Give each and every piece a destination by committing a book-shelf to the cause.1.
Adjustable shelves let you position things at intuitive levels. Billy bookcase, $50, ikea.com.2.
Use a pull-out paper sorter for loose-leaf, computer, and construction paper. Stash stationery in flat boxes. Bamboo paper sorter, $40, containerstore.com. Semikolon document boxes, $25 each, seejanework.com.3.
Label a folder for each family member, plus one for receipts. Parsons desktop file, $30, containerstore.com.4.
Use a spindle to hold coupons. Paderno check spindle, $30.50, amazon.com.5.
Mount a tiny bulletin board for invitations and notices; it will force you to toss old stuff.6.
Position an in-box low, so you can see its contents and kids can deposit school papers. Parsons tray, $20, containerstore.com.7.
Tuck in a front-loading shredder for sensitive papers (pop a hole in the back of the shelf for the cord), and station a bin nearby for recycling junk mail.