The winter holidays are just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to transition your home for the giving season. Whether you plan on having family come to stay with you or you’re simply inviting guests over for a holiday meal, you want them to be comfortable in your home.

You may be thinking, “My home is too small or impractical for guests to stay with me,” but we can change that. It’s all about how you see the space and what you can do with it. Whether your home is small, cramped or laden with kids’ toys, we have simple, creative tips for making your home cozy for everyone in the family.

Declutter Your Space

It’s easy for rooms and closets to get cluttered, so now is a good time to go through these areas and get rid of stuff you haven’t used all year. If guests will be staying with you, make sure you leave them closet space and a couple of drawers to put things away. Even if your guests will be leaving, a clean closet provides room for coats, shoes and purses. The goal is to create space that is meant for your guests rather than squeezing them into your space.

Add Fresh Linens, Towels, Blankets and Pillows

No one likes to dry off their hands with the same towel that everyone else is using. Place holiday-themed disposable napkins in the bathroom. Also leave out fresh towels for showering. A few throw pillows can freshen up a sunken-in couch, while light blankets set aside in a wicker basket will give guests something to cuddle up with in front of the fire.

Arrange Furniture Strategically

Since the Christmas tree will be coming out anyway, rearranging your furniture won’t be such a burden. You may want to take out a piece of furniture to open up your space. Pay attention to seating. Family will want to socialize, so couches and chairs should be positioned near each other. In addition, there should also be end/accent tables nearby so that guests can read a book or have a glass of apple cider near them.

Bring in the Outdoors

Fresh flowers in the bedroom, bathroom or dining room add a nice touch to the home without demanding much. Indoor mums, poinsettias, holly, mistletoe or a Christmas cactus are all beautiful plants for the holidays. (Be sure to research these if you have pets, as some may be hazardous to their health!)

Give the Home a Makeover

Many people think of summer as the best time to refresh their home, but late fall is a great time, too. You have an incentive to get things done, and the kids are in school during the day giving you time to go through closets, hang new pictures and shop online. Give your home a brand new look with freshly painted walls or wallpaper. Or, brighten up your dining room set with new paint. Everyone will think it’s new, and you’ll save a bundle of money!