Yes, I know Marie Kondo says to save the sentimental clutter for last. But, if you’re drowning in used cards from holidays past, it can be hard to wait until you make it to that category. Today, I’ll show you what to do with those piles of used cards. I’ll also help you deal with any emotional attachments you may have to those old greeting cards.
If you hurry, you’ll be able to eliminate your greeting card clutter. That is…until the next big holiday arrives.
WHAT TO DO WITH USED CARDS
I think it’s important to first address any sentimental attachments you may have to your used cards. Don’t worry! I’m not going to tell you to throw away all of your old greeting cards! I completely understand your attachment to them.
Generally, people tend to hold onto old cards for one (or more) of the following reasons:
- The person who gave them the card is deceased
- Reading what loved ones wrote inside them brings back happy memories
- They are attracted to the artwork
- They appreciate the fact that another person is thinking of them
All of these reasons for keeping old cards are valid. However, if we kept every single card we have ever been given, eventually, we will be drowning in greeting cards!
Good news! There are ways you can hold onto the memories/good feelings of old cards without holding onto the clutter!
The first thing you’ll need to do is to gather up all of your used cards into one location. Choose a comfortable spot, pour yourself a favorite beverage, and settle in. Because now the real fun begins.
Oh, and you may want to have a box of tissues nearby.
Letting go of used cards
Once you’ve gathered up all of your used greeting cards, quickly glance over them (without picking up each one) and throw away any that you know without a doubt you don’t want to keep. These may be cards from people you don’t know very well, old acquaintances, broken relationships, etc.
Next, sort the cards one by one into two different piles. Pile (1) will be cards you want to keep and/or record information off of. Pile (2) will be the cards you are ready to part with.
*Did you know you can donate used cards to charity? Yep! St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has a card recycling program! How cool is that?
Record important information
You’ll want to transfer important information from the cards whether you decide to keep them or not. Start with the addresses of people you want to stay in touch with. If the card contains a photo you wish to keep, go ahead and store them with your photos.
Keep them…but don’t
Huh? Yep, even though you’ve decided to hold onto some cards, doesn’t mean you have to keep the physical card itself. Instead, take photos of the artwork, and/or writings inside, and store the memories digitally.
Crafty ways to display used greeting cards
Chances are, you’ll be left with some used greeting cards that you simply want to hold on to. Check out these neat ideas for displaying and storing used greeting cards.
- Keep them in a scrapbook, so you can enjoy them again and again without having to dig through boxes trying to find them.
- Turn them into gift tags.
- Make placemats out of them.
- Frame them in a shadow box.
- Turn them into a slideshow.
- Create greeting card garland and display during the holidays.
- Turn them into a book with Shutterfly or a similar service.
- Store them in a photo archival box.
- Cut out your favorite scenes, attach a ribbon and create one-of-a-kind ornaments.
A final note about used cards
I’ve said it time and time again. Decluttering sentimental items doesn’t mean you eliminate the memories behind them! Tossing something, donating or recycling it is in no way a reflection of how you feel/felt about the person who gave it to you.
Let go of the guilt, release the clutter, and lighten up already!