being required to take my shoes off in others’ homes, although I will do it if I feel like it’s the custom of the home. What I really dislike is having holes in my socks because I didn’t think about it ahead of time, AND having to put said shoes back on when there is no bench or chair available. Get a bench, people!

  37. 37
    Lisa says

    For some people it may be uncomfortable to wear their shoes in the house. however, there are people, my mother for instance, who find it more comfortable to wear their shoes due to back issues (she has orthotics in her shoes). My MIL also wears shoes pretty much all the time because of back issues.

    I’m a person that takes off shoes in my own house and especially in others. Actually I would prefer to go barefoot or at the very least just wear flip flops year around but I do live in Wisconsin so that’s not possible. However, I would never ask my mother or MIL to remove their shoes because I know it would cause them pain. In the winter, they’ll wear their boots and bring their clean shoes into the house to change into.

    While I would prefer everyone take off their shoes before coming into my house or anyone elses, I am also respectful of my visitor’s personal needs.

    • 37.1
      Matthew C says

      Most people are quite capable of taking their shoes off though. It’s fine to make exceptions for those who need to keep their shoes on, but it makes sense to ask everybody else politely to take their shoes off.

  38. 38
    Alicia says

    I live in Iowa, where it seems to be the norm to take your shoes off in someone’s house. However, every once in a while, there is always the person who does not. I usually go with whatever the homeowner is doing.

    I HATE it when people don’t take their shoes off in my house. We are a pet-free home, and I like to keep the carpet as clean as possible. At the same time, I HATE taking my shoes off at someone’s house where they do have pets. My feet or socks always end up dirty and stuck with furr! I figure if they let animals walk around their carpet, then I should be okay with my shoes on.

  39. 39
    Julie says

    I live in Louisiana and we keep our shoes on here! I think it’s a cultural thing… I was raised that going around barefoot was kinda “trashy” and proper folks wear shoes! We do have mats at doors to cut down on dirt, and since it doesn’t snow there isn’t a salt/slush/mud issue. I also find it uncomfortable to go without shoes on hard surface floors, I’m sure a lifetime of wearing them is why!

    PS – I sort my laundry too :P

  40. 40
    Wendy Salmon says

    We always take off our shoes in the house I can’t imagine the dirt and germs being dragged all of the floors and carpets.

    Years ago when we were selling our home in Cincinnati, two potential buyers came into our home with the realtor as we were getting ready to leave for the evening. They began to walk into the hall and our then 3 yr old daughter piped up “Please remove your shoes!”. My husband and I were embarassed as we felt the realtor could do whatever was necessary to sell our home. The potential buyers said “Ok!” and removed them and continued on their tour.

    Later that evening the realtor called to say he got an offer! The potential buyers loved the house and felt it must be extra clean if our then toddler knew enought to remove your shoes!

  41. 41
    Michelle says

    ok…you have got to link to the post about not sorting laundry. I NEVER sort laundry…maybe the occsional new red shrt, but that is it. My mother and other’s think I am nuts. When the basket is full (underrwear, towels, jens, shirts, whatever) go throw it in the washer. I don’t have time to sort my laundry, I am just lucky to get it washed :)

  42. 42
    Mark Anthony Morales says

    i love all your blogs! and i read them every tuesday and thursday! your one of the few organizing blogs that consistently updates them! you keep me entertained!

    back to your post though, i walked in my friends parents home one time, it was this beautiful two story house with 6 bedrooms, etc, it was beautiful and when i walked in too noticed a basket of slippers, i looked down and my friends parents greeted me and i noticed they werent wearing any shoes.

    i asked if i needed to take my shoes off,and they nicely said only if i wanted to.

    their carpet was clean. but i kept my shoes on. now that i think about it though, maybe it was up to me to make the right decision and take my shoes off. maybe it was a test…. i was never invited to my friends parents home anymore and i’m not sure if it was because i didnt take my shoes off haha

    now i guess the point of my story is, its just common courtesy. if you see a basket of slippers as soon as you walk in i dont believe you should even ask if you need to take your shoes off, just do it.

    after all its their home your going in to not your own. i could have hadmud on the bottom of my shoes, or gum and not have even noticed and rubbed it all over their carpet, ehhh

  43. 43
    pentamom says

    We take our shoes off indoors, and our friends mostly do as well, but I think it is rude to make an issue of it for people who do not wish to do so.

