Creating a Cozy Home for Family & Friends

Thank you to Tide for partnering with me!

A few weeks ago, this almost-winter season knocked on our door. Quite literally! The temperatures outside dropped from 80 degrees to 40 degrees in 1 day. It was nuts and we weren’t prepared to crash into the colder season. After the season skipped from summer to wintery-fall, it started to rain. A LOT. It rained relentlessly for what felt like 3 weeks. We got more rain than Seattle! I don’t know how your friends handle life when it’s so wet outside. 

My oldest went to her 1st grade class with an extra snug winter coat and high-water jeans.  haha. I’m so glad she’s too confident to feel embarrassed by her clothes. Now that the kids are outfitted with their winter clothes, they’re riding their bikes and scooters, playing at the park & school playground, we’re pushing strollers and wagons. It’s been a fun, few chilly and rainy weeks.

And with the colder temperatures, we have even more friends and family coming to spend time together indoors! We are looking forward to hosting family with us for 10 days! I can’t wait! My sister-in-law will be staying with her family of 6 in our home.

I’d love to share my tips for keeping our home cozy and ready for company & playdates during this time of year – especially because every parent is looking for adventure and shelter indoors now!

1. FRESHEN & SANITIZE KIDS FAVORITE ITEMS. I don’t know about you but all of our kiddos – and even their friends who come over! – have a favorite stuffed animal or lovey blanket they try to bring with them everywhere. I try to catch them before they leave the house, or if I missed it there, before we leave the car, but someone usually takes advantage of this mama being pre-occupied with someone else. It’s become inevitable that little lovey’s always seem to join us! This also makes it inevitable that they get dropped everywhere. So, I’ve tried to make sure to sanitize them from bacteria picked up on the go as soon as we get home with a new product from the experts who understand how to clean and protect fabrics most: NEW Tide Antibacterial Fabric Spray, which kills 99.9% of bacteria on tough-to-clean fabrics and clothes. The kids blankets, my stroller fabric, and baby carrier all get a quick spray down after visiting the park or shopping mall. It’s so easy to use: just spray on fabrics and let sit for 5 minutes. It can be used to freshen up the kids’ winter coats, scarves, hats, and even bedding, car seats, couches, towels, bath mats, and more. Click HERE for a $2 coupon on our favorite Tide Antibacterial Spray!

2. PREPARE THE GUEST ROOM AND PLAY AREAS. Throughout the year, guest bedrooms and playrooms tend to accumulate lots of extra things, leaving no room for guests! First step is clearing away the clutter. Donate unnecessary clothes and storage. Nothing makes a guest feel more at home than a soft, comfortable bed. Now that we have company more often, I’ll freshen the pillows and sheets. I’ll place fresh linens and add a few blankets and throws to the room – and I can easily freshen them up by using Tide’s Antibacterial Fabric Spray! It’s also helpful to stock the guest bathroom with toothbrushes, soap, shampoo to cover anything they may have forgotten. And maybe most important: writing down the wi-fi password.

3. ALWAYS PICKUP BEFORE MOVING ON. I always get questions from mamas asking how I keep our home always clean – especially when they have playdates or we have guests over! I promise, my kids are not tidy or clean. They do not think to clean up after messes or crafts and I often feel like a broken record. But they can always expect I will ask them to pick up after themselves. Before we do another activity we all make a huge effort to clean up the space before leaving. For example, before we start a craft in the dining room (something they LOVE) we’ll pick up all the toys upstairs. I’ll always take advantage of fun future activities by having them clean up their current mess before moving on. Also, I’ve always tried to be consistent about reminding the kids to keep their toys upstairs. We have a hard rule in our home, no playing with toys downstairs. I also dedicated a room to be their playroom to keep all their toys in instead of their bedrooms. As expected, toys find their way out of the playroom all throughout the day, but every single night the family contributes to 15-20 minutes of “pick-up time” – that includes their playmates and our house guests! After dinner, we all spend 15-20 minutes picking up toys and clutter. Repetition has been more helpful than anything with keeping our home free of mess.

4. BRING IN THE WINTER FEELS. It’s that time again…the most wonderful time of the year! Nothing makes our home feel more cozy than new scents and candles. I love to stock up on them during Black Friday sales. We also download our favorite  playlists for this time of year, so the kids and their friends can easily turn it on whenever they’re craving fun music.

What’s your tried and true tricks in preparing your family for this winter season? Share your favorites below in the comments!

Tide antibacterial Fabric Spray is effective against bacteria as called out in registration.


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