Well, I finally was able to get the plastic zip bags Artlady recommended. They are wonderful and hold an amazing amount of yarn. My organizational efforts have only just started; I still am pondering what kind of shelving system I want to use.
But my yarn is better contained. Here are some pics of my stash using the bags. MUCH more orderly than the first pics. There is actually ALOT more yarn than it would appear as I was able to integrate yarn from other places in the house into these bags. The yarn itself takes up much less room. I tried to put "like yarn" together so when I actually do get around to new shelving it will be easier to organize.
The biggest remaining problem is that, especially in the bottom section the yarn is 2-3 bags deep so it's still hunt and search to find anything. But at least I know it's safely stored.
I need another 10 or 15 bags and still need to figure out a way to protect my cones, maybe just clear plastic garbage bags...... But I have at least gotten started and feel much better about my mess.
One important thing that has come out of this. I have decided to go on a yarn diet for awhile....... I realized in the sorting that I have reached the "SABLE" level of stashing (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) and perhaps should use some before I buy more