I don’t usually write about little things about Sweden mostly because I have been here for so long that I don’t notice them anymore. But one of the first things everyone always comments about upon visiting Swedes -- if you are from the US anyway-- is that everyone takes off their shoes when they come inside.
It is considered rather rude to enter someone’s house with your shoes on.
My FIL will snap at you if you cross outside of the mudroom ‘Really? Why do you need shoes here?’
But the truth is, in the US we didn’t wear shoes in my house either. And when I lived with friends I spent forever trying to convince them to take off their shoes too (salty winter boots were the final convincing factor with my last roommate, who should thank me as she is now also married to a Swede—good practice!).
Wearing shoes inside means tracking in all of the crap that is on the streets all over your home. It is just pretty gross.
And you don’t have to vacuum as much.
You always know where your shoes are! And your kids shoes! No running around looking for mismatched shoes – I spend enough time looking for socks.
There are a few downsides-
You need to double check your socks. It is rather embarrassing to be caught with holey socks while out visiting.
You cannot look cute in heels at a party (or if you want to wear heels indoors, the proper thing to do is to bring them in a separate bag and put them on indoors).
It is really hard to organize the mudroom – I keep trying to find a way to make the entrance of our house look cute. But really it just looks like a den of shoes. I think I will have to give in and buy one of those Ikea shoe holders that closes up, but they just seem so impractical to me – especially at this time of year.
But really I cannot imagine why people insist on wearing shoes indoors. It is clunky, uncomfortable and rather dirty. I mean, you don’t put your shoes on your sofa or bed do you? You have to kick them off sometime? Or?