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Whether it’s purging, organizing or storing your stuff, living in small spaces can be both challenging and rewarding. With real estate prices escalating, some Canadians are opting to either purchase or rent smaller homes or condos, but they can be just as chic and cozy as larger spaces.

Here are seven superb ideas to light up your smaller spaces:

Streamline your belongings. There is a wise, old adage that says if you haven’t used it, looked at it or seen it in a year, it’s time to get rid of it. Keep only those things that bring you joy. If something has been in a drawer or closet forever, donate it or give it to a family member or a friend. The more clutter is minimized, the larger the space will feel.

There’s nothing like organization. While organizing our belongings can be a challenge for many of us, small areas are more functional when they’re orderly. Consider open shelving in your kitchen to give it a spacious feeling, or a loft bed in your room to open up floor space.

Two words: Neat and tidy. When you’re living in a home or apartment with smaller square footage, keeping everything clean should be high on your list. Everything in its place, as they say. If you’ve already streamlined and organized, this shouldn’t be too difficult to manage.

Make smart colour choices. Changing the colour of a space is the least expensive way to make the biggest impact in a small area. Lighter colours on walls will give your rooms an airy feeling that will make them feel larger than they are. By the same token, darker hues can create the illusion of expanded space since they add depth.

Use vertical spaces and corners. Walls and corners are wonderful in small spaces. Extra storage space with open shelving can climb walls. Corners can be used as bonus storage spaces for bookshelves, makeshift closets, or to set up small office nooks.

Wise design picks. Choosing furniture that will give the feeling of expansion is a good decision. Items fashioned from glass or acrylic look lighter and will open up a room, as will low-profile seating. Slender, exposed legs on furniture will also make a space look bigger.

Let that little light shine. Use natural light to your advantage. If you’re living in a very private home or apartment, you might want to nix window coverings all together, except in the bedroom. Mirrors are also great for diffusing natural light.