It might not be crucial to minimalism, but I think it is such a vital habit we should try to adapt to our lifestyles, and here are the reasons why.
We have seen how some east Asian countries like Japan and Scandinavian countries practice this habit (isn't it funny how those two parts of the world are also home of popular design trends with similitudes to minimalism).
It is not a common habit in most countries, but it should be as recent studies have determined that our shoes' soles are huge bacteria farms that we happily carry around the house when we arrive from the outside.
So, the question we are asking ourselves is, do we need to take off our shoes when we enter the house? The answer is, yes. There is no doubt that it has become more than a good idea and shapes up to be a real health necessity.
On the soles of our shoes, the bacteria we bring home do not stay at the door. We spread them all over the house and in such sensitive places as the bathroom, kitchen, and bedrooms.
Why do I think this is relevant to minimalism? Having a cleaner home reduces our cleaning time, which allows us to focus our energy on precious things that will help us grow. Not to mention, it will be a safer place if you live with toddlers and little kids.
Studies by the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) in the United States have yielded an impressive figure of nearly 420,000 units of bacteria present on the outside of our shoes. Basically, on the sole.
The shoes' interior is not free of these same bacteria, with about 2900 units in each shoe. These overwhelming figures leave no doubt about the need to leave the street shoes at the house's door.
According to the same CIRI studies, E-Coli bacteria is the most common bacteria in our shoe soles, with a presence of 96%. It comes mainly from fecal matter remains, often invisible to the eye, which we collect in public spaces such as the street, gardens, or toilets, among many others.
The same study showed transfer levels of these bacteria from the soles to the house floor could reach ranges of 90 to 99%, what an utterly terrifying fact.
To avoid transforming our house into a den of bacteria or a deposit of fecal material, we remove our shoes when we enter and wear others that have not been in contact with the outside.
These same studies have shown that washing our shoes with hot water and detergent, when possible, is sufficient to reduce the transfer of bacteria from the outside by 90%.
Now you know, it's time to invest in some common sense and organize the home entrance so that the whole family can take off their shoes when they enter.
Here are some other Minimalist Lifestyle posts you might find interesting.
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