When I close an arcmap project and then reopen it, even though I save the mxd, the toolbar arrangement is not the way I left it. Is there a setting or some way to save my toolbar locations?
This is a quirk of Esri, it used to be the other way around. By default it will save all customization in only the current document, to change this open the menu customize::customize mode..
Turn off the checks indicated by the arrows to make ArcMap save to your Normal.mxt.
Please note that any open instances of ArcMap will write to the normal on exit so ensure that this is the only ArcMap open (catalog and scene don't count in this case) then exit ArcMap to make the settings permanent.