I have 2 kids who bring home LARGE quantities of papers from school each night. What used to happen was they would get set on the table with the thought that these might be important. After about a week of pile up I would end up throwing them away and it never failed an important paper was in that pile!Now, on a side counter in my kitchen I have 2 baskets on top of 2 tubs. The kids know to put anything that needs signed or taken care of immediately in the basket. I then sign and return to the basket which they pick up before going to school the next morning. The tubs are fo the artwork or papers I want to keep.
This has greatly reduced he clutter on my table and counters. Plus my kids seem to really like it, too.