It always starts in spring. Clumps of mud appear throughout the house. They come from my shoes, but I do not feel responsible.
All of the shoes I wear now have corrugated soles that trap and hold mud long enough to carry them into the house, then release them anywhere I go. The corrugations are to give some flexibility to rubber-like soles on running shoes and work shoes, but they open and close with each step, picking up any moist soil outside and depositing them inside as they dry.
I have tried to find shoes with smooth soles, but they do not exist. The old leather soles we grew up with are gone. In the springtime, I go in and out of the house as much as ten times a day, and if I forget just once to brush out my soles, the mud clumps are back. If I took off my shoes each time I came into the house, I would have no time for anything else.
Prevention seems impracticable, so cure seems to be the way to go. The Rocket stick vacuum described in a recent posting is a big help, but I have found something even more convenient: a lobby dust pan and broom combination.
That is the name used in stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. It is the combination you see in every restaurant and mall and movie theaters. It saves bending over, and, no, you do not have to be Hispanic to use one.
I even saw one used in an old Ginger Rogers movie, made in 1939. It has stood the test of time.
The broom is fairly standard, except with a short handle that is handy. You could just cut the handle back on any old broom you have. It is the dust pan that is so well designed. The handle is placed so that it stands upright by itself. When you lift it up, the pan flops back, sliding the dirt to the back. Both the pan and the broom hang flat on the back of a door.
My dust pan has tiny wheels built into the back that seem useless. Some have a cover that can close over the opening that also seems useless. Some have unnecessary adjustable handles. Stay with simple.
Now when I see dirt clumps, I reach for the broom and dust pan combination, and, sweep–sweep, the dirt is gone. I do not even empty the pan each time. My wife is happy, and I have learned a marketable skill if Social Security ends.