rompath option supports multiple locations separated by semicolon, so it's best you keep all your stuff separate. I have mine like this
rompath "J:\MAME ROMs (T7Z-Merged);J:\MAME CHDs;J:\MAME Software List ROMs (T7Z-Merged);L:\MAME SOFTWARE LIST CHDs"
Get the latest cheat.7z and put cheat.7z in the same location as your mame executable. (Do NOT EXTRACT cheat.7z), The latest cheat file has all the console stuff, so you don't need those different files anymore.