Sunday, February 10, 2008

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.


Anonymous said...

Our house overlooks the North Sea on the Scotish East coast. At this time of year it is unbelievably cold. It is chilly at night even in summer. Our carpets are off-white and the only way to keep them clean is to insist that shoes are removed at the door. Due to the extreme weather its just too uncomfortable to go barefoot or in socks. Slippers are the only reasonable option. Our friends usually bring slippers with them tochange into. I have never worn shoes in the house its just so uncivilised. We are not control freaks but we do expect visitors to respect our house rules. i have a rare condition called strachens syndrome, where my feet can become totally numb and cold. Therefore i find it very painful to walk around in the house without slippers.My wife and I both wear stylish and tasteful slippers. Visitors automatically take off their shoes without being asked when they see our carpet. Given the cold nature of the climate most of them bring slippers with them to change into. Its a common site in the village to see piles of shoes in the entrances to all the houses. The streets are very sandy and muddy making shoe removal at the door essential and alsom desirable.
I have only just found this blog and its absolutley brilliant. Looking at other sites i had no idea that shoe removal is so contentious. My wife and i presumed that it was common practise and simply good manners to take your shoes off before going in the house.
Keep up the good work. Many thanks.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Hey, thanks a lot.

I especially like to hear from visitors in Britain (not that I don't appreciate all the Americans, Canadians, Swedes and many other nationalities who visit).

I can imagine shoes-off in the colder parts of the UK is a good idea, but I have heard shoes-off is not so common in many parts of Scotland.

Please keep visiting.

God Bless