Organization Domino Effect

Oh my gosh. Organizing is the w.o.r.s.t. Don't get me wrong, it feels great to be organized and have everything in its own neat and tidy (and, if you're OCDish, color-coordinated) house. But it stinks to have to actually DO the organizing.
At least, it stinks if your starting point looks anything like this:
That's right. Pity me.
But here's the thing. I often (okay, occasionally) find myself bemoaning the fact that our house lacks storage space. In particular, I was bemoaning this closet (above), because it's in the guest bedroom and must be cleaned out a bit in order to make the space function as a true bedroom space instead of a Catch-All Holding Cell.
Where in the world is all of this crap going to go?
It's like a dominoes effect, really, when it comes to organizing around here. Move some stuff away from here to there, and the stuff from there to somewhere else. One of the hot spots in this organization train was this shelf unit in our family room: 

Upon closer inspection, I thought maybe just maybe we could use the space a little better to maximize storage. For example, this bin could be used for something other than trash:

And these metal brain-game things could maaaaaaybe squeeze themselves into a smaller space (what the what of a waste is this?!?!):

And an apron and stuffed animal could be put away. Maybe. Just sayin'.

And BAM. Just like that, three shelf cubes freed up. How dare I bemoan anything when I'm wasting what I've got already?
So I relocated toys into the toy closet (novel idea, I know), threw away the junk, and moved fabric and sewing stuff that had been stored in the guest bedroom out to these now cleaned out shelves to become:

And I actually *gasp* utilized the boxes. As in, stuffed them silly.

I have plans to make a cover for these shelves so it looks better, but for now...I'm content with being organized. The greatest part is that this has freed up these spaces in the guest bedroom closet & bookshelves:
It's not much, but it's a start. I'm continuing this process of really looking at the items we have vs. the storage space we have and figuring out how to maximize the purpose of both.
It's a painstakingly slow and highly un-glamorous task. But definitely rewarding in the end, as I feel like we got a bunch of "free" square footage in our home. Plus it forced me to clean and de-junk, which is always useful. I think 2013 is the Year of Simplifying for me.
Has anyone else experienced something like this? Like, the extra space you needed was there all along, it just required a little elbow grease and thought to make it happen? I'd love to hear. Need some motivation to keep the dominoes effect going...
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