Saturday, February 06, 2016

Hannibal Courier-Post: 3 tips to staying cozy

Hannibal Courier-Post: 3 tips to staying cozy

1. No Shoes Policy

Avoid tracking the outside elements into the interiors of your home. A no-shoes policy in the house can help. Keep a shoe rack by the door of your house to encourage family and guests to remove their shoes upon arrival. You can make the policy stick more easily by supplying your family with weather-appropriate shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

“We keep a small basket of Crocs by our sliding door to the backyard. It’s easy for the kids to grab their pair, so they can go outside,” says lifestyle blogger Kacia Hosmer of Coconut Robot.

Though known as a summer shoe, she cites some of the brand’s newer styles, such as Baya Heathered Fuzz Lined Clog, as being cool weather-friendly and a good fit that stay on one’s feet.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

I liked this one!

I viewed a beautiful apartment this evening that was in a very convenient location. I intend to make an offer tomorrow.

It was the same estate agent who showed me the second property, the one who kept her shoes on. In this apartment she removed her shoes, even though it was dry this evening, but raining on the previous showing. One of the occupants had his shoes on, so presumably there was no shoes-off policy (unless it applied only to estate agents and viewers!). Perhaps she removed her shoes in this property because it was nicer and better looked after. Or maybe she kept her shoes on in the other apartment because the tenants in that property had a dog.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

UviCube: 66 Million Reasons to Take Your Shoes Off

UviCube: 66 Million Reasons to Take Your Shoes Off

"Those considering replacing the carpet with tile or hardwood in order to reduce babies’ exposure to these shoe germs may have good intentions, but intentions will not stop the bacteria. The same study reported that 90% of shoe microorganisms are transferable to tile and hardwood, so removing the carpet will not remove the germs.

Removing shoes is one very effective way to reduce babies’ exposure to the germs found in and on the carpet. Many suggest that keeping a pair of slippers at the door will help jog the memory to take the shoes off. Remembering to carry the shoes to the closet immediately after removing them is also helpful in containing the germs to one central location. Parents are urged to wash their hands after handling their shoes as well."

Next Property #2

I viewed another property this morning. Unlike the other properties which all have wood floors, this apartment was carpeted. It was nice and the price was reasonable, but it is old and might need some work. It also had no allocated parking space, which might be a disadvantage.

I was pleased to see that the estate agent removed her shoes when entering the property.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Attended an Open House

It is depressing looking for property in the town I live. The prices are very high and properties are getting snapped up very quick. My colleagues have suggested I should look for a property in Bedfordshire. At the open house I attended this afternoon, there was an whole bunch of would-be buyers.

I was cheered up a little by the fact that those of us attending were asked to remove our shoes. Not only did the estate agent stand by the door to ask the viewers to discalce, but she had also put up a sign like this:



It's very good to see estate agents taking care of the properties they are trying to sell.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Next Property

I looked at another property, again a two-bedroom apartment. This one seems horribly overpriced compared to the previous property.

The tenant living there told me I could keep my shoes on, but it was pouring down with rain, so it didn't seem right keeping them on. She's a tenant and is moving out, so I suppose she was not terribly invested in the wood floors. She had a baby, however, which I think is a good reason in itself to insist on shoes coming off.

The estate agent kept her shoes on.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Clarissa' Blog: How Much of a Soviet Person Are You? A Quiz

Clarissa' Blog: How Much of a Soviet Person Are You? A Quiz

3. When you visit other people’s houses, the first thing you do is remove your shoes.

A. Of course! It’s rude to trample around other people’s living quarters! – 10 pts.

B. Of course not! It’s rude to run around strangers barefoot or, even worse, in socks. – 0 pts.

C. It depends on the weather. – 0 pts.


Removing shoes in homes is customary in every former Soviet country, except perhaps Armenia. It's also customary in the former Yugoslavia and the rest of Eastern Europe.

It is interesting that removing shoes is just as big in the social democratic Nordic countries. It's hard not to shake off the impression that in a European context, removing shoes is a bit Left-wing. It is a rather levelling, egalitarian custom. Expecting guests to take their shoes off is not at all bourgeois.

In the USA it's probably seen differently. Having a shoes-off policy might indicate that you have a very expensive house and you want to show off its value to guests. Not a perception that is necessarily true. Somebody who is poor and can't afford regular carpet cleaning is likely to benefit more from a shoes-off policy than somebody who is more affluent.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mother Distracted: Do you take your shoes off indoors?

Mother Distracted: Do you take your shoes off indoors?

So since I'm the one who does most of the vacuuming and endlessly chases crumbs and fluff with my trusty dustpan and brush, I don't feel remotely guilty for asking people to take their shoes off.

If you come visiting, best make sure there are no holes in your socks.

Echo Child's Play: 3 Reasons to STOP wearing shoes inside NOW

Echo Child's Play: 3 Reasons to STOP wearing shoes inside NOW

"The American culture often lacks methods of showing respect for one another. One example is wearing shoes inside someone else’s home. When we enter someone’s home as a guest with our shoes on, we are tracking in germs, dirt, bacteria, etc. When we remove our shoes, we are saying we honor your home and your health.

