Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Neat Freaks?

It is commonly thought that people who insist on shoes-off in their homes are neat freaks who are obsessed with keeping their homes clean and tidy.

I dare say that there are some people who prefer shoes-off who are genuine neat freaks. And those who are Obsessive-Compulsive about cleanliness may well be among the shoes-off community.

Of course this is culturally relative. In Japan it is thought that money is dirty and unhygeinic because it is handled by untold numbers of people. Japanese people also regard any objects placed in bathrooms, such as books or ornaments to be 'dirty'. A person in a western society who held such attitudes would almost certainly be regarded as Obsessive-Compulsive.

I have known a number of people who really were excessive in their desire to keep their homes clean. Interestingly, these people did not require visitors to remove their shoes. I suspect that they probably spent so much time in cleaning their homes that they were happy to waste time cleaning up afer their visitors.

Many people who keep their homes shoe-free are not domestic goddesses who like nothing better than spending whole days doing spring cleaning. Rather, they are busy working people who have far better things to do. They do not want to clean up for the sake of it, but they know that living in a clean environment is healthier and far more pleasent. Knowing that time is precious they would rather keep the mess to the minimum and spend as little time as possible cleaning up after their visitors. Prevention is better than cure.

Nobody needs a house that is spotless, but it is pointless to allow dirt and dust to accumulate when it could easily be kept out by leaving shoes at the door. A floor is meant to be walked upon, but that does not mean that one should not reduce wear and tear and save time and money.


Redeemed said...

I get called that at times, especially at work. Some say I'm a bit of a neat freak since I like my desk to always be clean. It's because I cannot work with disorganisation. I drives me crazy!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It is good to be organised.

richyrich said...

I am most definately not a neat freak, on the contrary I can be quite messy with some things. While I have for long been sympathetic to the shoes off idea, what finally fully converted me was buying my new house which had cream coloured carpets throughout. When I went to view the house I noticed that the sellers were shoeless every time and I was impressed when they said that they had had the carpets for 2 years and that they looked as good as new. So I decided that it would be sensible for me to carry on with the shoes off policy that they had.

I have now been there for some 6 months and I have faithfully followed a shoe-free lifestyle at all times. I've got a cleaning lady who comes in and she always changes to slippers when she comes to work her and if she ever comes to see about something else she'll take off her shes before she's even through the door.

I agree that shoe removal has nothing to do with being a neat freak but rather a sensible way of keeping cleaning down to a minimum and prolonging the life of fine carpets.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A lot of people get converted when they move to a house with light-coloured carpets.

missmellifluous said...

I think I should be Japanese, that way I would not be considered to have OCD. Not that I ever thought I did until I read this post. Money is dirty! Lots of people with dirty hands touch it. Blah! Things in bathrooms are also dirty! This is completely sensible in my mind. I would not say that I have OCD.

You know I agree with the shoes off policy for many reasons, none of which I think have to do with OCD.

Matthew, out of curiosity, how did your 'shoes off at the door' policy begin? Was it because of carpet? Wear and Tear? A bad shoe staining experience? Upbringing?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

MM, I am glad you keep visiting and agree with us.

I was not so keen on the idea as a teenager; I liked to wear my ten-hole Doc Martins about the house.

At university I discovered how dirty carpets could get, but I took no action about it.

My parents moved into a house with cream carpets three years ago and asked me to start taking my shoes off at the door. It was weird, but I thought it was a good idea. I also started wearing slippers.

I did some research on the internet and found that so many cultures practice shoes-off. So I decided it was the way forward.

God Bless


Richyrich said...

Do your parents themselves practice shoe-removal? And are the original carpets still there and in good shape?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

My parents did ask me to stop blogging about them.

All I will say is they do not consistently remove their shoes.

I suppose if you have a son, you might not want to be the subject of his blogging either.

God Bless


Robert said...

Wow. I am so happy to be born Scandinavian and living in Japan. I pity you poor brits who have to put up with shoes indoors. Here it is unthinkable. I remember having a scottish guest to my Swedish home when I was 19. The guy just walked in without even noticing that no one else was wearing shoes. I was weaker than. Had it been today I would have floored him.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Robert, thanks a lot for visiting.