Here’s a personal tip from a job I’ve been working on for the past year (and it’s a recurring job, not an organizing job that has taken a year. That would be crazy). Anyways, here’s my tip: don’t let papers pile up on any surface whatsoever. It may be a desk, a coffee table, a kitchen table, a dining room table, a counter top, or it may be any other surface you can think of that I can’t. Wherever that place is you’re thinking of right now, I can almost guarantee papers don’t belong there.
Papers belong in 1 of 3 places. #1 In a filing cabinet. #2 The trash/recycle bin. #3 In a box for safekeeping (this includes important papers or mementos). Or, they may end up in a small box/bin to go through at a later time (where they should then end up in 1 of the 3 aforementioned places. So I guess that’s like, 3.5 places). In my (*ahem) professional opinion, if a piece of paper doesn’t have a place to go, it will end up haphazardly thrown on whatever surface you were thinking of earlier and it will just end up taking up space. And no one wants that to happen. Not me and especially not you.
So get in the habit of putting your paperwork where it belongs right away. Otherwise, you may never see that section of flat surface again.