    My parents’ background (American, but just a particular local/ethnic/social/generational/whatever culture) is that not wearing shoes is disrespectful, especially if there are guests in the home or you are a guest in the home. They don’t mind so much when my family comes to visit and we do it, but they would be rather offended at being asked to do it — let alone “talked to about it” — by someone else in their home. They would perceive it as “caring more about your carpets than about respecting your guests.”

    I’m not saying their attitude is right, but I am saying that if someone has a long-standing preference of not doing so, it is probably more rude to try to change their habits than to accept the inconvenience of their wearing shoes in your home. Unless, of course, there’s some really serious health issue or something involved.

    Following the custom of the home is ALWAYS the right thing when you’re the guest, but if someone does not do that, pressing your shoe-wearing/not wearing preference on them is not really the right thing to do as the host. It’s a hospitality issue. If there does not seem to be a noticeable preference in your host’s home, then following your normal practice is also fine.

    And you know, we’re all more flexible about this than this conversation might suggest. At least in my experience, the most non-shoe-wearing home in the world doesn’t expect guests to take their shoes off if they’re invited to a holiday party. It’s only if you’re “making yourself at home” more or less that this is done. But maybe that’s just my experience.

    • 43.1
      Matthew C says

      If people are unreasonable and get offended at being asked to do something simple, that is their problem. Most people will not be offended and it’s helpful and reasonable for the host to communicate her preference for shoes-off.

      • 43.1.1
        pentamom says

        I don’t disagree that it is unreasonable or “their problem,” but good manners have always dictated that a host does not concern himself or herself with whether guests are being “unreasonable” or having a “problem” — you are supposed to put yourself out for them.

        If you consider the people really unreasonable, don’t have them back again! But etiquette doesn’t permit making demands of your guests.

        That said, I wasn’t talking about merely communicating a preference, but insisting when the guest has indicated the opposite preference. Of course a hostess is entitled to communicate a preference.

        • 43.1.1.1
          Matthew C says

          You are bringing up this word ‘demand.’ If you consult your dictionary, you will see that the definition of demand is different from the definition for ‘ask’ or ‘request.’

          Asking guests to do something simple and reasonable is not in any way rude or contrary to the spirit of hospitality.

  44. 44
    Marilyn Holeman says

    Hi Laura, Great topic! Being from Southern CA we never took our shoes off, and I didn’t know many who did. I don’t think it’s rude to ask, though, especially if you have guest slippers for people. Now that I live in the mountains of So. CA. where we do get snow and more rain, I can understand why that would be a given for people with these kinds of climates. We usually only remove shoes if the weather is bad. (Though my youngest has been known to walk–or run– barefoot in the snow!)

    I loved your link. Cute ideas.

    Thanks for your great blog!

    Blessings,
    Marilyn

  45. 45
    Mandi says

    haha! We don’t take our shoes off here in Montgomery Alabama… especially in my neighborhood. We live in a historic district and hardly any of us have carpet… just hard wood floors. They are beautiful and we love them but they are dirty five minutes after I sweep and mop. It doesn’t matter how much I clean them, your socks will still look dirty after walking through a room! So we just keep our shoes on because there really isn’t a point!

    Back in Texas where I am originally from, we take our shoes off before going inside. :)

    • 45.1
      Renovation Girl says

      @Mandi-same with us! We’re in Southwestern PA and live in an old home…I could scrub the floors all day and your socks would still be dirty. 130+ years of dirt ground in (and smoke from the coal that used to be burned in the house). Of course, if anyone knows a way to get that dirt out of the floor, I’d love to hear it. We’ve tried the steam cleaners for hardwood floors and regular old mopping…

      • 45.1.1
        Mandi says

        We’ve tried everything too… so far, nothing can get those floors clean! :) I just tell myself that my floors are cleaner because I can SEE the dirt and then clean it up. A carpet just hides it and makes you think the floor is clean! Ever pulled up a carpet? There is usually a lot of dirt underneath it! But I would love for people to walk on my floors and not get dingy socks…

  46. 46
    Dee says

    We are a shoes off house. Even when we had blue carpet, now we have beige. My husband started it and there was only one time I wish we didn’t do it, my son’s baptism party, all those people with their socks on, my dad was not pleased. So, for large parties I let people keep them on but kids, kids friends and our family, we always take them off. Just the other day my 18 year old crawled up the stairs on his knees because he forgot something and didn’t want to take his shoes off and knew his dad would not be happy!!!
    It is fun to watch my kids’ friends come in, they automatically leave their shoes by the door!!

