Start a Hawaiian tradition – Take off your shoes! (or flip flops)
In Hawaii, it’s the custom to take off your shoes before entering your (or someone else’s) home. The tradition started when Japanese immigrants first landed on the gorgeous Hawaiian beaches way back in 1868, and fortunately it stuck (tourist alert: it’s actually considered rude not to comply with the no-shoesies in the housie rule). Even repairmen leave their shoes at the door! It’s a popular custom in India and other countries as well, and for good reasons: you don’t track dirt or other nasties inside the house (gosh knows what manner of pesticides and other invisible unmentionables have hitchhiked inside on my feet and are now happily camping out on my carpet).
The second great advantage is that it keeps our carpets and floors so much cleaner. Not having to clean the carpets nearly as often 1) saves money, 2) saves time, and 3) saves even MORE chemicals posssibly coming into our house in the guise of carpet cleaners. Have a baby or puppy who crawls on the floor? Or do you do yoga without a mat? Even more good reason.
How to convince the rest of your family to Hawaiian-ize their feet? Keep an attractive basket by the door of comfy slippers or other shoes to entice everyone’s tootsies. Or you can withhold dinner – just sayin’.
“But what if I live in a cold climate and we wear boots or other footwear that are a pain to take on and off?” Then this little housekeeping helper may be a little more challenging to do. On the other hand, when you make a habit of something, it no longer seems to take that long or be that hard. You can at least consider it during the warmer months or on all the days when people won’t be coming in and out of the house very often.
Other important rule for leaving your footwear at the door? Make sure to go home in the same pair you came in with! 🙂