Looking back on childhood, there were few more ubiquitous phrases than “Clean your room!” In my house, it was often used as a bargaining chip — the dreaded chore that came before the fun activities, like riding bikes with my friends or hitting up a matinee (my first taste of pubescent independence). My poor parents. I fell somewhere in between “mildly ambivalent about dust” and “hoarder-in-training” on the clean spectrum, focusing instead on right-brained pursuits like writing and painting. Organizing my sock drawer was not just not high up on the list of priorities. If only they had a “National Clean Up Your Room Day” to mark the occasion for breaking out the trash bags, dust rags and storage containers… perhaps the 12-year-old me would have gotten in the spirit of cleanliness. In honor of the day that gives parents everywhere an excuse to dish out the “clean your room” command with actual authority, we decided to compile a few tips for cleaning and de-cluttering your bedroom.

1. Look for Unconventional Storage

Apartment Therapy
Photo via Apartment Therapy

Follow the mess. It usually leads to a poor storage problem. You could do one of two things: 1) donate the clothes and items you no longer need, want or use; or 2) find creative ways to store your stuff. Make the most of your floor space by using under-the-bed storage for stowing extra bed linens, exercise gear or handbags. You could also DIY your own platform storage unit for your bed. Transform your stairs into the ultimate storage facility. Sure, it might require a carpenter’s help, but it’s the perfect place to store your off-season clothes, snowboard or ski gear or any other items you don’t use on a regular basis. And don’t forget: there’s also clever bench seating you could place at the foot of the bed for stashing extra linens.

2. Divide and Conquer

Photo via The Container Store

Who doesn’t love a good drawer organizer? Ikea sells some great inexpensive options. It’s not just for your socks and unmentionables either. Why not use them for jewelry organization? You can also keep folded clothes or accessories neat with shelf dividers, like these from The Container Store.

3. Store Up, Not Out

Photo via Crate & Barrel

When space is limited, it’s time to think up, not out. Forgo the wall-to-wall horizontal dressers in favor of taller furniture like this armoire from Crate & Barrel to save space.  When you add vertical storage, you now have plenty of extra room for additional storage furniture!

4. Turn Your Clutter into Eye Candy

Photo via Style Like You Stole It

You know the old magazines, random houseplants and extra large frames that are scattered over your floor? Rearrange them in an artful way to make the clutter seem purposeful. Suddenly a messy space becomes a place of visual interest.