Yeah, slow and steady. Like you said, after awhile things slow down. So if you start with a simple plan, you leave yourself plenty of options for the future.
For carbs, cut some out, and see how you feel. Monitor your workout log. Check the scale. See how they all relate to eachother. Lots of guys who post here have trouble when they drop carbs drastically, all at once.
Cut back a little, then make sure workouts don't suffer, and you don't feel run down.
Scheduled meals where you, "cheat" or loosen up seem really effective for lots of guys.
Edit: As far as when, carbs around workouts. Before or after exercise should be cool. You're training so often, I don't think it will make a huge difference at this stage. Try one way for a week or 10 days, monitor your progress. Check the scale, how you feel, and your workout logs.
Double edit: Nate Miyaki has some great articles on T-Nation. Punisher always recommends "The Simple Diet."