I have years of experience battling the paper pile. I think most people do, and most people wage war on it in a number of ways. Me, I've long used the "Pile and Hide" tactic: the one where it sits and grows and breeds until company comes over and you quickly sweep it all undercover until it can be weeded through. Then, of course, you realize that this is multi-phased operation, since you eventually unearth it all and have to go through old mail, overdue bills and forgotten invitations (and this may take a while).
Needless to say, this method was not ensuring much success. In fact, it seemed to be working as a double agent - the problem only ever got worse, instead of better. But one day, I was looking at Pintrest and found an idea. (I don't remember who did it, but I'm sure you could find it if you really wanted to.) I took the idea, went for a shopping trip to Target, made a few little tweaks of my own, and this is what I came up with:
Contained within my handy-dandy counter file are about 10 or so files suited to my needs: "For Action" (for bills to be paid or anything that needs to be dealt with), "For Filing" (since our filing cabinet is in another room, it seemed sensible to have a holding place for all those papers), "Homeschool" (to keep track of our current curriculum, possible future curriculum details, and any extra school-related forms), & "Sales and Circulars" (for all the sale & coupons that come through the mail - those that I might actually use, that is) to name a few. I also keep in the box my Thankful journal, my weekly/monthly planner (when it's not in my bag) and my "Brain" - basically a glorified daily to-do list in a composition book.
Honestly, it makes me happy. I like the feeling of having a place for it all, and a place I can find it all in to boot. It's been easy to keep in order, too. When a file gets a little thick, I go through and deal with it, whether that means throwing out old stuff, using the current or moving the "keepers" to a permanent file.
As it turns out, I seem to have found a counter top under all that mess. I had almost forgotten it was there.