  47. 47
    Stephanie S says

    i love your controversial posts! heehee!

    we usually take our shoes off right when we come in the house, but if a guest doesn’t want to remove theirs, that’s fine too. i guess we just don’t allow it to become a big deal. i like the mahalo sign, though! it reminds me of our 10th anniversary when hubby took me to Maui. :)

    as for laundry…i’ve tried your no-sort method and love it! i must admit that the idea kind of freaked me out at first. so i started with the kids’ clothes (they’re both boys and don’t care about clothes). just threw it all in one load like you said and it worked! i still sort hubby’s with mine, but I’ve already found it’s a lot less work keeping the boys’ clothes separate from ours. so thanks for the idea!

  48. 48
    Danielle says

    I have no preference in my home. In others I will respect their wishes but I get uncomfortable if there are no slippers available or if I’m not warned. I always worry ‘what if my feet stink’.

  49. 49
    Christy says

    I always laugh at our scrapbook retreats when we have them in up state NY. You can tell how many Canadians are there by how many pairs of shoes sit by the door. We automatically kick them off. It’s 2nd nature. We live in the states now and my kids take their shoes off as soon as they are over the threshold. I guess old habits die hard!

  50. 50
    Ellen Christian says

    We live in Vermont. In the country. On a dirt road. We always take our shoes off. I can’t imagine not doing that. Most of the time there is either snow or mud on our shoes and I’d never wander through someone’s house with them on. Oh…. I don’t sort my laundry either.

  51. 51
    Shelia says

    You know, I just always attributed my habit of running around barefoot in the house to the hillbillies that are surely lurking in my family tree. I don’t always take off my shoes when I’m at other people’s homes, but sometimes I do. I saw a quick glance at the hosts feet is a good telling hint. Bare feet on the host =shoes off at the door. :)

    Now, my husband almost NEVER takes his shoes off in the house, or at other people’s homes. He has cerebral palsy. Mobility and flexibility are issues for him, as is stability. He keeps ins shoes on so as not to have to struggle to put them back on. He keeps them on so he is more stable when walking. His shoes, and the orthotics in them help is knees and back.

    It just goes to show that culture is a biggie here, but so is knowing all the facts. I’d say that a simple, “would you mind taking off your shoes” can go far in this situation if it is, indeed, a thing for you.

  52. 52
    Marlynn says

    I grew up on a ranch in Utah, and yes the shoes come off. They do in my house too. I really hate having all the mud and dirt and ect dragged all the way through my home. Now some homes I frequent I leave the shoes on…you would to if you seen their house!

    I like what someone said earlier, look at your host, if she has shoes, shoes are OK if no shoes are worn, lose the shoes buddy!

  53. 53
    Susanne says

    I’m a shoes off gal too being raised of good European stock and being a fellow Albertan. My parents would never wear their shoes in the house.

  54. 54
    clothespin says

    OK, so I grew up on a wheat farm (but with the standard set of farm critters, too) in western Kansas. I never knew anyone who took their shoes off when entering the house. OK, so mom made dad do it, but only because he would track crude oil from the oil wells (he was an oil well pumper) onto her carpet and it was a real bear to get out.

    But, everyone here is going regional…. I would think that there might be more of a rural verses urban component to this discrepancy. Growing up on a working farm, we were in and out of the house umpteen times a day all day long. I can’t imagine having to put on and then take off my shoes every single time I had to go get the eggs or get the mail or tell dad (in the machine shed) that lunch was ready or put out the laundry or… If we had the no shoes rule, we would have spent 1/2 the day fussing with our shoes! Going without shoes was for down time, at night when we’re in our PJs… not for time with guests.

    In my own house, I do not and will never have carpeting. I have multiple degrees in biology and know for fact that there is no way ever that you will get carpet clean. Ever. All of the dust and pollen and skin cells and dust mites that live in the carpet… blech. You can make carpet look pretty on the top, but all of the icky is still there underneath.

