Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Letter go.

How long do you keep letters and cards?  I don't get nearly as many as I used to (thanks to e-mail -- not sure if this is a good or bad thing....or both) but I still get a fair amount, especially cards and handwritten thank you notes.

A loooooooong time ago I read in a Martha Stewart magazine (I wish I had kept the clipping, alas) that she recommends saving only truly special letters.  For example, if you have 24 birthday cards saved from your grandmother, maybe just keep the 5 that she actually wrote a special note in (and get rid of the others that just have a signature). Those 5 notes are a wonderful representation of her correspondence with you, and doesn't get buried in the pile of cards that don't have that same kind of meaning.

I used to save EVERY SINGLE LETTER I ever got.  Every one.  This sounds so corny, but good old Martha's advice really worked for me!  I realized that not only was such a huge collection of letters a hindrance to ever actually looking at them but it was also not a special collection in any way.  From then on I would open a letter/card/note and if it had something special about it I'd save it in my letter box.  The rest I'd enjoy for a week or so (longer for Christmas cards) and then they'd get tossed.

What do you do with your cards and letters?


  1. I recycle most letters and cards after about a week. I used to hang on to them, too, but have really learned to let them go. I'll keep a few special ones, but almost all of them go.

  2. I make bookmarks from parts of special cards, but that's maybe not so good as it only adds to my already extensive bookmark collection!

    But I do love my bookmarks!

  3. I forgot to add that I also give my old Christmas cards (minus a few special ones) to my mom each year -- she cuts out the art/designs and makes home-made holiday tags from them. And then (like you do, Barb) the scraps get recycled.

    Anne -- bookmarks! I never thought of that. Do you put tassels on them and everything?

  4. I have no friends, so in general this isn't a problem. However, I've been scanning all the cards and letters from past. It's interesting how few I keep after I've scanned them--perhaps 1 out of 500.