An entertaining discussion is unfolding on PAN right now about taking your shoes off when in somebody's house. This reminded me. Can't go into detail, but I am expecting up to 70 people over at my house in a few weeks. This is December in the snow belt, which means the street is full of all kinds of mud and sleet and various ice-melting salts. Since my guests will be parking along the street, they'll be bringing all that cool stuff into my house. Hence my dilemma. I'm going to say up front I don't believe in forcing your guests to take their shoes off. Not only is it IMO rude to the guests, it also requires me, the host, to crank up the heat as my guests are now barefoot. Furthermore, 70 pairs of shoes in a neat pile on the floor is not a sight I'm looking forward to. So that is definitely out. My question to you is, Is there any polite way to offer my guests an option to kinda-sorta wipe their shoes on something when they come into the house? In our group of friends, we wipe 'em with paper towels when we come in. But that's close friends, not a large group of relative strangers. Any ideas? Two suggestions that I got so far are 1)get a huge rug or a huge piece of carpet and spread it on (& possibly also next to) the porch. And, 2)get a bunch of old towels and have them use those as they come in; replacing the towels as they get dirty. Any other thots? Please share in the comments, I need input badly, the more the better. Oh yeah, worst case scenario, our carpet is crappy and at least ten years old, so no big deal if it gets a lil dirty. Luckily we never got around to putting in hardwood. I'm just thinking that messy, salty carpet will be a turnoff to the guests themselves.