Keeping your home tidy and attending to your family’s needs is demanding enough, so hosting guests can sometimes be quite a challenge. Whether you’re throwing a small dinner party or hosting a week-long family reunion, here are some simple steps to offer a welcoming experience for your visitors.

Prepare parking

Be sure that sufficient parking is available for your guests and that they know where and how to find it. Avoid letting early departures get stuck behind other vehicles, and ensure street parkers know how to avoid getting ticketed.

Roll out the welcome mat

Prepare a graceful entrance for your guests. Outside, make sure your entryway is well lit as well as clean and clear of ice and debris. Inside, provide space for guests to shed shoes and boots and stow coats and gear.

Tidy up

Cleaning your home beforehand is the most obvious step. If time is tight, prioritize the essentials and the areas where your guests will spend the most time.

Offer access to eats

Prepare your kitchen to include ample snacks, a variety of beverages, fruit and breakfast foods. Stock up beforehand, and show your visitors where they can find items, where to discard trash and recyclables and how to operate any necessary appliances such as coffeemakers.

Meet all needs

Plan ahead for your guests’ specific needs such as allergy concerns and dietary restrictions, childproofing and entertainment for children and mobility challenges for the elderly or differently abled.

Stock bedroom essentials

If your guests are staying overnight, stock their sleeping and bathing areas with the necessary sheets, towels and toiletries.

Build in downtime

Don’t over-plan your schedule for your guests. Make some activities flexible, and include a bit of downtime for people to rest or unwind.

Enjoy yourself

Don’t forget that your guests want to see you! Don’t obsess so much over hosting that you deny yourself the opportunity to relax and enjoy your guests’ company.