Some of you live in clean houses. How do you do it? Do you keep your boots in the barn? What about the shoes that take you from the barn to the house? How do you get them into the house without muddying the house? I have a system, and it doesn't work.
I've set up several obstacles in an effort to keep the pasture, barn and dirt-in-general from tromping right into the house. First you're supposed to stomp your feet with every step you take across the driveway. I know this technique must be successful because my driveway is dirty.
Next is the boot scrubber-scraper by the back door. It's better in theory than in reality. For one thing, the next one I get will have a handle because if you get a really good scraping-rhythm going, you'll find yourself balancing on one leg for an instant before crashing to the ground, then you need to scrape your whole dirty self off before coming on in. (Maybe you are less clumsy than I am -- I broke my foot watering a plant.)
After that, you're supposed to use a regular door mat. I wish I had this one with its reminders to get your cell phone, keys and wallet. Doormats soon get clogged with dirt and animal hair at our house and aren't very effective at removing dirt. Hosing them off and scrubbing helps restore them, but it would be just as easy to hose and scrub the dirt out of the pasture.
Those family members who would like to continue living in this house are expected to take their shoes/boots/dirty socks or whatever off while standing outside. There's a chair for them to sit on. They're expected to look at their footwear and bang it against the side of the house, their foreheads, whatever hard surface they can find in order to knock the rest of the dirt off. I think there is a serious lack of effort in this department unless I'm watching. (And of course I don't do it either unless they're watching.)
Then there's the shoe rack in the laundry room/mud room designed to keep the every day shoes from taking one step farther into the house. The really dirty boots are supposed to go in a plastic laundry basket by the door. Right now it's overflowing with Homeless Things. How do the Homeless Things -- the dog leash, a busted leadrope, a halter for a horse we no longer own, too-small flip flops and other items -- end up in the dirty boot box? Why, because they're homeless. Next time I have a mood swing they'll find themselves in the yard.
And then there are the dirt-picker-uppers that litter the laundry/mud room. The brooms that won't sweep themselves, various failed floor cleaners and even a path covered with floor mats and old towels. The best is the Swiffer vacuum, though the battery only lasts about two minutes. It helps.
Clearly, my system is not working. There's as much rich pasture dirt in the house as in the pasture. Our Berber carpet, which is basically made of plastic, is really holding up well, but like me, it too will soon begin to despair and give up. At that point, I'll have to call the professionals. Shall I call a professional moving company and get me out of here? Or how about a professional carpet cleaner?
How do you keep your barn (and other) dirt out of your house?