Keeping the House Clean

Lisa - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 57 moms have responded )

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What is a polite way to get people to remove their shoes when they come into your house? We live on a farm and we're in the middle of a snowy winter. While I realize the guys are busy with farm and outside chores and it's cold and they need to wear boots...I'm about to my breaking point of sweeping and scrubbing the floor daily along with having to boil everyone's socks monthly in vinegar to keep them white. Do you have policies in your household and how do you handle it???

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Lisa - posted on 01/19/2010

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Vinegar helps whiten whites. I use it instead of bleach because I don't like keeping anything in the house I wouldn't want my kids to get into. I fill a large pot with water and add about 1 cup of vinegar and then bring to a boil, throw in the socks, turn off the heat and let the socks sit overnight.
Lemon and boiling water is supposed to work also but I haven't tried that one.

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2010

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I grew up on a homestead with red clay and free range chickens--a bad combo at any time of year. We always took our shoes off just inside the door on a big mat...when there's a ring of shoes to step over most of our company got the drift. For the ones that stepped past the mat...We would point at the shoes or our own stocking feet and say we live Japanese style! We rarely had a problem since the people that were oblivious to the "hints" were never offended by simply being asked to take their shoes off. When my brothers went thru stinky feet stages we kept a basket of clean socks near the shoes. I do the same thing in my house.
My dad grew up on a cattle ranch...he just saw me posting this and said that anyone working/living/visiting on a ranch/farm should have the decency to take their shoes off! If they don't...Take the broom to them, and tell them you want to get a head start on cleaning up their mess!

Heidi - posted on 01/19/2010

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We have a no shoes policy in our house. It was pretty well enforced before we had our daughter, but after she born we became pretty strict about it. We just asked people to leave their shoes by the door to help keep the floor a clean place for baby. No one ever argued.

Brandi - posted on 01/19/2010

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I keep a shoe rack right by the door to 'catch' all of the shoes. Most people see the shoes there and take off thiers. If they miss the signal, I stop them and say this is shoe free house!

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Blessy - posted on 01/25/2010

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i trained my child to do an easy household chores,evrytime she wake up in the morning before going to school,she sweep the floor and arrange our bedding...

Annamarie - posted on 01/24/2010

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Can you ever keep your house as clean as you would like it to be when you have 4 messy girls, I just go round in circles every day.

Renae - posted on 01/24/2010

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I dont see a problem at all with asking people straight out to remove their shoes when they come in. Once they know that's the rule in your house they should not need to be asked again. Plenty of people have a "no shoes" rule so I dont see why anyone would get offended.

But... a question for those of you with the "shoes off" rule...

I have always wondered whether the bacteria in the shoe and all over people's feet, particularly runners or work boots, is worse than the dirt on the bottom of the shoe. Is this just me being silly but I think I prefer the bottom of the shoe to the foot that's inside it.

Chrissie - posted on 01/24/2010

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its ur house just tell them take there shoes off thas wot i did wen i had a new carpet but people understand..... just tell them straight x

Bonnie - posted on 01/23/2010

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we tell all of our kids shoes off at the door, most kids dont listen but if they are old enough to wash the floor maybe if they had to do it a time or two they would take their shoes off, or have a different person that dirties the floor mop it at the end of every day to take a little off of your plate

Mirna - posted on 01/23/2010

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HI there . .I never ask any guess who come to our place to take their shoes off . . anyhow I put mine and my husband shoes in the hall way of our front door . . so when people come in .. they saw right away the lines of our shoes :) . . mostly they realized right away . . that there is kind of "unspoken" rule in our house . . that they must take their shoes off when they enter our place :) . .

Pati - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hi Ive been brought up knowing that if you going to someone home you NEED to take your shoes off - it is a respect for the home owner and respect for his hard work (cleaning)
i tell everyone straight take your shoes off or you not comming in - i aint cleaning after you ( in polite way - i say i dont know what germs you are bringing to my home lol ;)

[deleted account]

We do not wear shoes in the house. I have a shelf for shoes at the entry and (before we moved into a new house) had a chair/stool to sit on. You can put down a sheet pan for boots that will collect water and dirt. Just make it clear.. no shoes in the house.

We live in Japan now, and here it is custom to take off shoes before entering a home. There is usually a rack for shoes and the owner will usually provide slippers near the rack fro shoes. Just ask "Would you please remove your shoes, here are some slippers for the home if you would like" It is polite and works just fine, most people will see that shoes are at the door and ask or just do. After a while it will become custom for those entering your home to remove their shoes...

