Card Clutter

Valentine’s Day has just past. The two cards I received this year are still up on the shelf in the kitchen where I can enjoy them every day. Depending on where you are in your life, you may receive just a few cards or a ton.

If you have small children, they may make you cards. If you are a teacher, you will receive cards from your students. You might have a secret pal give you a card at work. Special friends might send you fun cards. A very special someone in your life may give you a card with a lovely note inside.


Now, let’s think of 60+ years of receiving cards. What if you kept every card? Wow! You would have boxes and boxes of cards. You might have an old dresser filled with cards. Overwhelming!

But you say, “My children made these cards for me. My friends put a lot of thought into these cards. I love the reminders that people care for me”.

This is a very personal decision, but I am pretty sure you don’t want to dedicate a whole room just for storing cards.

Consider these options:

  1. Chose the most special – like the year your son wrote his own special poem in a card or your mother wrote you a special note. Then box these cards up in a lovely box and label it. Put the box on a shelf and revisit the box once a year.
  2. Spread out your favorite cards and take a picture of them. Then let the cards go.
  3. Make a collage of the best cards for each holiday and bring out this collage for decoration on the appropriate season.
  4. Pass on old cards to schools or nursing homes so they can re-purpose them in projects.

Remember that if you toss out a card that your mother or child gave you 25 years ago, you are not tossing out the person or your love for that person. So by all means keep a few very special cards, but not all.

Letting go of the masses of old cards will clear up space for more happy memories to come your way.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organize Your Greeting Cards

Another holiday that involves greeting cards has come and gone. Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day will soon be here. And, of course, all through the year there are cards for birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, graduations, moving, coping, congratulations, and thank you situations.

How do you handle this need for cards?

  • Buy as you need them. This is a good system if you are short on storage space and are organized enough to get out there early enough to find the perfect card and mail it on time.
  • Buy as you need them, but also have an eye out for that perfect card for someone special.
  • Buy cards that appeal to you when you see them – you can never find the perfect one when you really want it.
  • Buy when you see good ones. Really stock up when there are sales. After holidays are good times to buy for the next year.

Now the difficulty with some of these methods is that you end up with a plethora of cards. And you still might not have that “perfect” card for a special person – so you go out and buy more. Perhaps (gasp!) you don’t even have all of your cards in one place and you know you might have a good one but you just don’t have the time to look for it now – so, off to the store.

However you handle obtaining cards, I’m willing to bet that all of us have some greeting cards in our homes. So, how do you organize them to find what you want when you need it?

  • First, gather together all of the greeting cards you have.
  • Sort them – like with like. All birthday cards in one stack, all anniversary cards in another stack, etc.
  • Throw out any ratty cards or ones you really don’t want to send.
  • Find a container for your cards and a place to store the container – preferably somewhere near where you are likely to write and address the cards.
  • Now, place your cards by categories into that container. You might use an accordion file or large envelopes to hold your categories. A lot depends on how many cards you have. You might even have a second container for holiday cards. The rule should be that you have no more cards than will comfortably fit in that container.

The next time you need a card, first shop in your container. If you don’t find one you can use, then go to the store. But, remember; don’t buy any more cards than will fit into your container.

As an extra bonus, I also like to keep special postage stamps in an envelope in the same container as the cards.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer