A loved one took the time and spent a few of their hard-earned dollars to send thoughtfulness. But there’s only one reason to keep a card or letter. One. It brings you joy.
A card is only a keeper if it makes your heart sing. And if it does that, it belongs in a safe place like your joy (or smile) box.
If you're afraid to let go of a card or letter because it reminds you of someone you love or loved, ask yourself
“How do I feel right now as I am reading this card (or letter)?”
Happy, joyful, excited, proud, loved, appreciated— these are feelings worth holding on to.
Remorse, sadness, loss, guilt, anger or nothing really—these are feelings to acknowledge, thank and let go of.
It can be hard to toss (and yes, I mean recycle) greeting cards from loved ones.
So if you are hoarding cards out of obligation, here are a couple guilt-free ways to let go.
St. Judes Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program
The recycled card program is operated at St. Jude’s Ranch to provide teens with life and work skills. Kids are paid to make new cards from the front of your old cards. So it’s green, and it’s giving.
They take all types of holiday and greeting cards, especially thank-you, and birthday cards but prefer 5x7 or smaller. Only card fronts are needed. (If there’s writing on the back of the front, the card cannot be used) Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards cannot be used (due to copyright laws.)
You can ship them off to
St. Jude's Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program 100 St. Jude's Street Boulder City, NV 89005
Schools, Nursing Homes, Adult Day Care Centers or Recreation Centers with arts and crafts programs
Many facilities that provide creative programs may find your old greeting cards very useful. Donating your cards is an effortless way to support your local community.
Sometimes I wish I were a crafter because there are countless clever ideas for repurposing and organizing old greeting cards.
But, alas, I know myself. 99.9% of anything I save to craft or repurpose eventually gets freecycled, donated or recycled.
The most I ever really accomplish is getting my cherished cards and notes into a joy box.
I've learned to be okay with that. Envious of the beautiful creations of others, but okay. :)
Donating and crafting takes a bit of extra time and effort. Recycling is always a good option, especially if;
- The thought of collecting and sending your old cards overwhelms you.
- The donation of all your old cards will delay your de-cluttering progress.
- You have the best intentions to donate or craft, but you never can find the time.
On a few occasions, I have used letters and cards as fireplace kindling. Yep, it was a real letting go ritual, and it felt great.