While many people throw away birthday and Christmas cards shortly after the day passes, others like to hold on to them for memory’s sake. But these old cards can gather up quickly and before you know it, you find yourself on an episode of Hoarders.

So before it gets that bad, ask yourself, when is it okay to throw away old, personal cards.

The answer?


It is always okay to get rid of a card after it is given to you. Hallmark has made card giving a passing whim, a fleeting message from one person to another. It’s not the old fashioned letter writing of the past, where notes were kept for years and years. No. Cards are simply a brief thought from one person to the next.

That being said, if you have cards from people who are extra special in your life, by all means, keep them, especially if there’s a heartfelt note inside. But if it’s simply a card that says, “Love, Mom,” get rid of it.

Here are a few steadfast rules for knowing when it’s the appropriate time to finally throw away those greeting cards.

It’s From Your Ex

If you’re still holding on to sentimental items from your past relationships, it’s definitely time to throw them away. These things are doing nothing but weighing you down and keeping you stuck in the same place. He’s moved on and so should you.

They Make You Sad

If when you look back over your pile of cards and read ones from long ago and it makes you sad, get rid of them. Don’t keep things around if they don’t make you smile. It doesn’t matter if it makes you weepy for times past or makes your heart ache for what you used to have, it’s time to move on. By focusing on the past instead of the present, you’re doing yourself a disfavor.

You Have Too Many

If you’re insistent that you need to keep some of your old greeting cards because they just mean so much to you, limit yourself to a shoebox full. If you find you need five shoeboxes instead of one, start filling up the garbage can. This forces you to really think about which ones are the most meaningful and help you start getting rid of the rest.

If you find you still have too many, consider making a keepsake from them. Cut out the pictures and notes, and glue them to a corkboard, line a bench in them, create a collage. But whatever you do, don’t just leave them in a box under your bed. They’re only collecting dust.


Do you keep any of your old cards? What do you do with them?




Molly Carter
Molly Carter
Molly is a freelance writer who talks about everything and anything from addiction, to sex. to skinning a deer. You can find her at MollyCarterWriter.com, or Facebook.