My first memory of understanding the filth we bring into our homes from our shoes was when I was a pre-teen.
In the summer it was common to go barefoot outside- all day.
This meant no shoes on the walk to a friend’s house, no shoes while playing in the yard, no shoes going to the neighborhood pool. Forget the pain of the hot pavement. It was an exhilarating sign of summer to be able to go barefoot.
I remember one night coming home after dark. I had walked all over the place barefooted. I happened to look down at my feet and noticed how dirty the bottoms of them were. I still can visualize the blackness of my feet. All the grit and grime I had walked on was now on my feet and I was getting ready to enter my family home. Here before me was proof of what shoes have lurking on their bottoms we cannot always see.
Horrified, I got down on all fours and crawled to the bathroom. I crawled along the fairly new golden shaded wall-to-wall carpeting in the hallway leading to the bathroom. (My mother loved Colonial Williamsburg and the historic colors, so the carpeting was Williamsburg Gold.)
No one ever saw me doing this. No one told me to crawl to the bathroom and not dare let my feet touch the floor. Instinctively, I knew not to. Instinctively, I knew my feet should not get on the carpeting.
Years later as a mother of three children, the house rule was that outdoor shoes had to be removed before entering the home. I was so worried at what surprises these three pairs of feet would bring in to the house! Then, as my children grew up and friends became a constant in our home, the rule applied to them as well. It was a habit that stuck.
Now, “God’s Little Angel”, (yes, my granddaughter) will soon be crawling around the floors of our houses. I shudder to think what she could pick up on her exploratory travels through the house if shoes were allowed.
It is summertime now. What a perfect time to instill changes in your homespace with regard to shoes.
Hazards of wearing outdoors shoes in the homespace
Did you know?
- Experts say that up to 80% of indoor air pollutants are caused from wearing shoes inside that have been worn outside.
- Outdoor pollutants from your shoes get trapped in rugs and carpets requiring more frequent cleaning. More frequent cleaning decreases the lifespan of these rugs and carpets.
- Removing your shoes before entering your homespace lessens the risk of surprises brought into your home such as ABC gum (already been chewed by who knows) and animal waste. No one enjoys cleaning these things up!
Make a change
Agree to change for the health of your homespace. And, if you cannot make abrupt all encompassing changes take baby steps. First, make sure you and those that dwell in your home remove shoes when entering the space. Then, gradually you will become more comfortable with asking others to do so as well.
A healthy homespace environment makes for a healthier you.