Lois Volta responded to a reader’s question on Facebook. We are re-posting to make sure everyone can see it.
I never really feel like my floors are clean with the dirty city making its way in (robot vacuum and all). I was thinking about taking my shoes off at the door but don’t want a pile of shoes as soon as you walk into my house and could foresee this being an issue. Any suggestions?
Lois: Dirt will come into the home, and this is OK. Be at peace with this when settling into a floor cleaning routine. I encourage people to deep clean ‘problem’ areas, thus setting the reset button, and then watch what happens. Pay attention to how you wipe your feet, where you put your shoes, whether there is an entry mat to collect dirt, etc.
We vacuum or sweep our high traffic entryway every few days and wipe it down once a week. We don’t have a set cleaning day or rigid schedule—we take note of when the floor starts to look dirty and squeeze in a cleaning when we can. (It only takes a couple of minutes—it really doesn’t have to feel like a chore.)
I don’t have an explicit shoes-off policy in our home, but, for the most part, we do take our shoes off. I have a bench with hidden storage for the kid’s shoes, which also serves as a nice place to sit while taking shoes off or putting them on. I have a small carpet where my husband keeps his muddy boots and a place for me to keep a pair or two. The bulk of the family’s shoes are kept in the bedrooms so that the shoes don’t take over the entryway. It is nice to have a place to come in and take our shoes off, but, at the end of the day, I put my shoes away unless I expect to wear them the next day.
These types of habits are so simple and easy, but we get it in our heads that changing patterns is a big deal. Decide what you want to do and do it with ease. How much does having clean floors mean to you? Vacuuming, sweeping and wiping the floors are a part of keeping a clean home, especially in the city. Pressing the reset button, observing patterns and following through with intentional, habitual actions that are specific to your home—this will keep your floors in a continual state of non-stress.