I have heard so many different debates throughout the years as to whether it makes a difference with keeping your shoes on while walking around your home or keep your shoes off. You would be amazed at some of the reasons people come up with for both.
Here is the dirty scoop on this well-debated, short-lived argument that takes place in so many homes. SHOE OFF does make a HUGE difference in the overall wellness of the flooring in your home and at a minimum, your air quality. YES, I am 100% for SHOES OFF inside your home.
I come at this from the aspect of 1-cleaning homes for over 20 years, 2-suffering from seasonal allergies, 3-raising my son who has asthma, 4-being a person who was immunocompromised for several years.
As a person with the knowledge and experience of cleaning homes for over 20 years, I have seen the impact that heavy traffic has on carpeted floors, tiled floors, hardwood floors, vinyl/laminated flooring. YES, bringing in the outside dirt/dust/grime/germs DOES leave its mark on your flooring, literally. The only way to ensure that your floors remain clean would be to constantly vacuum, dust, sweep, mop, and disinfect them on a daily. Now, this is the one thing that the average person will not do nor do they have the time to do so. The act of simply not keeping your shoes on when you enter your home greatly reduces the need to constantly clean and disinfect, and helps to extend the life of your flooring, no matter what type you have.
As a person who suffers from major seasonal allergies for every season, along with my son who also has asthma, SHOES OFF was an easy and required choice for my home. Now, did friends and family like it, NO they did not but at the end of the day, it is an issue of RESPECT. Anyone who enters your home must respect your home and follow the rules you have set in place. It was important for me to keep my floors as clean as possible so that I could control my indoor air quality as much as possible to protect my son’s respiratory health and mine. Shoes off allowed me to keep my carpets cleaner longer and reduce the number of times I had to have them cleaned each year. It also allowed me to relax more when it came to worrying about my son inhaling all those nasty things that lurk on the bottom of our shoes and having those nasty things in my carpets.
SHOES OFF was a requirement that everyone who entered my home knew about and had no choice but to respect if they wanted to enter. I simply created a cute and efficient area next to the door/entry point of my home, designed with a colored floor mat for shoe placement. Now, you may be saying that for your home this would not work, especially for large families but I would disagree. The key to make this area work, stay neat and tidy is by not keeping all your shoes there every day. This area is only for the most frequently worn shoes or the shoes you wear daily. If there are shoes there that you do not wear on a daily, they need to be removed and placed back in your closet. A simple dip in a solution of your favorite disinfectant before placing them back in the closet (wipe off the excess liquid first) can help with reducing the germ/dirt content. This area should not be a substitute for putting your shoes away in your closet, if it does, then it is time to do a purge. This will take some practice and you will have to work on finding an area near your main entry point that works with the flow of your home. At the end of the day, it is your decision as to whether your home will be a SHOES ON or SHOES OFF zone!