1. If you are going to collect a bunch of shit, keep it all in one place. Having one area of "clutter" will leave the rest of the room empty so that the eye can rest. And then, when people happen upon your clutter they'll say "ooohh, and what do we have hiding in this fancy mess? must be something interesting."
2. Nothing makes a place feel like a home like a man in the bed, a cat on the windowsill, and a rug underfoot. If you can't afford one large area rug, buy runners and sew them together and if you can't afford a man, buy another cat.