Solving the Shoe Problem, Part I

Lately, some of my favorite blog post topics seem to be coming out of conversations I’m having at social events. Yesterday at a Bible Study brunch, I chatted with an old friend about a problem she’s having in her home. Together we thought up such a clever solution to her issue that today I’m excited to blog about it.

“Mary” is an immaculate housekeeper and the very last person you’d think would need advice from me about anything. But she’s got one cleaning problem that she can’t seem to solve: a husband who comes home in dirty work boots and refuses to take them off at the door. He tracks mud all over the house, sometimes so badly that her mop water is almost black. Clean freak that she is, this makes her crazy.

Short of following her husband around with a mop—or banging him over the head with it—she couldn’t think of any way to fix this issue. So we brainstormed a bit as I tried to get down to the root of the problem. Was he simply being stubborn and inconsiderate? Was she being anal and unreasonable? Neither seemed the case.

“Have you made it easy for him?” I asked. “Put a big basket right by the door for the boots, put a chair or bench to sit on as he takes them off?” Her answers were yes and yes. “So why won’t he take them off?” I persisted.

“He says it’s too much trouble because he’ll be going out again and just have to put them back on.”

Ah. So there was the rub: The boots were too time consuming to get on and off. I suggested he consider trading in his lace-ups for slip-ons, but because of the kind of work he does, simpler boots or shoes were not an option.

“Well, what about shoe covers?” I asked. “You know, like doctors wear into surgery?”

Mary’s face lit up at my idea, and we talked about where she might find such a thing for her home. I suggested she start with a medical supply company, and she happily went on her way, excited at this potential solution.

This morning, just out of curiosity, I googled “shoe covers” and was astounded at the results. She shouldn’t have to look too hard; they’re everywhere! They’re cheap! They’re such a simple solution to a constant household problem that maybe we all should have some! You can click here to see what I’m talking about. Anti Skid Disposable Shoe Covers

Even in my house, where we usually lose our shoes at the door, there are times when these would come in handy. I have already ordered a pack, which I will split in half and keep stored near the front and back doors. They’ll probably get the most use on those days when we are working on some outdoor project that involves a bit of back and forth to the inside as well. Taking a few seconds to slip on shoe covers each time we come in certainly sounds easier than taking shoes on and off or tracking mud all over the house and then cleaning it up after.

I’ll use this idea at my house and let you know how it goes. In the meantime, be sure to check back next week to see how I’m suggesting my friend (and maybe you, if you have a similar problem) can take this idea to a whole new level.


  1. My husband wears these over his boots as he enters people's homes to do service work. They too are impressed how they keep their house spotless . Many reply with great complements!
    (We are looking forward to having you speak at our church in April!)

  2. Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it too!

  3. We use shoe covers at Fairview Christian Academy for the two infant rooms. Since our babies are constantly on the floor, those two rooms are "shoeless" so you either have to remove your shoes or put the paper shoe covers on ( or like me, have a special pair of "inside" shoes to provide 50 year old feet and legs with plenty of support) Never thought of using them at home... what a good idea. Do you think the dog would cooperate with wearing them?

  4. I know you're kidding, but that's not a bad idea to get some booties on the dog! I think I actually have some little fleece shoes for mine... Not a bad idea at all, at least not on muddy days. :)

  5. This is great!! My husband sort of had the idea of getting these for our home when people come to work on something like the heater (which we've had trouble with and is down in a disgusting cellar-we rent, blech.)-he thought it would help with my OCD. Anyway, it's brilliant, even though we hadn't done anything about it yet. Maybe we will, though.