On Wearing Housekeeping Shoes

By Alison July 20, 2016 4 Min Read

Once upon a time I was a very busy and very important company director.

Of course this was mostly in my own head but I did indeed run a tiny little company that frequently saw me negotiating with a factory full of joiners or selling my soul to get interior decorating projects that occasionally gave me the shudders. And some days I was good at it and some days I was really, really bad and found myself sitting in sawdust drinking tea with Youth Training Scheme boys or accepting a glass of red from a potential client and thereafter quoting half the price I had intended to.

Heck no: business has never really been my forte but on the days when I knew there were factory bottoms to be whipped or indeed that it was essential for the sake of the future of the roof over my head that I struck a great deal, I had one surefire way to guarantee my success and that was the highest pair of heels I could find. Yesarooney, when the full scope of my focus, determination and energy were called upon I would don a pair of stilettos (and a pair of shoulder pads) and in the stab of a razor sharp heel the world would be my oyster.

As a result, I am now a woman who believes, deeply, in the power of shoes to alter ones attitude. Sandals and Birkenstocks. Spotty wellies and flip-flops. Mary Janes and trainers. Wedges, courts and patent leather stilettos. All of them are lovely and all of them more than earn a place in the shoe wardrobe of the busy, multi-tasking woman of the millennium.

Not least the not-oft mentioned housekeeping shoe.

Oh yes, the housekeeping shoe. For the dear old Flylady was right: barefoot in the park might just be fine and dandy but barefoot in the house spells rest and relaxation to your pleasure seeking head and the barefooted housekeeper all to often finds all her domestic good intentions set aside, in favour of that which is pretty, or entertaining, or puttery. And fun as all that may be, none of it is going to get the loo scrubbed, now is it?

No, my Dear, it isn’t. So in must shuffle the shoes.  For pearly pink toes covered in a sensible shoe send the kind of signals to one’s brain that say: there is work to be done! No time to meander. No time to enjoy the cosy tickle of the shag-pile underfoot, no time to curl up, toes tucked under one’s bum on the sofa. Work!

Now while I do so hate to get terribly business like about our lives at home, when it comes to housekeeping, what constitutes “Work” falls  into two very distinct categories: the needful and the unnecessary. The needful includes all that which requires white vinegar, mops, dusters, and domestic machinery and the unnecessary, while still scrumptiously needful in it’s own way, accounts for all that we do as Vintage Housekeepers: the puttery treats and the flower arranging, in short all that no-one else notices but that we, hedonistic Domestic Goddesses that we are, could barely live without.

So what I am suggesting is this: that in order to mark out the needful from the unnecessary in our minds, so that we can fully indulge the pleasure principle when we finally come to kicking back and doing the pretty, we should indeed take the Flyladies lead and take ourselves out on a creative excursion of the shoe-shopping kind.

What you choose to wear to keep house is up to you. The Fly Lady really rather insists that one’s housekeeping shoes must be of the laced up variety, but I think that there is room for manoeuvre here and I for one favor the plastic gardening clog of the kind most often found to be found in fancy gardening stores, because they are both lightweight and fully enclosed, and even better than that, can be wiped should one get a little kamikaze with a bowl full of rose scented soap suds!

What won’t do, I do not think, is anything of the flip-floppy variety or indeed anything that could be passed off as a slipper. Slippers you see send all the wrong signals to the alert brain, as does the kind of shoe one could flimsy along the beach in.

No. The housekeeping shoe must be a SERIOUS shoe. Preferably the kind of shoe you would not be tempted to run out the front door in, for the housekeeping shoe wearer must abide by one rule: under no circumstances must the housekeeping shoe try to earn it’s keep outside the house. Indeed the soles should never come into contact with pavement or grass and as a result, should  remain spotlessly clean and thus deeply unlikely to sully one’s precious cream carpets…

Which is I why I wear a rather scary pair of gardening clogs, because vanity prevents me running out the door in them and I have even been known to kick them off quickly when the doorbell rings, which is I think you will agree, something impossible to do in even the snazziest of housekeeping trainers!

So there it is: your assignment for this week: get yourself a pair of housekeeping shoes. Pop them on to do the dull stuff, then kick them off to go putter. And yes, if you really must, then I think it would be just fine to keep house in red stilettos.

Whatever floats your boat my Sweet. Have a lovely week won’t you?

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