The time of year is approaching where you’re going to find yourself with a lot of houseguests. Maybe they’re here for a few days over the holidays, maybe you just have a few families to feed, maybe your kids are home for the holidays and you’ve already turned their room into a home gym.

Whatever the cause, there’s probably going to be cause for you to need to reorganize your home a little bit to make room for guests! We’ve got a few tips on what to do with your home decor and furniture for whatever event is bringing your friends and family over so nobody has to make a big mess of the living room:

Figure out what kind of event you’re hosting
The first thing to do is plan out exactly how many people you’re going to have, and specifically for what reason. Are you just having people over for Thanksgiving dinner? If so, where is everyone eating (and do you have the dining room furniture or living room furniture to support everyone)? Will you have long-term guests, or at least someone staying for the night or the weekend? Get all the details in line - headcount, dates, etc - before you get too far into the planning stages.

Plan on furniture needs
Once you figure out who all is coming and why, you can start working on how much furniture you’ll need to accommodate everyone. If you’re eating in the dining room, do you have enough space at the dining room table or do you need to bring in extra chairs, or even a second table? What about things like buffet tables or serving carts to hold all the food? If someone is staying the night, do you have a properly-outfitted guest room or even just a pull-out couch for them to stay on? This part of the planning might require some last minute phone calls to relatives to see if you can borrow furniture, or the local rental place to get some bigger tables, but planning about it ahead of time will make things a lot easier in the long run.

Reorganize your furniture to support a ‘flow’
People get used to the way their houses look over time - maybe that chair in a weird corner is fine for you because it’s been there for years and you’re used to it, but it might get in the way of some of your guests while they find their way around your house. Move furniture away from entrances and exists to create a better sense of flow and a natural path, and try to keep it towards the center so it doesn’t obscure your home decor. After all, what’s the point of decorating your wall shelves if you don’t let people see them?

Provide multiple seating areas
Whether you’ve got a crowd where they don’t all know each other, maybe you’ve got a lot of guests coming in, or maybe you just need to make the most of your limited space, but a great way to make your guests more comfortable is to provide a few different seating areas. Even above and beyond making a ‘kids table’ (and does anyone do that anymore?) you’ll want to give people space in the dining room, the living room, and any other kind of communal areas for your guests to relax, stay with whoever they came here with, and help provide a little more unique look for your rooms by combining textures and spaces. (Downplaying the TV will help keep everyone social, too!)

Remember to keep everything tidy
You don’t need to do a massive floor-to-ceiling cleaning job, but a quick decluttering always helps. Try not to have a big mess of cables and phone chargers by the outlets and TVs, give everything a quick dusting or sweeping to make it presentable, and clean off those windows so the sun comes in a little better, especially during the winter months.

After all this your house should be ready for guests! Sure, there’s still dinner to make and the inevitable awkward small talk with old aunt whatshername you rarely see, but you can handle it! (And if you can’t, it’ll be over soon!)