Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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 after 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.


Moderate Mouse said...

First off, speaking of shoes-off people being neat freaks, I did see an episode of Wife Swap (the U.S. version) in which one of the families represented seemed like one that would fit that stereotype. (I've almost always been in a situation where shoes-on at all times was the norm for guests if not the people living in the home.)

Second, in my family, there's no such thing as taking one's shoes off at the door. In fact, one is lucky if they can bring it upon themselves to go shoeless inside their own home when there is company. For my family, it may be one of those things that would be best to integrate gently if you know what I mean. (I've got my own modified version of the shoes-off concept going and hope to expand on it when I'm no longer living with either parent. I'm reluctant to go into details here as I'm trying to reserve a lot of the running of my, for lack of a better term, cybermouth for my OWN blogs, but in case you're curious, I wrote about it in "What I Got Done This Morning And A Musing" at my blog, "On The Road To The Rest Of My Life.") Out of everyone in my family so far, I'd say the person in my family most likely to
establish a full-blown shoes off policy would be my nephew (who's currently seven, so there's no telling what he'll do in the long run, but maybe by the time he's an adult, shoe-free homes will be more common than they are now) as he doesn't generally put shoes on unless he's going somewhere or unless he's told to even when he's not going somewhere. (Besides, you could say that he has more of a backbone then I do. How sick is that?)

(P.S. I know this is off topic, but I noticed that in the fourth paragraph, the word "after" is spelled "afer" in case you didn't catch that. However, I'm not going to hold it against you. I know what it's like to be so caught up in getting something written down that the basic mechanical details end up slipping. Judge not lest you be judged, right?)

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for the proof-reading.