When it comes to finding the right living arrangements, things like location and affordability might take priority over the seemingly-trivial issue of leg-room. Still, when all is said and done, living in a confined apartment for an extended period of time is often enough to agitate even the most placid individual into feeling like the walls are closing in. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a few simple, lease-friendly tips to help you increase the feeling of available space in your apartment. Check them out, and see for yourself just how much difference a little bit of breathing room can make.

Pull furniture away from the wall:

When large items are pressed directly against the wall, it creates an atmosphere that feels cramped. By pulling the furniture a few inches out from the wall, you’ll be able to make the room feel more expansive.

Uncover your windows:

Uncovering your windows provides two benefits: It allows more natural light into the room, and it gives occupants a view of the outside world. Both of these benefits help expand the feeling of the room, without actually changing anything about the interior.

Show off your furniture’s legs:

Any place that you can show some space between the furniture and the edges of the room will help create the illusion of extra space, and that includes the spot where the furniture touches the floor. Furniture with exposed legs, rather than furniture that seems to sit directly on the ground, will help the entire room appear more open.

Avoid tall furniture:

Tall furniture, including tables and chairs, actually cuts into space that you might not be consciously aware of. Unconsciously, however, overly tall furniture can make you feel as though a room is more cramped than it really is. Shorten the profile of your furniture, and you’ll be able to enjoy a decent amount of free space that you may never have considered.

Get rid of rugs (and other unnecessary decorations):

Any time that you can reduce the amount of stuff in a room, you’ll increase the appearance of space. Get rid of items that serve no function other than to ‘spruce up’ the room. Rugs are a perfect example,but things like drapes, and even excessive wall art, can make a room feel cluttered.

Paint or wallpaper the ceiling:

By drawing the eye upward, a painted or wallpapered ceiling can force room occupants to become aware of the open space above them, making the rest of the room appear larger in the process.

Use light colors on available surfaces:

Light colors have a way of driving out shadows, and creating the illusion of increased spaciousness. Painting your available surface in light colors is an easy way to take advantage of this phenomenon.

Install a clear shower curtain:

Shower curtains are used to block the shower/bathtub off from the rest of the room. However, in a cramped bathroom, hiding the shower area can significantly reduce the available space. Clear shower curtains solve this problem.

Consider stripes:

How the eye moves while viewing something can affect appearance. Long, repeated, parallel stripes force the eye to move across large spaces, creating a lengthening effect. As such, vertical stripes will make a room seem taller, while horizontal ones will make it seem wider.

Arrange and group your items:

If cutting down on your clutter isn’t really an option, then organizing it is the next best thing. Rearrange the setup of your apartment, so that you can group items in a logical way (by color, height, etc.). This will reduce the overall chaos of the room, and make it appear more open by comparison.