The Rule-bending Trick I Use in My Bedroom Makes Getting Ready So Much Better

published Apr 8, 2024
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Credit: Lula Poggi

My family is a strictly shoes-off household, and although this can be a topic of contention, especially when it comes to guests, I’ve found in recent years that more and more people have adopted this practice in their own homes. 

Not allowing shoes makes a drastic difference in the cleanliness of our home. With a household of seven, plus two huge dogs, so much dirt gets tracked in. We also have carpets upstairs, which I constantly worry about getting dirty, and we live in Knoxville, one of the top allergy cities in the country. With a few allergy-sufferers in our home, minimizing the allergens brought into our indoor space through our shoes is a matter of health. Shoes-off is a non-negotiable, for us and our guests. 

This isn’t always convenient. Shoes are always getting left right next to our multiple shoe storage areas and there are often annoying instances of forgetting things upstairs and needing to take shoes off and put them back on again. Plus, reminding (read: nagging) the kids about taking off their shoes is no fun. But the payoff of a house that’s easier to clean, wall-to-wall carpeting that can go longer between professional cleanings, and a healthier indoor space is well worth the trouble. 

Recently, though, we’ve run into another issue unique to shoes-off households: wanting to try on shoes with our outfits without wearing shoes on our carpeting. I’ve been carefully curating my wardrobe and accessories since getting my colors done, focusing on only keeping and purchasing quality items that are versatile and coordinate with one another. Additionally, my daughter is 15 and she plans her outfits, down to the shoes, a week at a time. Both of us frequently want to see what our shoes look like with the outfits we’re testing out. 

Since our full-length mirrors (and several pairs of shoes each) are kept upstairs in our bedrooms, trying on outfits with shoes means we break our shoes-off rule or come up with another solution. I’m not willing to make exceptions to the rule (because that is a very slippery slope that I know will lead to all kinds of shoes-wearing where it’s not supposed to happen!). So we decided to protect our carpets from the shoes instead. 

The answer was a lightbulb moment that involved using a household item typically used elsewhere: placing an entryway rug by the closet so we could see our full outfit with shoes on. I love these kinds of aha! moments! While we already have a few small rugs in the house, they’re all being used, so I picked up another one of my favorite entryway rugs for each of our bedrooms. The rug is lightweight, catches dirt, and is washable. Oh, and it’s only $15. 

Using an entryway rug near our closets means that we can have our cake and eat it too; now we can wear our shoes in the house without technically breaking the rule that keeps our home clean and tidy. 

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