If your previous home was larger than your new home, you’ve probably gotten used to the feeling of flexibility, ease, and order. It must be hard to think about living in a smaller space which by comparison feels cramped and suffocating.

However, if you do things right, you can make sure that all your stuff fits into that smaller space with elbow room to spare.

How do you “create” more square footage to accommodate all the stuff you brought with you from your bigger home? Here are a few helpful tips:

Declutter with great prejudice

First of all, you don’t really need everything you’re moving in with. So, let’s start by getting the most important things through the door. Throw the junk out.

Besides being bad for your health, clutter could waste you a lot of time. Especially in a smaller space, all of that clutter that you used to hide in corners and closets will be in your face all the time (or will just stay in boxes along the walls). More importantly, it will eat up space that could be used more efficiently.

So sort your items based on what you need and what makes you happy. Decide what needs to go and what can be donated, recycled, or even sold.

Will getting rid of stuff you’ve had for years be easy? Probably not. It’s human nature to become attached to material objects. But at least you’ll be happy knowing it went to a good home, was turned into something better, generated you some money, or was finally tossed out with the trash.

Make use of vertical space

It’s easy to ignore all the vertical space in your house when you have a big house. But in a small space, you’ll find vertical space invaluable.

Install floor-to-ceiling shelves and cabinets to save on floor space. Make liberal use of hooks. Hang your bike on a rack. There are plenty of ways to make use of your walls without making a mess of your new house. For example, you can transform the space under the stairs into a work area, closet, or even a dog house.

Storage boxes and other items that you rarely use can be stored under the bed. There are creative ways to turn every nook in your home into a storage space or some kind of functional area.

Use multi-functional furniture

Another way you can maximize your space is by replacing your furniture with multifunctional furniture and decorations that can also double as storage spaces. For examples, ottomans can provide additional storage space. And loveseats that turn into beds are an absolute game changer.

You can also use the same pieces of furniture for many different purposes. For instance, a chest with drawers or a small desk can both serve as nightstands. You can use the kitchen table as a surface to prepare meals, and so on.

Get creative with partitioning. Instead of using a curtain, for instance, try a bookshelf! This will serve as both a partition and a storage space.

Hire a professional organizer to help

Don’t forget that for everything that you don’t do well, there’s someone doing it for a living. Consider hiring an expert to help you organize your new place and save you even more room while keeping your house looking great.

Some moving companies have expertise in this area and will gladly offer this as an extra service. When conducting research on moving companies, ask if they provide the service and their qualifications. If you find one that moves and still offers expert organization services, you will most likely pay less than if you hired a professional organizer on your own.

Even when you’re living in a large space, staying organized is key. Arrange your items in a logical and systematic manner. Store what needs to be out of sight, out of sight. Accept that you don’t really need all your stuff. Dispose of what you can and avoid buying things you don’t need. This will save space for all the important stuff.

Even if you can’t afford more square footage, you can still make a smaller space work for you by keeping it clean, neat, and free of clutter.

Article written by Sarah Saltzberg of Bohemia Realty