Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tip 35: Card organization #2

Oh joy! You got a card in the mail. Now what?

Tip 35: Keep cards on display for a week surrounding a big event, then either a) recycle the card b) prepare to use the card or c) file it away.

Let's break this down:

A) Recycle the card. This one is the easiest option. If the card doesn't contain much besides a signature and maybe a not-so-sentimental one or two liner, I usually recycle it. After a week on display, straight to the bin.

B) Prepare to reuse the card. If you like a card enough but don't necessarily need to hold on to it for sentimental reasons, cut off the front flap of the card, the part containing the cover art. Somewhere down the road you may glue a piece of cardstock to the back of this cover and write a nice message. Done! Until the day for reusing the card arrives, file it in your card file (see yesterday's post). I haven't yet reused a card myself, but I have received some from friends and thought it was a nice idea, so today I saved a couple wedding-card covers.

C) File it away. I am not a romantic person, but I am a hugely sentimental person. I know that may seem like a contradiction in terms, but it's really not. Yes, I cry every time a bride walks down the aisle, whether in person or on TV, and I will cry at some movies sometimes, but I'm a pretty even-keel person. But I love preserving memories. And I love getting an amazing card.

So, my hall-of-fame cards make it to my DIY card file. This is not to be confused with my other card file, the one where I keep all my cards-in-waiting of their big debut in someone else's mailbox. Instead these are the cards that compose my make-shift adult yearbook. (Don't you miss yearbooks and writing in them and getting a yearly affirmation as you and all your friends exchange feelings?)

Here is what my card file looks like. The box is something my mother gave me when I was in high school.

The dividers I made myself using pretty card stock paper and my favorite Post-It Durable tabs that I am starting to use everywhere.

The tabs read:
  • Holidays
  • Special feelings -- Translation: cards where friends and family say incredibly nice things about your relationships. The name comes from what my best friends from high school say when we're about to get emotional.
  • Our wedding -- I meant to make a scrapbook of wedding stuff, but this is good enough, and our wedding was three and a half years ago, so that's never gonna happened. With this, special feelings are within reach.
  • Love letters -- I have kept every note Matt and I have written each other. There were a lot in the beginning of our relationship. The ones of the present are short and sweet, I like to think because the longer you're with someone the harder it becomes to define why you love each other. It just is. This year for Valentine's Day I made seven little paper hearts with goofy messages on them and hid them all around the house so Matt would find them during his daily routine (on the remote control, on the [lactose-free] milk carton, inside his shower). Somehow this seems more apt than the longer letters of yesteryear.
  • Invites/programs -- Yes, I am that person who saves invitations to your wedding. Maybe it will come in handy for you someday. I also saved your wedding program. I love these things. Maybe one day when I start a stationery business these will be useful.
I also keep every card a student writes to me, but those I keep at school in a special folder devoted to happy teacher items, like awards, kind words, my published teacher writings, etc.

Why do I keep cards? For those crappy days when I don't have much energy, or for those times I'm just cleaning out the house and get nostalgic. And because I find gems like this: a wedding card from my friend who wrote, "May you two build a beautiful world in each other." It made me cry today.

Ok, I promise to be way more practical and less sentimental in my next posts.

Next up...bonus green product post!

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. (Sorry, I'm kind of a comment whore this week.) I love saving cards for exactly the same reasons you do, and I love buying cards, too. I spend probably 20-30 minutes every time I got to Target just looking at a bunch of them.

    Thank you for making me feel like less of a nerd for saving the nice things that people say about you!