Recently I wrote about decluttering Christmas decorations and shared some tips to undertake this task without getting lost in sentiment or guilt. A reader posted a comment asking what to do about the holiday photo cards. Here are my best strategies to help you declutter holiday photo cards.
Let’s admit up front that decluttering photos is a difficult process under any circumstance. These holiday photo cards are sometimes even more difficult. Typically, it is a photo of the family. In recent years, I’ve received cards that have a collage of pictures documenting the family’s highlights for the year. It’s so much fun to look at all the familiar faces and read the sentiments. However, no where on the card does it say you must keep this card indefinitely. It’s time to talk about ways to reduce this collection.
How to declutter holiday photo cards
Play the Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers Game
Admittedly, you will not be receiving cards from strangers. This is the title of an organizing game created by Judith Kolberg. Professional organizers use this game to help clients reduce collections of things and it’s a good strategy to use to declutter holiday photo cards.
This is how you play. Get your stack of holiday photo cards and start dealing them into 3 piles. Friends are the ones you want to have over to your home for dinner. Acquaintances are the ones you say hello to but would not invite them over for a meal. Strangers are people you don’t know.
Since you DO know everyone who sent you a holiday card you may to define ‘Strangers’ as people you have not known for very long. Acquaintances may refer to people who have children in your child’s class and you see them at school, but you don’t hang out with them. Friends are the ones you see frequently. You know them and their children.
Recycle or toss some cards
Recycle or toss the cards that ended up in the Stranger and Acquaintance piles. Those piles are probably not as big or as difficult as the ones that ended up in the Friends pile.
Take a second look
Go through the Friends pile of cards a second time and determine if you can reduce this pile any further. Remember your goal is to declutter holiday photo cards. Only keep the ones that are the most precious or perhaps the ones that come from your closest friends or your family.
How to keep and organize holiday photo cards
I keep some of holiday photo cards from my very closest friends and my family in a photo album. It is fun to look back and remember how my friends and their children and my nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters looked in years past.
Since I will not get a second photo album in which to store the photos from these holiday cards once a year I re-evaluate the ones I am keeping. I spend an hour or so looking at the pictures and reminiscing then I decide which ones I can now release. This creates space in the photo album for the new photos.
You can also keep holiday photo cards in a memory box. Commit to having just one box to hold these cards. If you have lots of these cards you will need to declutter holiday photo cards once a year. Schedule time with yourself, just as I do with my photo album, to look through the cards and release the ones that no longer tug too hard at your heart strings.
The best way to declutter holiday photo cards is going to be the one that works the best for you. Pick one of the strategies in this post and try it out.
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Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.