My home doesn't have a basement or even a dedicated playroom, so my toddler's toys are usually scattered all over our apartment by the end of the day, which at first was quite overwhelming. Some time before his first birthday, we got tired of our living room looking like a toy store and we were forced to come up with a plan of action for getting it back under control. The first thing we did was purge--we stored away anything he was too old for and trashed anything that was broken or otherwise non-functioning. Then we designated storage areas for what remained.
For us, that means that one of the decorative baskets in our living room now belongs to our son, and between naps and overnight, everything goes in and it gets tucked away in its proper place. Anything that doesn't fit in that basket gets stored in his room at the end of the day and our living room is restored to its former glory.