Normillah - posted on 01/23/2010

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Get them to remove it at the door...Since it is winter season....prepare a 'bunny' slip-in slipper and make them wear it before entering the house or you can substitute it with thick socks for them. This helps to reduce the cold on their feet once their feet touch the floor..

Erin - posted on 01/23/2010

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i had a sign on my front door telling people 2 take their shoes off before coming inside!

Sally - posted on 01/22/2010

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we have a old rug infrount of door inside and we have a rug out side people take their shoes off when comming in.

[deleted account]

i have a lovely neighbour &when i go into her house she insists i don't take my shoes off but i do because i no when i leave she will scrub the floors.she should just do what you do and ask people to remove them it would save her having to clean them constantly lol..i no some people like a very clean home so you can ask your guess to take there shoes off if the have respect for you the will do it no problem.its your home so just simply tell the guest to remove them.i like the other posts to some signs might be nice too.

Julia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Im from Hawaii and taking your shoes off is like the law there. They had all kinds of cute signs to post near or on the door. Maybe you can find something on the web.

Wendy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Some people may not like to come to another persons house and take their shoes off (impolite, not what they do at their house, paranoid about dirty floors?, etc). Too bad! Shoes come off in the entrance way. I don't want to have to worry about what people are tracking through my house on the soles of their shoes. If they don't remove them when they come in, I just let them know, nicely, that shoes come off at the door!

User - posted on 01/22/2010

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My husband is the biggest challenge. I have everyone else trained except him. He doesn't like to go around without shoes but doesn't like slippers!! Anyone have good ideas to keeping your carpet smelling more fresh?

Ms. Erin - posted on 01/22/2010

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If others live in the country they should know this anyway, but sometimes we got folks who didn't. I keep a rack or a special rug by the door so that they can see where to put their shoes. I've got a great sense of humor tho' and have said things like, "Be sure to bring some slippers, the floor is drafty." Now my friends do just that!! Or I meet them at the door and say with a happy voice, "Just leave your shoes there, please." People are respectful of your request. BTW ... I don't allow smoking at my house either so I approach that with the same politeness. I live in Bethpage, TN, so I know your dilemma. ;)

Maria - posted on 01/21/2010

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Exactly what Tammy said! You tell them that if they track mud and dirt on the floor one more time, they are going to be cleaning it up. Keep a bucket and sponge or mop at the door (a key reminder), and make sure there's a spot for them to take off their shoes (a chair and a box or shelves by the door, either on the porch or just inside the door).

Cheryl - posted on 01/21/2010

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When our first born was just old enough to start crawling I was very concerned for her hear health. We live in the city and our floors are tile, hardwood and some carpet. I found a large inexpensive basket to keep right at the front door. When people come in to stay I just say, "here you go you can use the shoe basket." My kids automatically use it, so do their friends. If your shoes are esp, muddy because of where you live you can also have a "guest shoe basket" so your guests do not get mud on their shoes. Can you tell I love baskets?

Shauna - posted on 01/21/2010

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Have you tried putting newspapers down and having the guys walk on that while they are wearing their boots. In my house, the kids are always telling people to take off their shoes :) So they make it easy. People usually listen to them and if not we just say, "yes, you are correct, we do take our shoes off while in the house". Hope it helps.

Kimberly - posted on 01/21/2010

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We have a basket of slippers at the door. Regular guests even keep a pair of their own here. All family members have 'inside shoes' that we wear instead of slippers. It is a pretty strict policy except for large parties and the like, you have to clean the floors after those anyway. As far as cleaning the socks, I use Nature Bright from Shaklee. Since I started using it a year ago I have not soaked or scrubbed anything. Works great in the coffee pot also!

Karley - posted on 01/21/2010

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Sounds like the people you're most frustrated with are not visitors, but family/employees. Its one thing to take shoes off when you're planning to be in-doors for a while, but if there's a constant need to go in and out, taking work boots on and off isn't practical either (usually lots of lacing, tugging, pulling, etc). Have you thought about buying a box of "booties" like the kind hospitals use, slipping them over the regular shoes? Not sure they would contain the muck/ but if they did, that would be a quick alternative to taking the boots off.
Another thing we do is place rugs/old towels on the carpet where we want people to walk (containing the mess somewhat). Maybe during the day, lay down rugs and in the evening when everyone's inside for the night, you can enforce the "shoes off" rule.

Stephanie - posted on 01/21/2010

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While I don't live on a farm I live in the city and prefer city streets to stay outside. I provide slippers for my guests to wear. A friend of mine keeps hers in a basket and a long mat to put the shies in. I'd also discuss it with your husband and family whom walk there all the time and let the know that you appreciate them but are really having a hard time with the mess and see if they have any suggestions on how they can help. Some times the men in our lives don't realize and need us to share with them. Good luck.

