Project Organization for Video Production: Freebies and Folder Structures

Anyone that works in video production or visual effects knows data storage can be a task in itself. Just one of the open projects I am working on, out of the dozen or so, is over 200GB and has more than 1500 files associated with it. The challenge of data wrangling can slow down a busy production pipeline and get in the way of creativity. So how do you create order out of this potential chaos?