Our house has dark wood floors that show every little speck of dust, but that's not why we made the decision to go shoeless at home.The real instigator was my one-year-old daughter Roxie...the moment she decided to start licking the floor. I know, that's what babies do (a pretty logical way to figure out the world actually), and kids do need to be exposed to some germs to build their immune systems, but come on. Some cleaning precautions are good.
Like, consider where you walk each day—sidewalks, lawns, public transit. Would you want your kid to lick the bottom of your shoe? Or wipe it on her face? But that's essentially what we do to kids when we tromp across the floor—their main play area—tracking in dust full of pesticides and other potentially dangerous chems that contribute to asthma and colds.
This is not just a paranoid mama talking either. Studies show that the simple act of removing shoes reduces the amount of dirt and germs in the house by as much as 60%, leading to far fewer respiratory infections. I guess I could vacuum every day...but that's not going to happen.
So, as habits go, removing your shoes at the door is pretty painless. Asking family and friends to follow suit is a little more difficult. I'm not quite ready to ask strangers to do it —like the plumber, say—but I might get there. And I must admit: Our floors do look a lot better.
Do you wear shoes inside your house?