Sunday, June 26, 2016

Elegant Home Blog: A Shoe Rack Organizer Keeps Shoes from Becoming a Heap on the Floor

Elegant Home Blog: A Shoe Rack Organizer Keeps Shoes from Becoming a Heap on the Floor

"When we laid new carpet in our home, we also made a rule that said that everyone coming into the house had to take their shoes off at the door. This wasn’t something that was exactly easy to do at first, but eventually we all started to remember that we had to take off our shoes on a regular basis. We were able to take off shoes all of the time without any issue.

Of course, one of the big problems that did come from this was that there ended up being a huge pile of shoes by the door all of the time. This was a problem because the shoes in a pile were really ugly and not very pleasant at all. We had to do something to make sure that these shoes weren’t the first thing that people coming into our home saw."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Asian Shopping Experience

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rub and Scrub: How dirty are your shoes really?

Rub and Scrub: How dirty are your shoes really?

"Since childhood we’ve been ordered to “take your shoes off before you come into the house” or “wipe your feet” on the doormat, and we’ve obeyed without question. But how dirty are our shoes really?

When you start to think about it, they are the only part of us that come into contact with all kinds of surfaces, dirt and bacteria apart from our hands. And we wash those regularly (at least most of us do). So, understandably, shouldn’t we know what exists on the bottom of our shoes? And whether they are as dirty as we’ve been told.

Food, people and their pets are the most common carriers of germs into a home. And the soles of our shoes are the most culpable culprit."

Sunday, June 12, 2016

West Wales Chronicle: Only 25% of Wales take off their shoes at other people’s houses!

West Wales Chronicle: Only 25% of Wales take off their shoes at other people’s houses

Northern Ireland may have come top of their group in qualifying for the European Championship, but they also ranked top of the league when it came to not taking their shoes off, with only a staggering 3% removing their footwear when visiting a friend’s house.

Research released today by Vax shows that just (25%) of Wales remove their shoes when visiting someone else’s house. This is despite the region’s biggest carpet bug bear being muddy footprints, with 44% moaning about this pet hate.

Of course, like the tales of sailors, opinion polls may be believed or disbelieved at will. No doubt the figure would be a lot higher for London and the South East.

Health and Safety Executive

A case regarding asking cleaners not to wear outdoor footwear:

Health and Safety Executive: Case 131- Carers' footwear challenged during home visits


Carers carrying out a home visit refuse to wear slippers or take off their outdoor shoes due to health and safety. The householder bought slippers for each of the carers to use but they refuse to wear them and their outdoor footwear is leaving dirty marks on the carpets.

Panel decision

Employers will have provided the carers with/require them to wear sensible footwear which take account of the type of work they are likely to do on their "rounds" eg lifting or carrying. Simply trotting out "health and safety" as the reason for rejecting the slippers is not helpful. This problem could be easily solved to everyone's satisfaction by the carers having a supply of plastic shoe covers to wear indoors to protect the resident's carpets.

Saturday, June 04, 2016


All my weekends these days are devoted to campaigning for the EU referendum. I was in Codicote this morning, a village in Hertfordshire, delivering leaflets for ConservativesIN. Codicote has a lot of Tory voters, so it's naturally the place to go to seek Tory votes for Remain.

Quite a lot of houses had shoes left by the door. Understandable with the muddy fields out in the countryside. It got me thinking about whether shoes-off is more urban or rural. On the one hand, you have all the mud and muck of the rural environment. On the other hand, a lot of people in the country live in older, colder houses, where removing shoes may be less comfortable. The cities have their own kinds of dirt. You also have more ethnic diversity in the cities and modern etiquette, that may be more pro-shoes-off.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wall Street Journal: Delivery Service Brings Groceries to Your Fridge When You’re Away

Wall Street Journal: Delivery Service Brings Groceries to Your Fridge When You’re Away

STOCKHOLM—In Sweden, groceries and fresh food can be delivered in your absence and directly to where they belong: your kitchen and fridge.

A Scandinavian courier company, PostNord AB, and supermarket chain, ICA AB, are testing the new service with about 20 households in the Swedish capital, promising that messengers will remove their shoes and unpack online deliveries, even when customers are away.

Monday, May 30, 2016

More on Professor Stephen Heppell's Shoeless Learning Advocacy

The Guardian: The secret to calm classrooms? Lose the shoes

Stephen Heppell, professor of new media environments at Bournemouth University’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, who is running the project, has observed many shoeless schools now, and has seen the effects, including better behaviour. Going shoeless also has a particular impact on bullying. “It seems to be difficult to be a bully with your shoes off,” he says. “All the places we’ve been where kids have their shoes off, they report calmness.”

