If you have followed me for a bit, you know that this is one of the FIRST things I advocate for when trying to create a cleaner, more organized, and most of all HEALTHIER home. (And it happens to be the question I get asked the most frequently, too!).
There are so many good reasons to leave the shoes at the door–the biggest being viruses, bacteria, waste, herbicide and pesticide toxins, heavy metals, and dirt & grim, in general, which Medical studies show are very common on the bottom of your shoes, AND can live there for several days. A friend shared an article today about the corona virus and how it can live on your shoes for up to 5 days. So there ya go! YUCK.
The good news is, you only need 4 key things to make a Shoe-Free House happen!
For EACH Entrance:
1. Rug or Mat to wipe shoes off when you immediately enter.
2. A Shoe Rack/Basket/Tray to store your shoes in an orderly way.
3. A organized corner to store the “goods”.
This is important, because if you come in through the garage one day, the front door another, or in-and-out from the backyard when playing or gardening, you’ll need a spot at each entrance to kick off the shoes right away. It defeats the purpose if you walk through the house to get to the spot where your shoes are stored.
4. A commitment from the members of the house to make it a habit.
It may take a few kind reminders but after a week or so, everyone will be in the groove of kicking off their shoes as soon as they walk through the door. If you aren’t used to bare feet at home, you may want to stick some socks or indoor slippers nearby for family members to slip on. 🙂 I have found this especially true for guests–like when my in-laws come to visit. After a bit, they got used to packing a pair of their own socks to bring along when coming over.
First Step: Prep
To start out fresh, spend an afternoon doing a deep clean on the hard surfaces and carpeted areas of your home. (Sweep/Vacuum, and wash). Dont forget to throw the mats and rugs in the washer, as well.
We love Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner for a safe and effective option. For other hard surfaces, a mixture of White Distilled Vinegar with warm water and (optional) a few drops of DoTerra’s Lemon Essential Oil for extra disinfecting power and a great scent. Remove all the rugs and move the furniture to do a full-floor clean! This helps with the motivation to keep them clean and free of outside germs.
Second Step: Procure your supplies
Here are a few of my favorite options (click the photo to shop the images):
Third Step: Find a corner or closet near each entry and set up your shoe storage zone!
This doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make it work for your family. I like to have a rug immediately in front of the door, and then a tray, rack or basket next to it where we can easily and neatly store the shoes. Some friends have a closet or a cupboard where their shoes fit in. Awesome. Once the bin fills up, it is time to store some pairs in the bedroom, or distribute to the other “shoe storage zones” around the house. You’ll probably find you have to sweep and vacuum less, too!
Have an outdoor pet? You can add a hanging towel nearby to wipe their paws as they come back in the house. (Norwex would be my preference with natural antibacterial qualities). Because they typically don’t go with you to public spaces like stores, restaurants and public bathrooms, their paws won’t carry nearly as many germs as the bottom of your shoes, so even if you have a pet that comes and goes from the house, having your family remove their shoes is one BIG win in the health and cleanliness column. Whoohoo!