Je'Naire - posted on 01/21/2010

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People should already know to take off there shoes at the door, and if they don't I ask them nicely, and if they give me a look or atittude I simply say " would you like me to walk across your desk at work with my muddy shoes? They get the point real quick. I'm at stay at home mom this house is my work place, I keep it clean, organized and routine just like any office. A friend of mine has a basket at the door with slippers for guests, I've been thinking of doing that cause she says it works wonderful!

Shylo - posted on 01/21/2010

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I Feel your pain i live in a house that the front yard dont get hardly any light and the snow finally melted and everyone tracks dirt and mud and everything else in and i have wood floors and it drives me crazy and im a clean freak because of my 1 1/2 year old daughter i just ask them to make sure there is nothing on the bottom of them and then take them off on the tile before they get to the wood floors i know it sounds rude but its your house and you do the cleaning and its not fair to re clean something you just did

Adrienne - posted on 01/21/2010

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A friend of mine (who has no kids) and I (who has 1 autistic child) just had a recent conversation about this very subject. She's been laid off & has been a stay home newlywed for several months now. We discussed an interesting idea of keeping a basket (or bouquet) of house slippers near the door so people can remove their shoes & slip on the slippers. Or look into purchasing those hospital slippers you can slip over flat shoes and/or socks. It could ease the tension of asking people to take off their shoes. Imagine it, inside your home awaits a 'special pair' for them to make themselves at home. Those hospital paper shoes might work for the occasional repairman who comes by as well.

It's just a thought. While the house slippers could be a little costly for anyone w/ no income (like me), it's cheaper to wash them once a week than the time & energy it takes to redo your carpets. This could become your annual Christmas gift request. People could get real creative with personalizing their slippers with monograms, names, colors, styles, because they plan to make their visits often, fun, and comfortable. Am I the only one with friends strange enough to go there? (LOL!)

If you have a regular group that comes to your home (a bible study, a mommy group, or a hobby group) those hospital scrubs could come in handy or put the word out to BYOS (bring your own slippers). Along with that brilliant sign idea someone mentioned earlier, this could be quite marketable. I just want my 10% cut...(ha!)

Joline - posted on 01/21/2010

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It is known by family who live here and who visit, shoes come off at the door. especially recently we had new carpet put in, shoes of at the door. if tghe kids come in from playing in snow, mud ect. go around back in the mud room clothes and shoes off. I have no time to clean something i have already cleaned. Don"t worry about being polite, this is your house and you are the one who has to clean it. let them know this is how it will be.

Kayla - posted on 01/21/2010

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Just tell them to take their shoes off!! You're the one busting your butt cleaning the floor so they should respect it without getting mad at you! I think that it's a simple request.

Susan - posted on 01/21/2010

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I just love the sign--."We have a custom here in this home...take off your shoes and you're free to roam." I really wish I could do this but with a wheelchair going across the floor all the time, I just do not even bother. I also put on my shoes in the morning and do not want to take them off until I go to bed. That is just me. But if I went into a house with a sign like that, I would honor their wishes.

Lisa - posted on 01/21/2010

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We have a no shoes rule in our house and have found that having a crawling baby helps us reinforce it...I cringe at the thought of the germs on the bottoms of shoes getting tracked around my house (think of what is on the floor in public restrooms where we wear shoes)! I still have some people who do not respect it and just march into my house with lightly colored carpet, wearing their shoes, even if we have asked that the do not wear them. I have been on the hunt for a cute sign that I can hang on my coat closet door that faces the front door to ask people to remove their shoes.

Doris - posted on 01/21/2010

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My husband and I were stationed in Okinawa for 3yrs. While there we ran across a sign that I now have posted on my front door........



"This is an American home run like Japanese style, please take off your shoes and stay awhile."

Coryanne - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have a shoe rack by the door and always ask people to leave their shoes there. It is a hard process sometimes when people are not used to the practice. I hope you get a solution. I have enjoyed reading all the responses as I am putting together a page called housewife bliss on facebook -- I did not know about the vinigar trick, I had to make a note of that one.

[deleted account]

You should come up with one of the cute knickknackery signs that you put at your door that says something like..."We have a custom here in this home...take off your shoes and you're free to roam." Many of my neighbors have that custom in their homes and their kids do it at home so I never have any problems with that. My kids just tell their friends and that is what they do. My husband has cleaned floors before because he can be a culprit. I have a lot of boys...chores usually is a good fix.

