I find that learning whole sets of words is useful, rather than just trying to learn words in isolation. A good example is that when I was learning colors, I'd just learn as many colors as I could, and I'd just look around me in whatever room I was in, and try to name the colors that I saw.
A similar useful set is positions and directions. These are also good to learn as a set:
左边 (Zuǒbiān) is to the left
右边 (Yòubiān) is to the right
前面 (Qiánmiàn) is in front
后面 (Hòumiàn) is behind
上面 (Shàngmiàn) is on top (or above)
下面 (Xiàmiàn) is under (or below)
旁边 (Pángbiān) is next to (or beside)
对面 (Duìmiàn) is across from (or opposite)
I'll write more soon on the best methods for learning Mandarin. If you want to get a taste for it in the meantime though, my current favorite site is iTalki, and my favorite teacher by far is Amy He. If you decide to try it, click here and it's cheaper for both you and me.