Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Getting Mail?

I'm all about reducing, keeping things digital and paperless but there is still something about getting actual mail in the box that can make my day.  A few months ago I went through a many week period where I called and got us removed from every junk mailing list we were on.  It was 40+ phone calls to 40+ places (most were very nice, Comcast was not, they didn't seem to understand wanting to be off their mailing list) but now we get hardly any junk mail which is great (less to shred) but also means we just don't get much mail outside of my semi-obsessive buying things to return them (not quite, but, you know, I return like 50% of the clothes I buy online).

Since I love getting mail I figure everyone else loves getting mail and thus send a lot of cards.  Not crazy numbers but enough.  Just sending birthday and anniversary cards to my family and our godchildren is 30+.  (We don't send cards to all of Matt's family.  We can't do everything exact equal on both sides!  I mean, Matt's family does weekly Sunday brunch and we don't see my family every week so, things are just done differently on different sides.)

The easiest way to manage sending all these cards is doing it all at once.  That means addressing most of my cards in January and having them all ready for a stamp and a note when the time comes.  I make a big list of all the cards I know I'll need for the year:
-anniversary cards
-birthday cards, making a list of who I need them for, what ages (for kids), etc.
-baby boy and baby girl cards
-engagement (for some I suspect are coming)
-wedding cards (maybe for weddings not even planned yet)
-baby shower cards
-bridal shower cards
-graduation cards

Basically anything I know I'll need a card for, save for Mother's Day and Father's Day and that's only because those aren't sold in January.  Not to burst any bubbles or anything but I do my massive card buying at the dollar store where the cards aren't even $1.  They have plenty that for 2/$1.  I'm sorry, if you get a card from me it was likely from there, putting the entire cost under $1 with a stamp.  Think of how expensive this could quickly get at $3-5 a card!  So, yes, dollar store it is.  And I don't feel bad about it because it's the thought that counts.  We all know that.  (Although, I did "splurge" and buy my parents $1 cards instead of 50 cents.  I am such a nice daughter.)

Last week I went to the dollar store and spent $30 on cards.  It's pretty hard to spend that much at the dollar store, much less on 50 cent cards.  I had a huge stack.  It took about 20 minutes to get them all picked out and then about another 30-40 to address them all over naptime.  (Mostly just the birthday and anniversary ones since many of the others will accompany gifts or, in the case of baby cards, I don't know who they are going to yet.)  I don't stamp them yet, in case someone moves, but other wise they just need a note and ready to go!

To make it easier to keep track of the 34 I have addressed, I put the occasion date where the stamp would go and put them in chronological order.  Then at the beginning of each month I pull out the stack for that month and keep in the kitchen.  We seem to be very heavy with birthdays and anniversaries in the first ~6 months of the year.  In fact, my 4 married sisters and my parents all have their wedding anniversaries in a 3 week period in late June/early July.  We are the crazy outliers in mid-May.

Does this take crazy organizing skills?  No.  But it feels good to get this all done at the beginning of the year.  If I had to run off to Target for each birthday and anniversary I would likely send very few cards.  This way I can reach more people easily!  I can spend more time trying to write something meaningful when the bulk of the work is done in advance!  Cards for everyone!

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