Challenge Day 11: Stop Dirt at the Door

stop dirt at the door

New Year Cleaning Challenge Day 11

Friends and family members aren't the only guests that enter the house through the entryway.

Less desirable visitors hitch a ride inside, too: dirt, dust and dander carried into the house through the front door.

Today in the New Year Cleaning Challenge, get tips to stop dirt at door in your organized home.

Today's Challenge:
Stop Dirt at the Door

Dirt! It's hitching a ride inside on shoes, paws and open breezes. This week, we're deep-cleaning the entryway; to keep it clean, it's time to take steps to stop dirt at the door.

First Line of Defense: Mats

A welcome mat isn't just a nice touch for visitors: it's the front line in the war against dirt.

Chances are, you can trace the tracks of your family from any entrance door, thanks to wet, dirty or dusty shoes. Whether it's a dull pathway on hard-surface floors, or a dingy traffic path down the center of the carpets, it's easy to see the route taken by hitchhiking soil and tracked-in rain or snow.

Fight back with mats! Entrance mats, placed both outside and inside the door, can trap up to 80% of shoe-borne grit and moisture.

Choose entrance mats carefully. "Pretty" is less important than size, quality and function.

You'll want your mats to remove and trap dust, soil and moisture--and the longer they are, the better they work. Vacuumed once a week, they'll keep outdoor soil out of your organized home.

Shuck the Shoes

While entrance mats can remove much of the soil from the bottom of shoes, a considerable amount of dirt still clings to footwear worn outside.

A "no shoes" policy keeps that soil contained near the front door, instead of inviting it in to curl up on carpets and furniture.

Placing a low bench in the entryway makes it easy to remove shoes once inside the house.

Add a basket, shoe rack or cubby to organize family footwear ... because barefoot means a whole lot less cleaning for everyone!

Get Proactive with Pets

For many of us, pets are family members, but they seldom remember to wipe their paws! Take a few steps to control pet-borne dirt at the front door.

A designated towel hung in the entryway makes it easy and convenient to swab pet paws if they're dusty or muddy. Clever commercial products fit over your hand like a mitten, and are made of microfiber material that grabs and holds the dirt from paws and claws.

Where possible, restrict pet entrances to areas with hard flooring, and lay down generous mats.

When Duff comes inside with a hearty shake, it'll be easier to keep flying fur contained if you've tucked a small dry electrostatic floor mop, such as Swiffer-brand, behind the door for quick pickups. Swipe and go!