Minimalist Monday: Old Letters and Cards

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. 🙂 Mine included a hike, a  full moon bonfire, and a get together with old friends.

Tons of cards and letters
Tons of cards and letters

Some of you may remember from months past that I have an ongoing garage cleaning project. Progress did slow down on that ‘black hole’ for a while but now that summer is here I am working on it once again. The next couple of weeks will find me during my spare time clearing out the myriad of cards and letters that I have saved over the years from friends and family that have found their way into several boxes in my garage.

I have started going through the piles and the memories are unbelievable. I pick up a card and I remember receiving it like it was given to me yesterday. I have a stack of letters that my mom wrote me when I was at college. I will never let those go. Reading those letters, hearing her voice through her words, seeing her handwriting, it is  all so special to me. The letters I have the most fun with are the ones my sister wrote me when I was in college and afterwards when I moved back to Kansas for about a year in my 20’s. She is probably the most entertaining letter writer I have known. She is also a thoughtful sister. I came across a letter she had written my sophomore year of college. My roommate had stolen my paycheck and cashed it,  causing me all kinds of problems. It was a very stressful ordeal. My sister was concerned so she got several of her high school classmates, who were also my friends, to write me letters in order help encourage me during a stressful time and sent them all in one big envelope.

My goal with the letters and cards is to save a few pieces meaningful correspondence that I can use to pass on to my nieces for family history. I think it would be special for them  to hear the voices of their grandmother, mother, and me as well as to get a glimpse of the special people in my life through old correspondence. Now the trick is going to be to get my two boxes down to several manageable piles of meaningful memories.Wish me luck!

I do have a question for you as my readers. Do you have any creative ideas for storing the letters and cards I choose to save? Should I tie them up with a nice ribbon?  Maybe put them in a scrapbook with captions? I like the idea of my sister or nieces being able to look through them anytime they want and not just stuffed away until after I am gone. After all, history should be enjoyed or it is just clutter. I would love to hear any ideas you have.

On a similar note, I have to admit that beginning this project has made me a little nostalgic for the lost art of letter writing. I know there is no turning back the clock. Email, Skype, texting, social media,  and e-cards are a minimalist’s dream for a no clutter way to share our lives. Still, my youth before the internet has left me a storehouse of treasures that I am sure just wouldn’t be quite the same if they were saved on a computer.

I will keep you posted on my progress.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by the blog!




  • Letters and cards are something I’m reducing, but I do keep a few. Personally, ribbon and scrap booking isn’t my kind of thing, I wouldn’t look at them more if they were in a book. I’m a fan of the shoebox or an old tin… I like the way it feels like treasure!


  • When I culled my collection of notes, cards, and letters, I sent many of the originals back to the sender so they could see what they had said 20-30 years earlier. The ones I kept now fit in a clear plastic tub so that I can pick them out and handle them.


  • The paper of letters and cards will have a sulphur content that, eventually, destroys the fibers. So, go to Michael’s and ask out the kind of scrapbook that has neutralizing pages (“archival”) that you can put these in. The scrapbook is better because it’s something you can put on the shelf, in plain sight. Ribbon-tied bundles can disappear into nooks and crannies.


    • Thanks! The sulphur is an important thing to consider. You are correct, if I want to hand the cards and letters down for history they need to be properly preserved!

      Thanks again for the info. and the idea 🙂


  • Hi Laura! I was inspired to comment because my family has recently written letters and memories for my grandparents. My aunt found a beautiful box that looked like an old book to store all of the letters. It fits on a bookshelf and has room for additional memories. You can probably find something like that at an antique store or kitschy shop.
    -Kristin 🙂


    • Hi Kristin!
      First what a cool idea to write letters and memories for your grandparents. That is inspiring.

      Secondly, What a neat idea to have a special box to hold all the letters in.

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂


    • I do remember! 🙂 What a nice thing to be able to pull them out to read whenever the mood or need strikes. I think the nice box automatically shows how precious the memories are.


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