I still find it uncomfortable asking people to take their shoes off before coming into my house. Even though I know I have every right to, I still worry I’m going to insult them or something, but as I have more and more people come to my home studio, I have to put my big girl undies on and just do it.
I personally think it’s gross to wear shoes in the house. If you’ve been in a public restroom I promise you, you have walked through someone’s urine, or other bodily fluid. When you walked through a parking lot, you are walking through people’s, spit, spills, and who knows what else. Don’t even mention taking the dog for a walk. Just google why you should take your shoes off; It’s science. I didn’t grow up taking my shoes off, we wore them in the house, but as I’ve gotten older it’s just begun to eek me out.
Honestly, there are deeper, spiritual and, psychological meanings for me as well. I liken it to your home being your safe refuge from an often harsh and unkind world. Your home is where you are comfortable to be your true self, especially for those who struggle with social anxiety. So in many ways taking off your shoes is symbolic for leaving the outside world behind and not letting it sully your home, which is clean, safe, and of your making.
The Bible references Moses taking his sandals off by the burning bush, while speaking to God as it was a holy place. Many other religions such as Muslim also remove shoes before praying or entering a house of worship. Being aware of the spiritual significance probably triggered something in me. I’ve heard some people will say, “it’s an Asian thing”, while that might be a common custom for Asian people, I say, “it should be a cleanliness thing for everyone.”
As, it applies to me, I really do see taking off one’s shoes as a physical action that marks a transition from outside to inside and shows respect for a sacred place. The place that is most special to me is our home and my studio where I work. I don’t want to bring in any of the “dirt” of the world figuratively and literally, I want to keep my space as light and clean as possible, so for me it means taking off my shoes at the door.
For me, it’s essential that the work of creating meaningful, beautiful objects begins with a clean, and positive environment. So remember leave the dirty shoes and energy at the door, or get some shoe booties ;)
Here are some tips for creating a cleaner environment for your home.
Put a sign out, with a quick search on Etsy I found these cute signs
If you have room get a cute bench with storage, and a place for people to comfortably take off those shoes.
You can get as fancy or simple as you like. Shoe covers are also a great, easy option. This is a practical idea for when service providers like plumbers need to come in your home. Offer them a pair, you'll both be glad about it.
And I just love this sign, it's so true if you have babies or anyone in your home who rolls around the floor, my 7 and 9 year olds still do.