Yesterday's day-long ordeal did not result in the complete cleaning of an entire room. However, I did take out about 5 bags of trash (and filled two more that will have to wait until the garbage is collected today before I can put them in the cans). We amassed three boxes of toys to keep and one enormous box of toys to give away (which I prudently "disappeared" before the kids came home). I spent an ungodly amount of money on two large garage shelving units and twenty-three plastic bins of varying sizes. I got one of the shelving units set up in the boys' room where the changing table used to be, and I moved the train set organizer in there too. I chose garage shelving units for their sturdiness, low price, and ease of assembly. Yes, they are ugly as sin, but they are unlikely to collapse when the boys inevitably try to climb on them. (I can always make them curtain covers anyway.) Yesterday evening the kids and I sorted out the boxes of toys into the plastic bins and labeled them all.
So today I start the daunting task of teaching the kids how to play with the organized toys. I have to get them into the idea that you play with one box of toys at a time, then put it away before you take out another. And I also have to start the similarly-daunting task of teaching FH for the millionth time that toys (and objects in general) have to be organized primarily by use rather than by shape, size, or the material of which they are made. I had to make sure that I had at least established the sorting scheme by the time FH got home so that he wouldn't be able to take over and re-sort things his way. We've tried sorting the toys his way, but kids just don't play with toys together simply because they're made of the same material.
Today's goal is to set up the second shelving unit and continue mucking out the boys' room, collecting the piles of bedding they've created, throwing out trash and organizing toys as we find them.