I guess it depends on how diverse your photography is. If you focus on a particular type of photography most of the time, then putting the relevant gear for that type of photography in your camera bag, and putting the rest in "the box" (or a cabinet, or one of those cheap plastic drawer systems you can get from walmart for about $15, etc.) is probably the cheapest way to go.
If you do have more diverse photographic tendencies, or have different kinds of jobs you regularly do, you might want to get a bit more creative. If, for example, you do wedding photography and architectural photography, I would recommend getting a couple camera bags, and put the relevant gear in each bag. Anything that might be shared amongst those bags, like camera bodies or lenses, I would put in a cabinet or set of drawers such that you can quickly add them to the appropriate camera bag when you head out for a particular job.
I don't quite have enough gear to do that myself yet, but it is quickly accumulating, and I have a similar situation. I love nature photography, but the gear used for landscapes (wide angle lenses, full frame body, large ND and ND grad filters, tripod) is different than that used for wildlife and birds (telephoto lenses, cropped sensor body, usually hand-held so no tripod or maybe a monopod), which is also different than that used for insect and flora macro photography (macro lenses, full frame and cropped sensor bodies depending on the shot, monopod, macro focusing rails/rigs, macro lighting and flash gear, tripods to support off-camera lighting, etc.) Its a bit of an ordeal right now to unpack my bag, pack what I need for the type of shooting I want to do, and put the rest away (into one of those plastic three-drawer cabinets from walmart ;P). On top of my passion, I've been exploring other types of photography, such as portraits and architectural photography. Both of those have their own unique sets of gear, such as a diverse set of off-camera lighting for portrait work, or tilt-shift lenses for architecture. I figure a camera bag for each, with a couple camera bodies and lenses usable across different forms would sit in my cabinet, while the type-specific gear would stay in the appropriate bag.
Oh, and for quickest access...find a way to clearly label your bags in big text, or get colored bags and use color codes for each type of photography, or something like that. Otherwise you'll still have to open the bags and rummage about a bit to figure out whats in them.