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You’re pressed for time with your busy schedule. Sadly, your tiny apartment has you pressed for space, too.

But the fact that you have a small living space doesn’t mean you should settle for a mediocre one.

There are plenty of creative ways to refresh the layout and feel of a room—and to make it feel a lot more spacious.

 

Use as much natural light as you can

Open the blinds and let that sweet, sweet sunshine flood in.

Increasing the light exposure in your home gives the illusion of a wider space. Natural light imbues your space a fresh and lively atmosphere and boosts your mood — which is life-changing whether you come home from stressful workdays or spend a lot of time at home.

This is also why you should…

 

Use bright and neutral colour palettes

When painting day approaches, choose colours that maintain that bright atmosphere, no matter what the weather. Experiment with different shades of off-whites, greys and beiges for the walls, trim and doors for a more dynamic space.

If you’re into colour, there’s no need to compromise! In fact, neutral-coloured walls allow for more diverse uses of colour. There’s less of a chance you’ll find a great chair or coffee table that’ll clash with your colour scheme. Feel free to play around more with décor like paintings and shelf arrangements.

Declutter, declutter, declutter

We know, you’ve heard it just short of a billion times this year. “Throw things away that don’t spark joy,” declare countless influencers repackaging Marie Kondo’s sage advice.

Whether or not you believe her method can actually make your life easier, one thing remains true: clutter crowds your space. But what is clutter, exactly?

The most common offenders are loose paper, receipts, stationery, old books and knick-knacks or souvenirs that have no function.

Some of these things might be hard to let go. Inhale, exhale, and toss away—you don’t need everything. You’ll thank yourself later because the decreased clutter will expand your space.

Find multi-functional furniture

If your apartment is pretty crammed, you might find yourself having to choose between a mattress and a sofa bed. You already know what the wiser choice is.

It might not be the design methodology of your dreams, but sometimes the best way to maximize your space is to make it as flexible as possible. Some examples of “flexible furniture”:

  • A desk with a retractable unit
  • An extendable dining table
  • A standing mirror with a coat rack on the back, or internal jewelry storage
  • A bench with storage units
  • A portable clothing rack with shoe shelves

Transparent furniture

Here’s a stylish and chic hack, if you can splurge on some finer things.

Opt for a clear glass coffee table to boost the space in your living room. Transparent chairs can add a modern touch to your dining area.

Cleaner floors

This might not sound like a hack — but it is, and it works wonders.

If you have laminate or hardwood flooring, keep your walking space as clear as possible. Anything non-essential that’s sitting in the corners of the room can be moved into storage.

Carpets are difficult to maintain, to say the least. Most people don’t clean their carpets on any regular schedule whatsoever. Vacuuming clears lint, hairs and crumbs off the floor and makes your space look, well, spacious and brand new.

But vacuuming isn’t enough. Many people let tiny speckles of food and drink stains permeate their carpets for years without carpet cleaning, eventually turning the floor an entirely different colour. Don’t let that happen!

A (seemingly) bigger, happier home starts with the basics: thorough cleaning and care. Talk to an expert about what kind of carpet cleaning services are best for you.

Click here to win $300 towards a home cleaning!

Read next: How to Clean and Dry Your Carpet