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Shoes Taken Off Keeps Home Cleaner

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Is having a rule of no shoes in the house good, or am I being overly concerned about dirt? We have two kids and lots of neighborhood kids who are always over, and I ask them to remove their shoes if I have just finished cleaning the house that day. Also, what about having adult guests take off their shoes? How do I ask them?


Shoes On or Off

Dear Shoes On or Off,

Yes, having a rule of no shoes in the house for your family and friends who frequently visit is reasonable. Shoes bring in most of the dirt found in our homes. As pointed out by Real Simple (, 87% of the dirt in our homes is tracked in (2008). To help keep the dirt out, besides taking off shoes by the door, also have mats outside and inside the door on which to wipe shoes.

However, for infrequent guests, perhaps taking off shoes can be an option. But, if you really want to try to get everyone to take their shoes off, below are some suggestions.


1. Heads Up: when inviting guests over, let them know that you have a no-shoes policy in your home.

2. Arrival: when guests arrives, mention that they can leave their shoes by the door next to the basket or other area you wish to mention.

3. Basket: have a basket of clean socks or slippers by the front door.

4. Shoes Lined Up: have some shoes already neatly lined up by the front door to show that others have already taken off their shoes.

5. Chair: have a chair on which guests can sit while taking off their shoes.