Try these three simple steps to put your house in order, and keep it that way.
Assess the mess. Consider how you use a room, and also what you need to store there. For instance, if there's a television, make a place for DVDs. If you want the room to be inviting for the whole family, provide enough seating as well as a place for each family member to keep a few things.
Analyze the obstacles. Identify the main culprits in your battle against clutter, and create systems that address each problem. If the artwork that your kids bring home piles up on the counter, create a place to hang it for a limited time. Does the mail get strewn about? Get a basket to deposit it in.
Devise solutions. Can you accomplish your goals with the furniture you have? Take a look around your house and see if there are cabinets, bookcases or any pieces that could prove more useful. If you need to purchase new items, shop for ones that are functional and create the ambience you're aiming for.