Organizing Cards and Letters

I am sharing a recent blog post today by one of my Professional Organizer colleagues based in NYC, Korinne Kubena Belock.  I read her post and immediately thought how applicable this post was to my life.  I am going to follow her tips and do this to all of my cards and letters….I have put in on my calendar and scheduled a week to do this in August when the kids go back to school.  Don’t just say you are going to do something…put it on your calendar and do it so it will actually get done 🙂

I guess you could say I am a card and letter “hoarder!”  I don’t have blank cards around the house, but I have kept every letter or card that anyone has ever sent me or my children…including Valentine’s Day cards for the kids!  Once I read Korinne’s post, I realized I need to organize and purge my cards and letters quite a bit.  Look at this picture of all of the plastic tubs I took from underneath my son’s bed that are filled with letters and cards!  (Please excuse the unmade bed with no bed skirt…his room is a work in progress since we just switched to a big boy bed).  Not to mention, I have several Valentine’s Day decorated shoeboxes of letters from grade school and high school stored in my closet at my parents’ house!  Did y’all ever make Valentine’s Day boxes out of shoeboxes to hold your Valentine’s Day cards?  I always did (actually my creative mom made them for me and went all out decorating them with fancy ribbon and Valentine’s Day wrapping paper) 🙂  I have realized that if I keep this habit up, I am going to have tubs overtaking my house filled with every card or letter I keep!   I don’t know if I will be able to actually purge many letters (I mean, it is so rare for me to actually receive a handwritten note nowadays), but I should definitely be able to purge a lot of cards!

I also keep all of my Christmas cards which I am pretty sentimental about.  If it is hard for you to get rid of your Christmas cards, my creative sister, Kate Castellaw, saw a cute idea on Pinterest.  Store your holiday cards from each year on one of those key ring type circle clasps that are available at any store like Target or Wal-Mart.  This way, you can keep your cards from each year with your Christmas decorations and browse through them each year to see how families grow and change over the years.  Every Christmas when my sister and I see each other, we always bring all of our cards to share and look at each other’s friends and families.  It is a great way to keep them all together!

Here are are the tips and a little bit about my friend and colleague Korinne.  Thank you for letting me share your awesome tips Korinne!  If anyone needs an organizer in NYC, she is the person to call!
Korinne Kubena Belock is the owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company based in New York City. Prior to founding Urban Simplicity, Korinne was a political organizer for ten years and worked for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, as well as elected officials from The United States Congress to The White House. To learn more about Korinne and Urban Simplicity’s services for both homes and businesses, visit www.UrbanSimplicityNYC.com.

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 are 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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2 thoughts on “Organizing Cards and Letters

  1. I love that you shared my tips – you are the best! Let me know how the project goes. I actually inspired my self to work on my cards / letters this weekend – LOL!

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