Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Steps to Organize Your Greeting Cards

In this day and age of e-cards and Facebook, it seems like we’re sending fewer greeting cards via snail mail than ever, but I’ll bet you still have many of the cards you’ve received in years past.

This topic is definitely on my brain. Just this week I’ve talked with two clients about organizing their cards and letters. 

So, here five steps to get your old greeting cards organized.

Step 1: Gather them up. Without an organizational system for your cards, it’s likely they are in various nooks and crannies around your home. Grab a shopping bag and go hunting.

Step 2: Set Keep / Toss Guidelines. This can be the toughest step, so here are some basic ideas.
  • Keep cards in which the sender wrote a meaningful personal note.
  • Only keep one type of card from each year. For example, keep your favorite birthday card or anniversary card and toss the rest. 
  • Get rid of holiday cards (even if they have photos), because you’ll receive another one next year.
  • Only save wedding invitations for your best friend and siblings.
  • Recycle all envelopes.

Once you have identified your Keep / Toss Guidelines, write them down for future reference.

Step 3: Sort into categories. Before you can begin purging, you’ll want to sort the cards into broad categories. For example: birthday, spouse, anniversary, holiday, wedding, wedding invitations, sympathy, and get well. As you sort you are likely to create additional categories. Write each category on a Post-it note so you can quickly identify the cards as you sort.

Step 3: Purge, purge, purge. Now that you’ve gathered and sorted all the cards, it’s time to put the guidelines you set into effect. First, set up an area to work. Clear off the dining room table, grab a snack and some water. During the purging process, don’t get stuck by reading every card. You want this process to move as quickly as possible. 

Step 4: Containerize your cards. It’s now time to identify the best container to store you cards. The container you use should make it easy for you to read and enjoy the cards going forward.

Both of the options below are great because you can separate each category of cards with the tabs in the boxes. Remember to label the tabs.

White Greeting Card Organizer
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Clear Card Keeper
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

You could also use a decorative box that stacks easily. Depending on how many cards you have, you could use a box for each category of cards.

Our Bold Box
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Bright Stockholm Office Storage Boxes
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Before selecting any container, determine where they will “live” in your home and measure the dimensions of that space.

Step 5: Enjoy it. Setting up this organizational system will allow you to enjoy these special memories for years to come.

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