    At least with hard surface flooring, I can scrub it and use bleach or other sanitizer and actually kill the little germies (a scientific term) and it will be clean for the 5 seconds before your husband or kid or dog walks across it leaving a trail of who knows what. Give me something that I can sanitize any day…. PLUS, hard surface floors are vastly better for those with allergies (like my hubs) because again, you can actually get everything clean.

    And, so far as the folks who insist on my taking shoes off to go into their house? I’m icked out by walking barefoot (cause I wear birkenstocks and not with socks in the summer) on their floors… And, my feet are chronically cold, even right now in the 2 zillion degree heat of this horrible Texas summer. Luckily, I only hang out with folks who don’t mind either way…so I keep my birks on.

  55. 55
    Elvie Look says

    I have a basket with slippers for my guests too. Especially with some floors being porcelain tile… they are cold. I couldn’t imagine walking in the house with shoes on… GASP! You picked a good topic, you got tons of comments. Good going! Hugs

  56. 56
    Andi says

    I live on the gulf coast and I don’t know of anyone who has a “no shoes policy.” Personally, I would LOVE to do that in my house, especially since I have a crawler right now, because my husband works outside a lot and brings in a lot of c-r-a-p.

    Unfortunately, my daughter has cerebral palsy and has to wear braces. Taking shoes on and off is tough.

  57. 57
    Mary Newman says

    If shoes have been in a public bathroom, walking in parking lots with oil dripping, cigarette butts, gum and spit… and walked in a park with potential dog poop and urine, I think those shoes should stay by the door to limit dirt in the home. It’s nasty to think what’s on the bottom of your shoes. And shoes make the floors dirtier. Personally, I don’t want to mop my floor more than I need to. (I am Canadian living in CT for 11 yrs.)

  58. 58
    Michelle says

    I admit that I’m a bit weirded out by folks that don’t take their shoes off. I’m Asian-American and growing up, we never EVEREVEREVER wore shoes in the house. Shoes off at the door was always a given, no matter whose house we were at.

  59. 59
    Sheila says

    About not sorting the laundry, I’m all for it. However, I sometimes run the risk of colors bleeding, even when I’m already using cold water. I washed my beddings today, mixing the cream sheets with the greens and blues. When it was done, my cream sheets are now in the shade of blue green! I’m not freaking out at all. But I just wonder how other homemakers are getting away with not sorting the laundry and still able to maintain the clothes’ colors. Does it have to do with the detergent? The laundry machine settings? Is it because I used Oxi-clean in today’s load? I would appreciate any suggestions.

    • 59.1
      Laura says

      It’s all to do with the vinegar. I used about 1/2 cup with every load and I’ve never had a problem with colors bleeding.

      Laura

  60. 60
    Angela says

    Fascinating post! Who knew???! I wish people would take off their shoes – but I live in Arizona and there are WAY too many creepy crawlies in our area (spiders, scorpions, centipedes, etc.) to do that. In fact, the rule is to always have shoes on and shake your shoes before putting them on, just in case you got a visitor!
    Great blog, by the way. =)

  61. 61
    Jen says

    As a fellow Albertan who has also lived in other provinces this post
    Has been eye-opening! I naively thought of “shoes off at the door”
    As being fairly common everywhere, but there are obviously a lot
    differences from region to region! Great post:)

  62. 62
    Lori says

    I wasn’t raised to take my shoes off at the door (but my mother insists on it now). I started the tradition when we moved into our first home & had a new baby. The thought of all the germs & dirt on the floor & carpet with a crawling baby just grossed me out. My only problem with the slippers at the door is that I feel like I’m being told my socks are dirty, too. For some reason the slipper thing just bothers me. Maybe because my mother insists that we put slippers on in her home, but then again she covers her couches & chairs before we sit down implying we are dirty & I know she doesn’t do this with her other guests. We are in WA state & we are the only ones I’ve ever run into (besides my mother) that take our shoes off at the door! I once had a polite sign at the door asking people to please remove their shoes but I was told in no uncertain terms by my husbands family that i was rude & selfish to ask this of people. No matter that my FIL would muck around in his garden all day & then just tromp right in with the cakes of mud going everywhere…….arghhhh

    • 62.1
      kira says

      growing up my mother always had us all change into our slippers at the door, and to be honest most of my friends did the same. in my experience most people here in the UK take their shoes off at the door and given our climate here, slippers are a necessity. the guest slippers thing is still something i find that we really dont like. i remember when i complained to my mother about having to take my shoes off etc she would always tell me to wait until i have my own house and family. yes she was right, its shoes of at the door for us all and yes we all put our slippers on.

