Remove Your Shoes Please!

Copyright: andsst

I grew up in a shoes-off household, which meant that as soon as anyone stepped into my home, they had to remove their shoes and leave them at the front door. Throughout my childhood, I noticed that none of my friends removed their shoes while in their homes, but then again, none of whom were Asian. In stark contrast, I noticed that the habit of removing shoes, sandals, and boots was always followed by my mom’s Asian friends, as well as by my relatives (also Asian) in Hawaii. I soon noticed that the floors in my friends’ homes didn’t feel nearly as clean on my bare feet as the ones in my own apartment, since they didn’t practice the same ritual my Japanese-American mother and I did. What I ended up doing in my friends’ homes was either keep my shoes on, or I would keep my socks on if I was wearing any when I visited them. To be honest, I always felt that it was so much cleaner to be in the habit of removing shoes once entering a residence, and this is something I continue to practice to this day. Since I am also the person who usually cleans the floors, rugs and carpets in my house, I have become a stickler for ensuring that no one enters in shoes which have traversed sidewalks, driveways, lawns which are teeming with all kinds of nasty gunk.

These days, I even go so far as to ask service technicians who enter my home to either remove their work boots, or to wear shoe covers, if they intend to conduct work inside the house. Before you accuse me of being extreme in my desire to keep my abode clean, keep in mind that back in July of 2021, a central air service technician tracked so much dirt and oil into my bedroom that it took me two sessions to remove all the stains from my bedroom carpet. Shortly after that, I ordered disposable shoe covers and have them right at the foyer for convenience.

Copyright: Elenathewise

Even with the shoes-off policy in my home, I still notice dust and dirt on my floors, and since I have pets, there is also the issue of shedding hair which accumulates. The last thing I want is to worry about when I clean the floors every week is chemicals, dog feces, and various microbes being introduced to my house via outdoor footwear. A study conducted by the University of Arizona discovered that 96% of soles of shoes were found to harbor fecal matter, which is picked up from the floors of public restrooms, as well as bird droppings and dog feces from asphalt, concrete, grass and soil. When you wear your shoes inside your house, you are spreading all of that bacteria, most notably E. coli, over all of your floors. Not only do you have to worry about germs, you also need to be aware of how many chemicals we track into our homes with our shoes, from gasoline which we pick up while pumping gas at a gas station, to carcinogenic chemicals which are used on lawns, and the list goes on.

Why not improve your indoor environment with a simple step and implement a no-shoes policy when you are inside your house? You’ll be rewarded with a cleaner home and will decrease your exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Women And Their Shoes

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I recently stumbled upon an article written by John Chung entitled, “How Many Shoes Does the Average Woman Own?” and found it relatively perceptive, despite the fact that it was written by a man. In the article, John mentioned a study by Glamour Magazine which stated that a woman will purchase about 470 pairs of shoes throughout her adult life.

The study also determined that the average woman owns about 19 pairs of shoes at any given time. When I read that, I giggled. I don’t know many women who have only 19 pairs of shoes! Just counting my athletic footwear, I have 14 pairs! After reading that article, I became curious about how many pairs of shoes I actually had. I counted up every single pair I had, including house flip flops, and my back-up flip flops in the car, and I was stunned. The total came to…

132.

Holy hotel!

I will say that my collection is very neatly organized, so neatly that I didn’t even realize I had that many pairs.

34 pairs of shoes are in this cabinet.  And yes, I have photos of each pair of shoes on the face of most of the boxes to make them easily identifiable.

34 pairs of shoes are in this cabinet. And yes, I have photos of each pair of shoes on the face of most of the boxes to make them easily identifiable.

There are 43 pairs in this cabinet...

There are 43 pairs in this cabinet…

These are all boots, mid-calf to over the knee

These are all boots, mid-calf to over the knee

Most of my athletic shoes, flip flops, kitten heels and Ugg-type boots are in these cabinets.  I have a few random pairs in another cabinet across from these.

Most of my athletic shoes, flip flops, kitten heels and Ugg-type boots are in these cabinets. I have a few random pairs in another cabinet across from these.

My Shoe Storage System

Over the years I have come to realize that if my belongings aren’t kept in order, I start to forget what I have and cannot find many items when I need them. Fortunately I have a penchant for organization (some would say it is the sign of a “neat freak”to some extent), so I have developed different ways of storing things so that I can keep track of them.

I have always kept the original boxes that my fancier shoes have come in, making them easier to stack on top of each other. By 2007 I had about 50 nice pairs of shoes and was having trouble finding shoes without having to peek inside the box. In an effort to solve this, I took photos of each pair of shoes I had, printed them out and taped them onto the ends of the boxes. This turned out to be a great way of identifying as well as organizing my shoes. I also try to group shoes by color and degree of dressiness to make it easier to zero in on a particular pair I might need for an occasion.

Last year I passed the 70 mark on the number of pairs of shoes I owned, and purchased two tall storage cabinets to house them. They have made life so much easier for me! I have also established a rule, which is that I cannot exceed the amount of storage in these two cabinets. This will ensure that I don’t accumulate too much stuff, and that I don’t make too many purchases. Shoe Tower