Do You Wear Shoes in the House?

I don’t.

I never really did. When I was a child, Mom had a mat by the most common entrance to our home. We kicked off our shoes (and at some point were reminded to bring our shoes to our closets) when we came in the house.

When I was nearly grown, Mom had the carpeting replaced with some lovely hardwood floors. Then shoes in the house went from something we generally didn’t do to utterly verboten for couple of years while the finish cured.

Even so, it wasn’t this big deal. We just… didn’t wear shoes in the house. I never gave it a lot of thought until I was in sixth grade and we were studying different cultures. A big deal was made, when we got to Japan, about the fact that they didn’t wear shoes in the house. I remember thinking that was weird. No-one in my family had been to Japan or had an opportunity to pick up any other Asian customs.

No-one wears shoes in my house now that I am adult, either. It’s not really a rule, per se. I don’t tell a guest to remove her shoes. But I do have a shoe shelf in the entryway, and yes, I’m often asked by guests if shoes should be removed. I leave that to individual discretion and comfort. I’ve yet to have someone track mud in, and in New England it’s pretty common to remove shoes in sloppy weather.

So, do you wear shoes in your house? If not, is it a household rule that shoes be removed?

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