Ask B: No-Shoe Dilemma

 

Dear B, 

We have a “no shoe” policy in our house (we have young babies who are crawling and always touching the floor), and while our immediate family abides by it, we are having a hard time with extended family and friends. They all wear their shoes, and we feel awkward telling them to take them off. What is the best way to ask guests to not wear shoes in our house?

Sincerely, 
Q


 

Dear Q,

We strive to live by this policy in our house as well, and so I know how tricky it can be when guests come over and don’t always pick up on the visual cues of seeing your bare feet and basket of shoes at the entry. However, keep in mind, that most people wear shoes in their homes, and so they aren’t trying to rebel against your protocol but rather just following their own house rules. And of course you always want your guests to feel welcome in your home, so handling this situation takes a bit of finesse.

Here is my advice: If you’re entertaining a large group and it’s a formal setting (cocktail party, baby shower, etc.), it’s best to leave this policy at the door and just let your guests wear their shoes. Do a deep clean of the floors post-party, and they will be as good as new.

If you’re just having a friend or family member over, try gently reminding loved ones by saying, “We try not to wear shoes in the house, would you mind taking yours off? Thank you!” Unless there is a medical condition preventing them from taking off their shoes, I promise your guests will be happy to oblige!

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