  63. 63
    Jill says

    When I lived in the Northwest (Oregon), we always took our shoes off everywhere because it always rained and everyone had carpet. Now that I live in the South (Georgia), I have yet been asked to take my shoes off and no one ever does. I actually have never been in a house with carpet in the three years I’ve lived here.

  64. 65
    lym says

    I am hosting a gathering in my home in the next few weeks and they are all Texans (I live in Texas). I am already starting to freak out and have heart palpitations over the fact that there will be some people tracking in dirt to my home. Arghh it drives me nuts!!! I grew up in a culture where we were trained from young to take our shoes off upon entering a home. If we did not take our shoes off, it was a sign of disrespect and we would get scolded. I really dunno how to tell them off if they wore their shoes in because they are my hubs colleagues. If they were my friends or a maintenance guy, it would be easier for me. And I know my hubs would be too nice to tell them off.

    • 65.1
      Laura says

      Oh gosh I feel for you, that is a tough spot to be in. I would think in this situation though it would be your husbands call but I would be freaking out too. Let me know how you make out!

  65. 66
    Sara says

    Hi Laura, looks like this was most certainly a controversial topic! There are some great responses.

    I live in north-east Australia, in a very tropical climate, where probably 90% of shoes (other than school or work) are sandals/flip flops/ slip on shoes, so there really is no issue about how difficult they are to put on/take off.
    For the people in my social circle at least, it’s not something you think about, you just take them off automatically.
    I have hardwood floors, and while MOST of the time we’re barefoot, there are times when I’m just dashing in for a moment when I’ll leave my work shoes on, hubby keeps his work shoes in the bedroom and they’re last on in the morning and first off when he comes home.
    Having said this though, we recently had a house guest for the week over Easter who wore his shoes all day, and I found it very irritating.
    On the other hand, I work in a cafe where it would be very akward for someone to come in without shoes, but I was delighted when a council worker took off his boots before coming in for lunch after laying fresh bitumen. Some of his collegues were not so kind!

    Overall, I think the practice of the hosts is always the best course of action when visiting someone else’s home, with the exception of the medical reasons of course.

  66. 67
    Hanneke says

    I’m from Holland (Netherlands) and probably only farmers, or people who were raised on a farm, still take their shoes off. In those families you’ll still find carpet on the floors.
    Living in the city, asking guests to take off treis shoes is a real no-go. When you dare, they’ll kindly refuse your next invitation. That is so not-done! ” I’m not wearing these expensive high heals to leave them at the door!!” Floors in Holland are mostly wood/laminate/ceramic tiles. So mopping the floor is easy. And I must say, I wouldn’t be comfortable at all taking off my shoes either. Smelly feet, yuk! And do you know how many germs live in sweatty socks? ;-)
    Really, I think it’s just a cultural thing!
    Love your blog BTW!

  67. 68
    Mike says

    It is just good manners. I strongly believe that you should treat other people’s homes the way that they do.

  68. 69
    Linda Burnett says

    This topic is a hot debate in my household. My husband puts is shoes on first thing in the morning as soon as he showers and does not take them off until he goes to bed- period. The rest of us take our shoes off immediately upon entering the home. We usually have out shoes off within 5 minutes of entering another persons home- this drives my spouse crazy. He strongly believes wearing shoes means your ready to work and equates being barefoot or in stocking feet with being lazy bum. The vast majority of our friends never take their shoes off – I have the socks prove it.. I asked my Dad to take off his shoes and I thought he was going to have a coronary. Another male relative asked about fires and how I would get out with no shoes- granted we live in an area prone to fire but seriously…. I keep a very large basket of slippers and fuzzy socks by the door and it rarely helps. At one point I had a bookcase in the front hall with shoes as a not so subtle hint,- guess what my guests still wore shoes and complained about the smell of the stinky shoes. I think wearing shoes in the house is disgusting- they track in all kinds of stuff. Mercifully we have hard wood floors and tile throughout the majority of the house which helps with sanitation. The best tactic for getting people to be barefoot- i keep the floors highly polished (dust mop with pledge) bare-feet are less prone to slipping!

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