It’s happened to all of us—you enter your home and pause by the door to take off your sunglasses, set down your bags, or unleash the dog…and you see it: Dirt. The most aggravating part is that you constantly sweep and vacuum to manage the mess, but it always comes back. Dirt in our homes is inevitable, especially in high-traffic areas, but there are simple changes that can reduce the amount of dirt tracked into your home on a daily basis.

  1. Outdoor Mats: The best way to defeat dirt, is to stop it from even entering your home. Place doormats at every entryway into your home. Doormats can add a decorative touch, they’re highly functional, and it will signal friends and family to do a little shuffle before entering the door. TIP: Pick doormats that are made with durable, dirt trapping materials. Rubber or fiber-bristled mats are easy to clean and they are ideal for scrapping off dirt and debris.
  2. Indoor Mats & Rugs: Your outdoor mat is the first defense against dirt, but an indoor mat is necessary to capture any remaining particles. The indoor mat should be an absorbent, low-pile carpet with a non-skid rubber backing. Pick a mat that is large enough for a couple of strides to optimize cleanliness. Additionally, if your home sees a lot of foot traffic, opt for some non-skid carpet runners as well. TIP: Carpets with designs or darker hues hide more dirt and stains between cleanings.
  3. Remove Your Shoes: Most of the dirt is hitching a ride on your shoes—so take them off as soon as you enter the door. If you’re reluctant to have your friends or guests go shoeless as well, don’t worry about it. The impact of limiting your own shoe-traffic already makes a big difference.
  4. Stage Your Doorways: So now you’re barefoot…where do the dirty shoes go? Designate a basket or bin by the door as a shoe-cleaning station. You can just deposit your shoes if you’re in a hurry, or pause to give them a quick disinfectant wipe down or spritz of freshener. It’s tempting to let the shoes pile up, but remember to return them to their rightful place regularly. TIP: Concerned about the aesthetic effect of you shoe bin? Pick a covered container that compliments your home, or keep the bin out of sight on nearby shelving or in a closet. While you’re at it, store an old towel with your bin—it will come in handy for rain or pet paw messes, and you won’t have to hunt for it.

Clean Your Mats, Rugs, & Thresholds: Mats and rugs work best when they are regularly cleaned and prepared to trap dirt, so make a plan to clean your mats, rugs, and thresholds monthly. Shake out or hose down mats, vacuum and shampoo rugs, and don’t forget the many thresholds to your home. Thresholds and door jams are rarely cleaned, and they are prime territory for dirt buildup.