I worked as a waitress when I was in high school and college, and was taught the old waitressing rule, "Never travel empty."
Basically, what it means is that you're wasting time if your hands aren't full. If you have to run back to the kitchen to pick up an order, you might as well take the dirty glasses from the recently vacated table on your way. My great-grandma called it "saving steps" (which is an important thing to do when you're in your 80s, but never made sense to me when I was a kid).
When I'm chasing my kids around the house, I try to remember not to "travel empty." If I have to go shoo MG off of the stairs for the 92nd time, I could take the toys that need to go back to her room with me. When I go to the playroom to find out why it's a little too quiet, I pick up some of the migratory toys on my way.
This little rule helps me keep up with the clutter a little better. Not that my house is clean by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we can see the floor (most of the time). Works for me!