I’ve run across several plugins recently that claim to help tame the beast that is the widgetized sidebar. Plugins aren’t the magical cure-all to your website woes but they will give you a head-start on fixing a multitude of issues or adding functionality to your site.
Here are a few to consider for wrangling your widgets:
Widget Logic: This plugin allows you to control (with a little coding) on which posts, pages, or categories certain widgets will appear. For instance, if you need an advertisement to run (or not run) on a specific category of posts, you can control that. If you only want your recent posts or comments to show on the home page, you can control that too. Just install this plugin to make use of the conditional tags already built into WordPress. (For more info on this widget, check out this post from WP Candy)
*Note: I have personally used this one and can attest that it does what it says it can do.
The next three plugins I have not personally utilized and therefore cannot speak to their effectiveness, but wanted to put them on your radar in case they could help. Each of them seem to work in a similar fashion to Widget Logic but touts themselves as being more intuitive and require no PHP or code knowledge.
Know of any others that should be listed here?