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  • July 25, 2016, 06:58:34 AM

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Author Topic: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?  (Read 1274 times)

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flyersandunicorns

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 05:00:35 PM »
I keep cards and letters forever, unless they have no messages in them (except my mother's because that's a different kettle of fish, she loves cards but oddly doesn't really fill them out, I can handle it because she's extremely thoughtful over her greeting card choices). They take up a shoebox if that, I just keep them in a specific location in my keepsakes.

I do go through them when I have a feeling and giggle over tons of things.

I saved a bunch of things from grade school as well, I've always been organized (I used to file all my school work in a filing cabinet in my closet until I was in 7th grade).

I reconnected with my best friend from elementary school a couple year ago. She's amazing, we're now extremely close. I found an old drawing she gave me when we met in 2nd grade saying "Hi Rebecca, you are a good friend, you are nice to me." and a picture of us together. (With some killer spelling choices, haha). So I got to fish that out and share with her. I have my 5th grade journal still. I read it to her one day because it was about our "adventure" to get her supplies for her monthly cycle she had just started...she looked at me and said "I feel bad..." "Why though, it's funny!" "No. I feel bad because I faked that, I didn't remember that I had told you too! I was jealous of my cousin and decided I'd tell everyone that I was having mine too." AHAHAHAHA, the things that we have tucked away in drawers.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 05:12:45 PM »
I keep mine, they're in a little box. Lots of them are nice messages from DH and me to each other.

Arrynne

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 06:20:14 PM »
Keep them as long as they are meaningful to you.  If they feel like clutter, get rid of them.  If they are still special to you, hold on to them.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2016, 10:51:15 AM »
My husband has a scrapbook made by one of relatives in the 1870s which just contains the cards she received that year, so New Year cards/ birthday/Valentine etc.  They are just stuck in a book, but fascinating.  Who sends a Christmas card with half a lemon on it?

In colder climates, citrus fruit used to be very precious during winter months, so they were common as a present (usually an orange in the toe of your stocking) during Christmastime.   


Pooky582

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2016, 11:22:27 AM »
Christmas and birthday cards tend to be thrown out a few weeks after the event for me. Unless there is more of a message than just the signature of the sender. I have saved all cards from my DH so far, because he always write really sweet notes in them and when I come across them, I smile all over again.  :D

Wedding cards I plan on packing away and keeping forever! I threw my parents a 25th anniversary party years ago, and my mom still had some of the cards from their wedding! I used them to decorate around some photos of them and the cake. They were really sweet to see.

I don't think I've ever received an actual letter in the mail, but I imagine I would keep it. For the same reason why we will never throw out the letters my grandparents sent to each other. It would be fascinating to have decades from now.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2016, 12:05:31 PM »
I have a tray (that hasn't been unpacked yet  :P) that is made up of cards my grandfather sent my grandmother when he was in Europe during the First World War.  I generally don't keep cards, myself, but it is one thing that I insisted was 'mine' when my Dad was downsizing and moving to an apartment.  I'll probably loan it to my cousin, the family geneologist, for a bit but I'll let her know that I want it back.

I have kept some cards that were sent when my Mom died.  And I have some letters my BF wrote me last summer when I was on a canoe trip - he wrote me one for each day I was away and labelled them, instructing me to only open the one each day.  I ended up writing notes on the back side of the pages about what I did that day and what I was feeling.  And let him read them when I got home.  It was still pretty early in our relationship at that point and I was still pretty unsure about the whole thing.  Those letters pretty much told me he was a keeper.   ;)  And 10 months after that, we moved in together.

I agree with this:

Keep them as long as they are meaningful to you.  If they feel like clutter, get rid of them.  If they are still special to you, hold on to them.

Though, if space is an issue, scanning them or taking photographs and storing them on something that gets backed up and discarding the originals is a good option.  I may do this myself, with the cards for my mother.  I think I'll keep the letters.  Though I may scan those, too.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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Thipu1

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2016, 02:28:34 PM »
My husband has a scrapbook made by one of relatives in the 1870s which just contains the cards she received that year, so New Year cards/ birthday/Valentine etc.  They are just stuck in a book, but fascinating.  Who sends a Christmas card with half a lemon on it?

In colder climates, citrus fruit used to be very precious during winter months, so they were common as a present (usually an orange in the toe of your stocking) during Christmastime.

When greeting/post cards became popular in the 19th century it was common for publishers to use attractive images for almost every occasion and add printed greetings that may have nothing to do with the image. 

I wouldn't be surprised to find that same image of a lemon on a label from a fruit crate.

bridalviolet

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2016, 08:15:32 AM »
I keep pretty much all cards, and use them for bookmarks in my (way too many) books. So every time I get a book off the shelf that I haven't read for awhile, I get the added pleasant surprise of reading the card again.

mandycorn

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Re: Old letters and cards...how long to keep?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2016, 11:48:12 AM »
I just sorted through several boxes of paper from my parents' basement (they're supposedly downsizing this year...) and wound up keeping high school birthday cards from my grandmothers and parents, but none from friends, and high school and college graduation cards from everyone. I have them all in a page protector in a scrapbook binder, and my intention is to weed through them in a couple years and just save the really good ones.

I also kept the last birthday card my late grandmother sent me, but I can tell from her message and signature on that one that she was already going downhill, so I'm glad I kept the previous one also as a good example of her handwriting.
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