Organizing cards and special letters from the past

While the younger generation is all about e-cards for birthdays and other occasions, many of us are used to good old-fashioned greeting cards and letters. That letter from Aunt Thelma you got when you went off to college has a special spot in your heart.

How do you decide what to keep when it comes to old correspondence? This is especially difficult for some people as they get older because they have accumulated a lot more cards and letters.

The first step is to find your cards and put them all in one location. If you have them in one box, that is a step in the right direction! If not, go through your closets and drawers and see what you can find.

To begin the paring down process, you will need to sort the cards and letters. Create categories like holidays, birthdays, invitations, sympathy, get well, etc.

The next step is by far the most difficult. That is deciding what you are going to keep. Mostly, you will look for meaningful notes from a loved one. Anything that just has a signature has got to go.

Only keep a single card from each year for each occasion. For example, one birthday card, one Mother’s Day card. You have to draw the line somewhere. If holiday cards have photos, you might want to add them to a photo album. If not, they should be tossed.

Wedding invitations are something that a lot of people like to hang onto for many years. You have probably amassed quite a few of them. Keep only the ones from people who are close to your heart. Letters from a famous person, loved one or other important correspondence can get sorted with the cards.

Try not to spend too much time reminiscing and reading everything. Of course, you need to read them over to figure out which ones to keep, but try to go through them quickly.

If there are any envelopes, they should to be recycled. If someone collects stamps in your family, they might enjoy looking through them with you. If not, say goodbye.

greeting card collectionOnce you have pared down the number of cards to a reasonable amount, it is time to figure out how to store them. Some people opt to simply put them in a box, label it and put it on a shelf. If the cards are really important to you, another option is to create a scrapbook or photo album with them. You may be limited by the number of pages in the book, which can actually help you figure out how many cards to keep. A photo album takes up a lot less space than a box, which is a good reason to set the cards up that way.

You can make a project of putting the book together. It can give you time to share your memories with your kids or other loved ones as you create the book or share the finished product. You can take pride in your accomplishment and you will have a wonderful keepsake once it is completed.

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