I’ll start this post with a confession. I love making cards, but I am positively abysmal at sending them. Yep. All those gorgeous Christmas cards I showed off all last month? Unless I actually saw you at a holiday gathering and placed one in your hot little hands, those poor sweet cards are now doomed to languish in a shoebox neatly labeled “Christmas” never to see the light of day again.
Oh yes, there were a few moments early on in January where I thought, “I’ll just toss them on the kitchen floor and have the kids walk all over the envelopes with their winter boots, then it will just look like the card got lost in the mail…” But then, even the window of opportunity for that little trick passed and I let myself slip into justification mode. “I was just too busy…” (Everyone’s favourite cop-out) or “I can use the cards as samples next year.” (Who am I kidding, no one wants to look at last year’s stuff) and my best one “I’ll just send everyone cards for Valentine’s/St.Patrick's/Easter…(and on through the year until we’re back at Christmas again.)
As you may have gathered, I’ve gone through the justification cycle quite a few times. This year, a new little voice added itself to my inner monologue. It said, “Listen lady, this is supposed to be your business, right? How can you teach people to make cards and never send them yourself?” Can you believe the nerve of that annoying little voice? I spent a few more days being “busy” and trying to ignore it, but try as I might I could not make it shut up. It was time to be honest with myself, roll up my sleeves and come up with a plan.
I’ll offer another confession. Almost all my great “plans” start off with a new organizing gizmo I just have to have. Plan to clear out the kids toys? I get a new Ikea shelf. Plan to eat healthy? Just gotta buy that cool food-tracking app. Call me silly, but this is what motivates me to implement all my grand schemes. So, knowing myself and that I need a trick to mail out cards? Enter the Perpetual Calendar Kit. By using that little cutie as my starting point, I was able to come up with this:
Isn’t she a beauty? Actually, it’s quite plain for a reason. I needed it to be less pretty and more functional. If I’m not afraid to “mess up” my decorating job, chances are good I’ll actually use it. I also didn’t want to spend a whole bunch of money on this, so I repurposed containers I already had on hand. The blue basket corals all my supplies nicely and lets me carry it to anywhere in the house I want to settle in and write some cards.
Let’s take a closer look:
On this side I have the calendar and card box I was showing off last week. The calendar (aside from being cute and fun to make) serves as a visual reminder of the cards I need to send in the month, as I seem to always ignore the well-intentioned reminders I set on my phone. The card box fits nicely inside the larger basket and is large enough to hold tons of cards and envelopes. I have dividers for every month where I’ll file date-specific cards (like birthdays and anniversaries) and at the very front I have a random assortment of thanks and thinking of you cards ready to go when needed.
What’s cool about this method is you can file cards with specific people in mind. Have you ever made a card and thought, “This would be perfect for so-and-so” but then forgot all about it? Well now you can take that card, file it under that person’s birthday, and have that awesome card ready when you need it!
This side holds all the things I could think of that I would need to actually get the card from the desk to the mailbox. I used an old box that held one of our Project Life sets, and it fit perfectly to hold pens, stamps, address labels, washi tape and sticky notes. I usually write on sticky notes inside my cards so the recipient can remove them and re-use the card. The top of the box is sized perfectly to hold photos just waiting to get tossed in a card to Grandma & Grandpa.
I cut some half sheets of printer paper and tossed that in as well, so if the mood strikes to write a longer note I’ve got the paper ready to go. I’ll likely stamp on it or add some washi tape so it’s not too plain. Finally is a stack of mailing labels. This is the part (if you read yesterday's post) that is killing me. Ideally, I would like to just be able to run down my list of contacts and print off the ones on my calendar, that way I’ll have the address ready to slap on the envelope when the time comes. Technology is proving resistant to this simple feat at the moment, but I’m confident I can beat it into submission soon.
Finally, here is the most important part of my plan…I am going to make card sending a habit. Each and every week I’ll have a time set aside for writing cards and another day for mailing them. I’ve written this down in my planner so I’m held accountable to it. Here’s photographic proof. (More on my much-loved planner another day!)
Hope this inspires you to create your own system for sending cards. I’ll post an update in a few months and let you know how it’s working out for me. Oh, and if Valerie and Lesley happen to read this, your cards are in the mail.