Reader Angela sent us the following:
Hi! Thank you for your delightful blog. Do you have advice for dealing with greeting cards you’ve received? I have boxes full of cards I received back to my toddler-age birthdays. It seems that the usual process for paper clutter is to scan what you want to save and then shred it. Do people actually scan thoughtfully written greeting cards? I was thinking of keeping one card from each person who has impacted my life. If they send a better card next year, it will replace the card I keep, so I have a “best-of” collection. But if I keep anything physical at all, I’ll still have to figure out where to store it. Also, I have a box of event tickets and show programs. The only time I look at them is when I’m moving and then it’s a little sentimental “oh yeah! I remember going to see this!” trip but really it’s just more stuff to move. Any better way to commemorate the performing arts you’ve enjoyed? Your ideas are appreciated!
Angela, you have a few good questions here about how to store mementos. As you anticipated, I do support letter scanning and photographing objects like birthday and holiday cards, ticket stubs, playbills, etc. I’ve written about this idea a few times in the following posts: Photographing your mementos and Paper clutter begone.
If a minimalist approach isn’t your preference, though, there are a number of options available to you. The one I want to focus on today, though, is one I’ve picked up from a number of commenters on the site. That suggestion is to create a correspondence notebook.
Start by obtaining a three-ring binder, archival quality sheet protectors, and index pages. If you’re a creative type, decorate the index pages with images or stories about the people whose letters you’re saving. Then, in the following pages, store a letter or card per sheet protector. If you don’t want to organize by person, you can organize by event: first birthday, hospital stint 1989, whatever is relevant to your collection. Try to keep your saved correspondence to one notebook, the “best-of” collection you described.
I hope this suggestion helps! Keep us posted on your storage decision.