If you know me at all, you know I am a germ-a-phobe. I always have been. But when I had kids, it got much, much worse. I hate seeing my little ones sick and just the thought of it sends me into a panic.
When my firstborn was a baby, she seemed to catch everything. When I started researching ways to keep her healthier, one of the things I found was that shoes are a major player in how germs enter our homes.
We adopted a “no shoes in the house” policy in 2010 and haven’t looked back. Here are some of the benefits we’ve experienced since.
1. Fewer illnesses.
Okay, let’s face it. Shoes are NASTY! Just think about where your shoes go. Schools, public bathrooms, doctors offices, hospitals, parking lots, grocery stores — gross, gross, gross! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Wal-Mart floor residue in my house. No thanks.
Researchers at the University of Arizona actually did a study on this. They found that after wearing a brand new pair of shoes for just two weeks, the bottoms of those shoes contained almost 500,000 units of bacteria.
After three months of wear, they found up to 8,000,000 units of bacteria (including bacteria from feces) PER SHOE! They also found that over 90% of the time, that nasty bacteria transferred from the shoe onto clean floor tiles.
Think about this. Where do all kids play? On the floor. This one is a no-brainer. Millions of germs not on your floor = fewer illnesses.
2. Less vacuuming.
Okay, you’ll still have to vacuum and sweep if you don’t wear shoes in your house. But, it will be less. Dirt and dust tend to get all up in the nooks and crannies of our shoe soles. When we walk inside, all that dirt tends to come off in the flooring.
I don’t know about you, but any excuse for less housework is a good excuse for me.
3. Less environmental toxins.
In addition to germs and bacteria, shoes carry toxins from the environment. Just taking a stroll through the park will leave your shoe soles with toxins from pesticides, lawn fertilizer, and insecticides. There’s also asphalt toxins from roads that are potentially cancer-causing.
4. Less wear and tear on your flooring.
When we lived in our old house, our carpets looked terrible. We have lived in our new house for almost three years now and our carpets still look brand new. (Even with three kids!)
5. Cute house shoes.
Everyone in my family has a pair of cute indoor shoes they have chosen. These shoes never step foot inside the bathroom or outside the house. Most of the time we go barefoot, but if you want to wear shoes in my house? House shoes it is.
6. Fewer guests.
Ha! Not everyone will love your no-shoes rule. But you know what? I don’t care. My house, my rules. #sorrynotsorry.
We have a cute little sign that hangs on our front door. It says, “Since little fingers touch our floor, please remove your shoes at the door.” If guests don’t read the sign, I’ll remind them.
My kids are healthier and my anxiety is lower when we stick to this rule. If people don’t like it? They don’t stop by. Win-win. 🙂
7. No more, “Have you seen my other shoe?”
We never have lost shoes. We never have one shoe with a missing mate. Ever. All of our shoes go on a shelf in the garage right by the door. We never have to stress about, “hurry-up-and-find-your-shoes-we’re-gonna-be-late!!” It’s sanity-saving.
Do you have a no-shoes policy? Are you considering implementing one?
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