Susan - posted on 01/20/2010

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the sign idea is pretty neat. If you have a chair or settee next to an area set aside for shoes (like cubbies) then the people that come into your home should get the idea. If they keep entering, you can then kindly point out the sign and say something like "I would really like it if you could remove your shoes before entering." You can also have a rug or something to wipe their feet before coming in. I have a brush type thing that everyone can scrape their shoes on. My biggest thing is that my son who is in a wheelchair can not wipe his wheels. Oh well!! I just keep cleaning up.

Michelle - posted on 01/20/2010

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I put a sign on the door when it snows. Now people just remember to do it. When you have to say it you feel rude, but if the sign is up people just kind of.... accept it for some reason lol

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2010

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I posted a sign!! it's great, b/c you don't have to "remember" to ask everyone... And the kids, they see the sign and can't get out of, well I forgot!! & you don't have to worry about coming across the wrong way! =P good luck!

[deleted account]

get a shoe bench/shelf/box for the door they usually come in, and post a sign, all shoes here. they will need some reminding. if you don't think they will like the idea of having to do it tell them you are sick of the kids bringing in the mess, and this way they will copy what the adults are doing!

Amy - posted on 01/20/2010

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i have dogs that the kids/hubby let in all muddy all over slate floor. i have to hands and knees scrub that. sadly, can't tell doggies to take shoes off. i'm out of luck. but for people, just asking them to take shoes off is fine. i don't think anyone will get offended. usually if htere is a mat or something where other shoes are near the door, people get the hint. guests may even do it easier than family. i have the opposite, i just say forget it, i'll clean it and other people ask where to take their shoes off. if they see you without shoes, they usually get it.

Theresa - posted on 01/20/2010

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The rule in my house it to take the shoes off at the door, no matter what the weather. The ppl in my house follow it, but there are still issues with visitors. Usually they see shoes next to the door and us in socks or slippers and ask. Sometimes though they just walk in. You could just nicely say "Would you mind taking your shoes off on the rug. I don't want the little ones to have to play on a wet dirty floor. Thanks." Using the kids as an excuse seems to make it OK. Though I feel that it's your house and it's not rude to ask someone to play by your rules at your ahouse.

Anna - posted on 01/20/2010

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i live in south korea, where it frowned upon to WEAR your shoes in someone elses home. if i were you i would(if not already) maybe put some shoes out where you would like them take them off so that they maybe get the hint that they need to take their shoes off. and i dont where and if u can find them in the states but over here we have house shoes...which are kinda like slippers that company or anyone else can put on while in the house. if that fails...maybe try to find cute little sgn that says something about taking shoes off before coming in the house...

Cristina - posted on 01/19/2010

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As for the shoes in the house, Just ask is it possible for you to take of your shoes, we are trying to avoid mold on the carpet (if you have any) due to the moisture. I also like what Casey said, good way of putting it.
That is the coolest way I've heard to whiten whites, I will try it sometime this week, I was looking for a way to stop the bleach use at home, it's horrible. Thanks.

Casey - posted on 01/19/2010

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I have thought about placing a sign on our front door stating "please remove shoes upon entering". If they dont take them off I politely say"can you take off your shoes" Its easier to keep the floors clean when shoes are not on them and it is just unsanitary to have shoes worn throughout the home. It always amazes me how many people wear their shoes in their own home and when they go to other homes. I think it should be a basic rule in all homes- especially with children.

Karinna - posted on 01/19/2010

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u make yourself a little wreath or sighn. my aunt doesnt smoke and cant stand it so she made a sighn on her door decotated with flowers and butterflys. make one that says please take your shoes off befor entering.....its not rude and you have a cute sighn on your door :-)

Lisa - posted on 01/19/2010

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I guess I'm just used to the smell of vinegar. I use vinegar and baking soda for almost all of my cleaning. My "general purpose" everyday cleaner is just a mixture of water, vinegar, tea tree oil and usually lavender because tea tree oil has a somewhat medicine smell to it.
What have you found for getting stains out of clothes that's all natural?

[deleted account]

i dont no a polite way or an inpolite way i just tell people take your shoes off, an if they dont like it then they dont have to be at my house,

Christa - posted on 01/19/2010

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I use Sol-u-Mel on my carpets so I don't really worry about the marks from visitors. I can spot clean it so easily and it gets everything out of carpet.....everything! As for my socks & whites. I also live on a farm and I use a combination of all natural products and it gets the nastiest of stains out of even whites....without boiling vinegar. Which can't make the house smell good, can it?

Crystal - posted on 01/19/2010

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We have a little shelf that has cubbies for shoes right near the front door. You can't miss it. 9 times otu of 10 when someone sees the shoes there, they take theirs off. If they don't (like my monster in law never does) we simply ask them to please take off their shoes to avoid tracking dirt around.

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