Make things into categories, decide where the categories live, and ALWAYS put things back into their categories. Kindergartens do this: puzzles in one place, books on one shelf, baking equipment in one cupboard, cooking tools in another, cleaning things all together somewhere, clothing care stuff in one place, hobbies in one place, sports equipment in another. Don't think 'this doesn't look normal' is a good reason not to segregate your stuff --once you get used to the way it looks, it will amaze you that you didn't think of it before.
Also, take a look at www.FlyLady.com for some excellent ideas for how to start, how to avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the job when you're first starting, and some great tips for how to maintain it without feeling like you're in a straight jacket.
at 4:18 PM on Jul. 3, 2010