Day 3 - Christmas cards {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 3 - Christmas cards {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Day 3 - Christmas cards {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Have you ever felt overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? The trick I've found helps me is to declutter throughout the month. Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge?

Each day this month I'll share some decluttering tips and ideas so you can end the month with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with.

Today I'm sharing tips on decluttering your Christmas cards (the ones you've had for years and never sent out) as well as your Christmas card list.

Today's Suggested Decluttering Task

Today we're talking about decluttering all things Christmas cards.  That includes cards you send out, cards you've received, and the list of people you send Christmas cards to.

1. Decluttering old holiday cards you didn't send out

If you do photo cards every year, then you probably don't have to worry about this (unless you've kept a stash of extra cards from previous years... but you really don't need those so let them go... maybe keep one for your own album or something but declutter the rest).

If you send out greeting card type Christmas cards, you probably buy a box or two to use each year and end up with a few leftover cards every year.  Over time those cards accumulate because you just keep buying new boxes of cards for the next year.

Declutter any that are torn, yellowed, or just look old.  If you're missing envelopes, let go of the cards. If you no longer like the cards, let them go.  If there are any other reason you won't be sending out cards, declutter them.

One suggestion for any you still like, is use them up this year if you haven't sent out cards yet.  Don't worry about sending the same card to someone that you sent in previous years... trust me... they won't remember!  And if you have a lot of cards left after you send out this year's cards, make sure you don't buy any new cards during the after-Christmas sales :)

Another option is to Freecycle or give away your excess cards (to friends/family or on local garage sale website).  Crafters love stuff like that. If you have full boxes of cards you could even donate them.  And if none of those options work, you can always recycle them.

Hopefully you can clean out your stash!

2.  Decluttering old holiday cards you have received

This is a common source of clutter.  Many people find it hard to throw away or recycle cards that their friends and family members have sent them.  They can be filled with memories.

I'm not saying you have to declutter all your holiday cards.  That's entirely up to you.  But, if you want to keep some, I'd suggest keeping these:

  • Cards that have special, personal messages
  • Cards that represent milestones (first Christmas as a married couple, baby's first Christmas, etc.)
  • Cards from family members who are no longer with you

Remember, as Peter Walsh often says... if everything is special then nothing is special.  Really find the treasures in your pile of old cards.  Then do something so you can appreciate them and give honour to the people who sent them to you.  There are some ideas for displaying and keeping your cards in this post:  

Oh and by default... if those listed above are the kinds of cards you're keeping, the rest of your cards can be decluttered :)

3.  Decluttering Your Christmas Card List

While we're decluttering things related to Christmas cards, why not declutter your list as well?  I don't mean toss your whole list, but think about who is on it, and cut back a bit.  As our lives change from year to year, who we keep in touch with and how we keep in touch with them changes too.  Every so often it's good to re-evaluate who you're sending your cards to as well.

I shared some specific ways to declutter your list in this post:

I have a Christmas address book and card list (similar to the one in the link) where I track all the cards we send and receive each year (I won't show you the exact one because there's so much private information in it!).  Each page tracks 5 years of Christmases and I'm always amazed when I transfer all the names after 5 years.  I've always added new people to our list in those 5 years, and I've also taken people off.  I use that opportunity every 5 years to cull the list even more.

It's great to be able to see who has sent us cards (or who hasn't) because I forget from year to year.  This tracker makes it easier to take people off the list when I can clearly see they haven't been sending us cards for awhile.  Not that that's the only factor... we still send cards to some people who have never sent us a single card... but it helps take away the guilt of removing someone from our list. If you don't track your holiday cards, I highly recommend starting.

What's Next For You?

Take some time today to declutter your Christmas cards (both kinds) and your Christmas card list.  Or anything you'd like to declutter!  Take some pictures and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #NetZeroClutter.  Let me know how you're doing in the challenge so I can cheer you on!

Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each day's post in your email inbox every morning.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email.

I'd also love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's today's post for the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm so excited to do this myself and to have you join me.  I can't wait to hear all the stories of how much more you're enjoying your holidays because you're not overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

How many Christmas cards did you declutter?  How many people did you remove from your Christmas card list?

Happy organizing decluttering!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!