If you’re like most people, you will probably still have a stack of cards and envelopes like the photo below come January…or February…even July???
I’ve noticed many of my clients keeping holiday cards for years sometimes, and for what sound like “good reasons”: they need the addresses for next year, some of the cards are really pretty, they like to keep the photo cards for the memories, etc. The truth is, there isn’t a good reason to keep those cards after the first recycle date in January!
The good news? You can get ALL of those benefits without holding onto a stack of envelopes and cards for a year!
Go Digital and Get Rid of the Envelopes
Maybe you received a card from someone new this year. Maybe your card to someone was returned because an old address was no longer valid. Instead of keeping the envelope all year, update your addresses NOW!
If you keep contact information for all of your friends, family, business contacts, etc. in a Contacts database (such as Outlook or other email) and you use that to address holiday cards, update your Contacts every week (or at the end of December) and recycle the envelopes.
However, I’ve found that most of us only send cards to the same select family and friends every year. But that list changes from year to year for various reasons — we make new friends, new neighbors move in, addresses change, etc. So I recommend a Holiday Card Label document. Whether you use labels for your cards, hand address them, or print the addresses right on the envelopes you can still use this document.
The first time you create this, it will take some time to enter all those addresses. But once you’re done, you’ll have all your Holiday Card addresses/labels ready for next year! So pour a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and settle in at your computer with your stack of envelopes. Then you can update it throughout the year as you get address changes, add or delete people from your list – so you’ll be ready to go next December!
If you need directions for how to create this, email Organize Me for help. I can also do the work for you!
Keep Some Cards for Next Year’s Decorating/Wrapping
Let’s be honest – we love all of our friends and family, but we don’t love ALL of the cards that we receive. Holiday cards are sent every year because, like birthday cards, they’re intended to be a quick way of remembering special people at a special time of year. The person who sent the card is special, but the cards usually aren’t. However, sometimes we receive cards that are unique or have a graphic that we really like. For example, this is a great card that my family and I received year:
Isn’t that the cutest card? Too cute to recycle, but there’s no need to keep the whole card. Instead, cut out the images and decorative items from the cards that you love, and save them to use next year to decorate wrapped presents or to use as decoration or tree ornament. This is now a special wrapping decoration that we use year after year!
But…Photo Cards…are pictures of people!!
Yes, most – if not all – of the people who send us holiday cards are special to us. And it’s difficult for some of us to recycle those photo cards (sorry friends and family — I recycle you!). But be honest – do you really ever sit down and go through those old holiday photo cards and enjoy them? (Most of the time, they’re stuck in a box.) If you really want to hang on to the photos, take a photo of the card with your iPhone – you’re more likely to see it as you scroll through photos! Or, if you absolutely want to keep the cards and enjoy the photos, mount a bulletin board in your mudroom or laundry room and put them on it – you’re in the laundry room once a week at least, so you’ll be able to enjoy them all the time! Just remember to take them down and recycle them before the next round comes in next December!