Seems like the prevailing (instinctual?) way to approach organizing a cluttered or non-functional area is "how can I fit what I own into this space?" The tangible results of organizing with this type of mindset is often oppressive, counterproductive, and short-lived.
Key to a functional, long-term, simple/attractive organizational solution is actually evaluating what you own and comparing it to what you need or want to own. Making detached judgments about your possessions. In doing so, you come to see that, more often than not, the solution to a messy area is not "more storage" but "less stuff" (or at least a combination of "less stuff" and "more storage").
Anyway, on that note, I'd love to introduce a lovely, light-hearted blog with some very practical and beautiful tips and advice on organizing and storage and simplifying:
I came across it the other day looking for ideas for my future (hopefully!) new own apartment. Annie's mission is to help "people everywhere expel the extraneous and instill their lives with a sense of ease, laughter and light through introspection, clutter obliteration, organization, and a steadfast intolerance for complication."
What I appreciate about her advice and solutions is that she clearly understands the importance of the evaluative part of process. And you can see it at every level of the advice she gives from kitchen drawer to bedroom to daily routines.