I can hardly believe that we have been in our home now for 20 years.  My husband and I have raised our two sons and a puppy in this home.  The day we moved in everything was spanking new.  I spent the next 20 years trying to keep it that way–in particular the carpet.  Not a small feat when dealing with muddy shoes and paws.  I vacuumed daily and was diligent when dealing with messy accidents trying to avert the inevitable, but after twenty years I could do no more.

After months of shopping for carpet, and dealing with sticker shock, we invested in carpet that hopefully will last us another 20 years with one very important new house rule–No Shoes! Oh, the looks I got from my husband and sons.  My Lord, you would think I asked them to strip butt naked at the front door.


After our new carpet was installed, I replaced the old welcome mat with a new one and added a throw rug as you enter our home.  That should catch most of the “dirt”. I then placed a beautiful large round basket by the front door which holds a pair of house slippers for each of us.  So the idea is to remove our shoes at the door and put our house slippers on.  I can do this—I CAN teach an old dog a new trick (three old dogs)!

I am in the process of convincing my husband and sons that by removing our shoes at the front door we are actually keeping our home free of contaminates and allergens.  Have you ever considered what you might find on the soles of your shoes?  Where you walk leaves you at the mercy of whatever was left behind by either man or beast.  Use your imagination.  Do you really want to then track the unknown into your home and onto your carpet, new or old?  We are careful to wash our hands when we visit a public restroom, but never think about what we carry out on the soles of our shoes!  My old dogs are listening to me now.

Don’t worry about offending guests that come into your home.  I find that they are more than willing and very understanding.  Keep a few clean socks or inexpensive slippers in that basket by the front door for your guests.  If you are planning a party, let your guests know ahead of time so that they have the option of bringing their own slippers or socks.  My brother-in-law’s home is a “no shoe” zone, so I always bring a pair of socks with me when I visit.  You also have the option of posting a small sign on the front door or onto a welcome mat indicating your wishes.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • No Shoes Zone
  • Thank You for Removing Your Shoes
  • Welcome—No Shoes Please
  • Please Remove Your Shoes before Entering
  • Please Take Off Your Shoes and Stay Awhile

Well, I have to go vacuum now!