The researchers had asked children where they read at home. “Ninety-five per cent said it was with shoes off, sitting in comfort on a sofa, bed, on the floor, on a beanbag.” Making the classroom more comfortable and inviting, with clean carpets and no dirty footwear, could encourage reading, he says.

It isn’t just the children who should spend the day in their socks, says Heppell, the teachers must too. “You can’t have a room that’s shoeless unless everybody is shoeless.”

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cannes 2016

The month of May always brings the Cannes Film Festival and yachts where shoes are strictly forbidden. A few pictures I have seen of celebrities on yachts looking glamorous with their shoes off:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Boundaries Training

I was co-delivering a training course on professional boundaries this week. I used my shoes-off policy as an example of a boundary in everyday life.

I pointed out that a lot of people who would prefer shoes-off in their homes don't feel comfortable asking visitors to remove their shoes. I used this to illustrate how boundaries often fail because people don't have the confidence to assert them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Telegraph: Schoolchildren with no shoes on 'do better and behave better in the classroom', research shows

The Telegraph: Schoolchildren with no shoes on 'do better and behave better in the classroom', research shows

Schoolchildren who attend their lessons wearing no shoes are likely to obtain better grades and behave better than those who wear them, a decade-long academic research has revealed.

‘Shoeless’ children are more likely to arrive to school earlier, leave later and read more, according to new research by Bournemouth University.

Researchers have observed tens of thousands of children who leave their shoes outside the classroom and found that pupils are more engaged in their lessons, which in turn leads to better academic attainment.

The research is in line with policies introduced in schools in England where children who go to class shoeless – following the steps of schools in Scandinavia in an effort to improve their academic standards and behaviour.

The study is based on observing and studying tens of thousands of children in over 100 schools in around 25 countries over the last ten years.

Apart from countries in Scandinavia, researchers have visited schools in New Zealand and Australia. The longest project has taken place in West London where children’s behaviour and academic results were analysed all the way through to university.

For decades children in northern Europe have learned with their shoes off because they are left at the school door arrival due to snow, ice or slush.

Definitely an approach that British schools should adopt. Traditional British classrooms are simply not designed for effective learning.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Like this Sign?

Mumsnet: Is it common sense for estate agent to take off shoes when doing a viewing?

Mumsnet: Is it common sense for estate agent to take off shoes when doing a viewing?

More discussion on Mumsnet!

As I recently shared, when searching for a new apartment, in four out of the five properties, the estate agents had their shoes off.

AirHostsForum: Do you allow shoes in the house?

AirHostsForum: Do you allow shoes in the house?

"We've always have had a strict policy of no shoes inside the house. However, I've been visiting as a guest to other AirBnbs and it seems like everyone else is fine with having shoes inside the house. For guests that don't feel comfortable with not wearing anything, we offer free one time use slippers.

What's everyone's experience with this?"

Discussion by AirBnb hosts on this topic.

Ask An American: Do Americans WEAR SHOES INSIDE THE HOME?

In her experience, removing shoes in the USA is uncommon, unlike Germany. However, it is a little more common in some parts of the USA.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

iRV2 Forums: Shoes Off Rule? Just Wonderin'

iRV2 Forums: Shoes Off Rule? Just Wonderin'

Discussion of the shoes-off rule on a forum for owners of motorhomes. It's nice to see that plenty of American motorhome owners prefer shoes off inside.

It's interesting the UK/US difference about living in trailer parks. In the US, living in a trailer park is seen as very low class, equivalent to our council estates. Here in the UK, apart from Gypsies and Irish Travellers, living in a caravan (trailer) is associated with middle-class eccentricity. When my parents were temporarily living in a caravan park (trailer park) while relocating to the south-east, I took great delight in telling my American friends about my 'white trash' parents.

I expect most middle-class British caravan dwellers take their shoes off and ask visitors to do the same, as our caravan parks can get really muddy. I understand this is the custom among Gypsies.

CarpetRight: April showers & the battle against muddy boots

CarpetRight: April showers & the battle against muddy boots

Don’t feel embarrassed to ask everyone to take their shoes off when they come into yourhouse. You can help people with this by having a clear area for them to leave their shoes such as a basket or a rack near each entrance.

A shoes-off policy is vital with the unpredictable spring weather in the UK.