Alice, How Do I Tell My Guests To Take Off Their Shoes?

Alice, How Do I Tell My Guests To Take Off Their Shoes?

Ask Alice
Apr 6, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Hi Alice,

I've recently had new, hardwood floors put into my house. They were expensive to say the least, but look great, so I make a lot of effort to take care of them. My only problem is that some visitors don't seem to notice or respect this and wander in my house wearing their shoes, sending me into panic mode, dreading they'll cause damage. Most visitors either take their shoes off at the door or see the collection of shoes in the hallway and add theirs to it. Most close friends, and family, know the floors are new so gladly take their shoes off without asking. However, the occasional person disregards the cues and one oft-visitor actively ignores them, despite knowing full well that I hate people wearing shoes in my house. What can I do to make sure people take their shoes off without me having to awkwardly hint at them? People sometimes ask if I'd like them to take their shoes off, to which I scream "yes!" to myself, but can only audibly respond with a polite, "whatever makes you more comfortable."
Thank you for any guidance!
Kind regards,
Friend of Flooring

Dear FOF,

I wrote you a little poem:

These new floors that you see cost a lot,
we'll be keeping them until they start to rot,
if you're visiting my house,
have respect, don't be a louse,
please only come in in your socks

Print that out, frame it and hang it in your entryway. Or, if you hate my poetry, hang a sign with whatever version of "please take off your shoes" works for you. If someone doesn't respect the poem (how dare they!) then you are totally justified in asking them again to remove their shoes. It's your house, your floors, your rules. Any guest who feels otherwise is welcome to leave.

Congrats on your glossy new floors!



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