Whether you are entering a home with a shoe free rule or one where the owners wear their shoes inside, taking off your shoes is still a sign of respect. A friend of mine won a highly demanded rental in San Francisco when she took off her shoes upon visiting the first time. This simple act impressed the owner gave the owner confidence that my friend would take good care of the property."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Viewing the first property!

I need to get on the housing ladder, so I'm in the market to buy an apartment or small house.

I did my first viewing appointment today, of a two-bedroom apartment near where I live now. It was very beautiful and spacious and at a reasonable price, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to choose the first place one looks at.

I removed my shoes at the door before I could be asked. I expect I would have been asked to take them off had I stepped on the beautiful hardwood floors without doing so. There was snow on the ground outside and the estate agent was in her stocking feet. Furthermore, the owner turned out to be a Chinese lady.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Naturalon: 7 Reasons To Think Japanese And Remove Your Shoes At The Door

Naturalon: 7 Reasons To Think Japanese And Remove Your Shoes At The Door

"Many Americans find the Japanese custom of removing their shoes before they enter the house charming – as long as they don’t have to do it!

There are many reasons why people don’t want to take off their shoes at the door. They might be afraid of someone seeing those holey socks, knee-high stockings with runs in the toes, or less-than-perfectly-manicured toenails. Perhaps removing your shoes at the front door just seems entirely too personal.

We aren’t knocking shoes here. Shoes are really wonderful. There must be some appeal to footwear, since humans have been wearing some type of shoe for more than 40,000 years! Shoes serve a really valuable purpose because, the truth is, we don’t live on a carpeted planet. Shoes keep our feet warm, they protect our toes, and let’s face it, shoes are also downright cute.

Whatever the reason, you should squelch your inhibitions and begin this practice as soon as possible. The University of Houston conducted a study which found that 40 percent of shoes were carrying ugly bacteria, such as clostridium difficile, which is a spore that does not go away easily.

There are plenty of other reasons to take up this healthy practice. Keep reading and find out why you should be thinking more like the Japanese and ditching your shoes at the door."

Probaby Rachel: 8 Things Not to Do As a Guest In Someone’s House

Probaby Rachel: 8 Things Not to Do As a Guest In Someone’s House

2. Do not take more than 2 steps into someone’s home without asking if they’d like you to remove your shoes. I say two steps because that’s far enough to close the door behind you but doesn’t typically get you off the rug or tile at the door and onto carpet. This goes for any flooring choices. We have all solid flooring on our first floor and you still aren’t allowed to wear shoes in my house. If the hosts says not to worry about it, then don’t. But if they’re a shoes-off house like mine, they will truly appreciate it.


Rachel has posted about her shoes-off policy a couple of times before.

Lifehack: 6 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Lifehack: 6 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

You know how some people ask you to take your shoes off at the door? It’s not just because they don’t want you tracking mud in (although that’s obviously part of it). It’s also because you track in millions of unseen organisms (like the ones previously mentioned) that contribute to the overall dustiness of the entire house.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Nextshark: There Might Be a Really Good Reason Why Asians Never Wear Shoes in the House

Nextshark: There Might Be a Really Good Reason Why Asians Never Wear Shoes in the House

Approximately 421,000 different types of bacteria can be found on shoes, according to a 2008 study by the University of Arizona. Of the shoes examined in the study, 96% of them were found to have coliforms, a bacterial indicator of the level of sanitation of foods and water that is also universally found in feces of humans and warm-blooded animals.

In addition, 27% of the shoes were found to have E. coli along with seven different kinds of bacterias. Among them are Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacteria that causes urinary tract infections, and Serratia ficaria, a bacteria that causes respiratory infections.


There is evidence that some modern homes can be too clean and that exposure to dirt can improve children's immune systems. The problem is that not all bacteria are created equal. Some bacteria can be really bad for you. It's a difficult balance to strike, but removing shoes at the door will deal with the worst of it.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Reddit: Europeans, what is the norm in your country about wearing shoes inside a home?

Reddit: Europeans, what is the norm in your country about wearing shoes inside a home?

A great forum discussion surveying shoe-removing etiquette across Europe. No surprises here. All the East Europeans, Balkans (except Greeks) and Scandinavians agree that removing shoes is the thing to do and keeping them on is gross, while all the southern Europeans say shoes should stay on and don't like the thought of people coming in with smelly feet. Germany, France and the UK are mixed with some people taking them off and some people keeping them on. One of the British commenters confirmed what I have said that, counter-intuitively, in Britain shoes are more often removed in the south than in the north.

Ireland and the low countries are oddly shoes-on for the most part despite being in northern Europe and having wet weather.

Tossing off the Bowlines|: Shoes and Slush

Tossing the Bowlines|: Shoes and Slush

Another newbie insight here in Canada: you take your shoes off when you go into homes, AND when you enter the chiropractor’s office!

Our neighbors Rob and Audrey came over for some pre-Christmas libations and arrived fully bundled up and carrying their slippers. We laughed. They’d come from, literally, next door. Had we been going there, we would have dashed over in shirt sleeves, and never considered carrying slippers.

But it makes sense. They didn’t want to track snow into our house, so they removed their coats and boots by the door and slipped into their slippers. Great guests! And now we know what we should do when we visit them.

On etiquette in Calgary, Canada.