What are the secrets to making a small space feel like more like home (and less like a sardine can)? It can be done – and it’s easier today than ever before, thanks to stores like Ikea with their smartly-designed furniture pieces. But even if all you have is non-Swedish furniture, there are plenty of tricks that can make your tiny apartment or home feel bigger.

First off, get your furniture to do double duty as much as possible. For example, an ottoman that doubles as a chair (and even triples as a coffee table…or quadruples — if that’s a word! — as storage). Or a bookcase that also holds wine bottles and baskets of table linens in addition to books. (Photo: Apartment Therapy)

Look up – and use vertical space. Choose bookcases or shelves that run all the way to the ceiling to squeeze every inch of useful space out of your walls. Place mementos and collectibles on floating shelves placed near the ceiling. Use a hanging lamps to brighten a dark corner without taking floor space or cluttering a tabletop.

And speaking of clutter…Banish clutter! There’s simply no room – literally – for clutter in your small space. Get the mail, read the mail, recycle the mail. Period. Don’t let papers stack up on surfaces around your home. (Photo: Organized Home)

Decide your priorities before you design the space. What’s important to you? What do you really need in your life? Maybe a desk is more important than a table. Room to entertain could be more important than a huge bed. Think realistically about your life and design accordingly.

Check yourself (and edit your stuff). When your space is severely limited, you simply cannot hold on to things. At least once per year (and even better, twice per year), take stock and get rid of things (clothes, shoes, furniture, knickknacks) you don’t need or want. Are they valuable or useful? Sell them on eBay or Craigslist. Too much trouble to list and manage? Donate them with Freecycle. Or donate to a local charity or rummage sale — they may even send someone to pick them up. What could be easier than that?