My household ranges from 3 kids up to 8 kids, and toys were starting to get WAY out of control. What I did was I took a large box (we had to buy a mower this summer, so that box was perfect) and this is used for all the 'big toys' aka balls, dumptrucks, anything larger than a shoebox. Then, there is the 'softie shelf' which is an old wire rack that was used in a store somewhere that has the job of holding onto all dolls and stuffed animals. Then, on the top shelf, where the children can't reach I have a large bin and 4 diaper boxes. The large bin holds my oldest's 'mechanical toys' like the racetrack pieces, wrestling rings, etc. And the diaper boxes hold all the 'little toys', aka farm animals, little people, matchbox cars, mcdonald's toys that they won't let me throw away, etc. However, only one box is allowed down at a time.
This is really working for me right now. The large toys and stuffed animals are always down where they can reach because they are easy to pick up. The oldest's toys are out of reach, so no more lost pieces or choking hazards left laying around on the floor. And all those little playthings that my feet so desperately hate after walking on them many times, are only allowed down little by little. Not 1500 toys covering every square inch of my house!