Just because you are moving into a small apartment doesn’t mean you need to feel trapped and crowded in your own home. For many people, a few small changes can free up quite a bit of space and make even the tiniest studios feel roomier.

1. Keep the Accent Furniture to a Minimum

Those who are trying to free up space in a smaller apartment should only bring in furniture that serves a purpose. Long side tables and bookshelves might be aesthetically pleasing, but they often do nothing more than take up space and make a room appear to be more cluttered. Instead of a dedicated side table, you might want to place a small desk next to your couch that will double as a workspace.

2. Remove Doors

Most people who are renting an apartment cannot make major structural changes, but removing a few doors is generally not a problem. Doors take up quite a bit of space, and they are often unnecessary for closets and pantries. Simply replacing them with a light curtain could add a little bit of space to every room.

3. Brighten Each Room

While better lighting will not change the actual size of a room, it does play an important role in how large an area appears to be. Our minds automatically block out dark spaces, and that can make a room look much smaller than it really is. Most interior designers suggest having at least three soft light sources in every room evenly spaced along the perimeter.

4. Rent a Storage Unit

When it comes to smaller living spaces, storage is generally the biggest problem. If you do not have a designated area for storage such as racks in your garage, then you might want to keep your seasonal gear in a storage facility, like National Storage. A smaller unit could free up closets, hallways, and other important areas throughout your home.

5. Use Built-In Furniture

Most traditional furniture is not made for small apartments, and a single desk or bed could dominate an entire room. Furniture with built-in storage will help you take advantage of empty space while keeping your rooms tidy and organized.

6. Incorporate Mirrors

When you put mirrors on a wall, they make the room look both brighter and larger. The bigger the mirror, the better, because your mind is tricked into thinking that the room you are in is bigger than it actually is. However, that is not to say that you should put mirrors up on every single wall. Instead, just put one very large mirror on one of the living room walls.

7. Install Shelves

Because shelves are open and don’t appear bulky, they help a room to look bigger. Most apartments have small kitchens, and so by replacing the cupboards with shelving, you’d be able to make it look more spacious. However, you might want to check with your apartment manager before doing this type of project, because such remodeling projects may not be allowed where you live. If you can, though, then you should definitely consider doing this.

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own home, especially those who live in small spaces like apartments. If you are one of those people, then these five tips will help you maximize every centimeter of space in your apartment and turn it into a place you can be at home in.