Saturday, February 16, 2008

Getting into the habit

I spoke to a woman the other day who said she had adopted a shoes-off policy once after getting a new carpet. However, after a week she went back to wearing shoes in the house with the resulting effect that the carpet had become very dirty.

It is not always easy adopting new habits. It is easy to slip back into old ways. As the testimony of this lady shows, a new carpet will only continue to look new while it is kept clean. The same goes for hardwood floors too and even those 'easy-clean' PVC floors.

Too make a lifestyle change like making one's home shoe-free requires determination.

There are a number of things that will help you to make the change to a 'no shoes in the house' lifestyle.

Firstly, if you forget to take your shoes off at the door and then remember when you are in the living room, don't excuse yourself and leave them on. Take your shoes off straight away. If you make exceptions for yourself, you will give up.

Secondly, don't store your shoes in a closet. Leave them next to the door, either lined up or on a shoe-rack. That way you will notice them when you come in. If they end up in a big heap, it does not matter, they will be even more noticeable.

Get some really comfortable slippers!

Ask guests to take their shoes off as well as your family. That will force you to be consistent. Inviting your friends to a shoeless party will get them used to the idea.

Get into the habit of taking your shoes off when you visit friends. That way it will soon seem weird wearing shoes indoors.

Do readers have any other suggestions as to how one can get into the habit of removing shoes?


Anonymous said...

I think as you mentioned, it's a good idea to set up a good area for people to take off their shoes, and then leave them there. You can usually pick out some basic floor mats, and just put a couple of those by the entryway to serve as a shoe haven(as a start).

Another idea...especially if you enter your home most often through the front to put up a sign. We have one next to the front door of our home. It simply says, "Thank you for removing your shoes." Guests often comment at that sign, and they always take off their shoes.

If anyone is contemplating having a shoe-free home, you should give it a try. It's an easy habit to get into, and once you try it, I don't think you'll go back. Growing up we never had any such rule at my parents home, but I decided very quickly after I got my own place to make it shoe free. I did so mainly out of comfort, but also discovered that it helped keep things very clean. My wife (not at the time) also kept her apartment shoe-free, so it was a simple decision when we moved in together.

While I am rather biased on the subject, shoe-free homes seem much more inviting and comfortable. I can't remember the last time I have been in anyone's home in anything other than my socked feet. Shoes are like coats and gloves and are meant for the outdoors. Nothing beats the feeling (physically and mentally) of taking off your shoes after a long day and leaving the outside world behind. And while I prefer the feeling of being in my sock feet, you can also find some nice slippers if you prefer that. Your feet and your floors will thank you.


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Personally, I am not sure about signs. I think it is probably more polite to ask people in person.

But then it is a reminder if people forget, I suppose.

God Bless