Organizing cards can be cumbersome and stressful. Keeping greeting cards clean, organized, and accessible doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. I’m going to share the method that is working well for me! First I have a file box. This is a fabric covered file box, mine happens to be black (I know, boring!). You can find similar ones such as the ones below:
These are from Target.com (Real Simple brand) and Wal-Mart, respectively. I wouldn’t suggest spending more than $20 for the file box. Also check out retailers such as Marshalls or HomeGoods for stylish file boxes at a reasonable price! Ok, now back to the functionality of the box. Use hanging file folders to create categories of cards that you use/send most frequently.
My categories include Birthday, New Baby/Home, Thank You, Congratulations, Graduation, Holiday, Miss You/Thinking of You, and Miscellaneous. Other categories you may want to include are Sympathy, Blank Cards, Wedding/Anniversary or Get Well. The categories you need will depend on the phase of life you’re in right now. If a lot of your friends are getting married – a Wedding/Anniversary category would probably be useful. Customize the categories to fit your needs. You can always add or consolidate categories later! The categories you create now are not carved in stone.
If you have a label maker, use it to create uniform labels for the hanging files. If not, I would suggest a black marker and write in print, all caps so it’s easy to read. Arrange the files in either alphabetical order or the order of most common use. Set up the files the way your brain works (if it makes most sense to you to put the Graduation folder in the back of the file box because graduation happens at the end of the school year, then put it at the back of the box). If you set up the files in a system that makes sense to you, you are more likely to use it!
Now put the appropriate cards in each hanging file in the box. Keep the file box well stocked with at least an assortment of 8-10 cards in each category. In an effort to keep card giving an affordable task I would suggest getting cards at one of the many dollar store type retailers as they often sell them 2 for $1. Also, there are various card outlets across the country that sell cards for around $0.25. If you don’t like the selection of cards at these retailers be sure to check out the $0.99 section at retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. Keeping this file box well stocked with cards allows you to avoid running extra errands for those last minute cards. The card box allows you to save time and money! And for those birthdays that you will inevitably forget…I would suggest stocking up on a few Belated Birthday cards just to be safe!
Also, don’t discredit the value of a homemade card. Often the cards that mean the most to me are those that are hand made by my nephews…check out my latest birthday cards from my 4 and 6 year old nephews. These are priceless!