It may seem almost impossible to remove clutter from your child’s room without removing the child. After all, kids aren’t exactly born with an innate sense of cleanliness and an unyielding desire to organize. From candy wrappers tossed on the floor to dirty clothes strung across the bed, a child’s room – at any given time – can look like a trash can exploded. However, with a little creative thinking, it’s possible to remove your child’s mess, and even keep the child.

Give Away What They Don’t Use: Kids constantly outgrow toys. What they played with one year they might not even glance at the next. Instead of keeping these items in your child’s room, where they are potential mess makers, give the items to charity or younger friends and relatives. If your child has trouble parting with their toys, as children often do, try compromising by offering fifty cents or a dollar for every item they get rid of. When all else fails, simply give away the toys they won’t miss when they aren’t looking. Remember, what they don’t know, won’t hurt them (don’t feel too bad, they will use this same mantra on you when they get to college).

Raise the Bed: Under a bed is a great place to store things: tennis shoes, sports equipment, the boogey man living in your child’s imagination. But unfortunately many beds are so low that the only thing you can store is an occasional dust bunny. This is where the idea of raising a bed awakens. Using bed risers, landscape bricks, or wood, you can give yourself a few extra feet, feet you’ll be able to use for storage of just about anything. Raise your child’s bed, and raise the roof on organization.

Hang Shelves from the Ceiling: A wooden shelf: 50 dollars; a plant hook: eight dollars; a chain for hanging: fifteen dollars; a place to put your child’s stuffed animal collection: priceless. If your child has an assortment of stuffed toys that seemingly reproduce every time you turn your head, hanging shelves from the ceiling can help free up space. You might want to keep some of the more important stuffed animals within your child’s grasp, but the rest should be fine in their newly made penthouse.

Get an Old Fashioned Toy Box: The idea of an old fashioned toy box seems to have been thrown out the window, replaced by the likes of Rubbermaid and plastic storage bins. Though these serve a purpose, an old fashioned toy box serves one as well. Not only will a wooden toy box generally hold more and last longer, but it is also heavy, which means your child can’t compound the mess by tipping it over or moving it from room to room.

Have a Junk Drawer: A junk drawer is often limited to kitchens, a place for you to store scissors and rolls of tape. But, a junk drawer in your child’s room is a great way to help them keep little things organized. Try turning the top drawer of your child’s dresser into a junk drawer. Put in muffin tins, old coffee cans, or old ice cub trays. These will allow the drawer to remain organized by allowing your child to sort and separate things like jewelry, game pieces, coins, rocks, and jacks……ya know, if your child happens to be from the 1950’s.