Let's be honest. Do you tend to procrastinate when it comes to preparing your holiday greeting cards? I have a confession to make, between my never-ending lists of meal preparations, shopping, cleaning and wrapping, I too would wait until the very last minute to complete and mail my batch of greeting cards. I remember the days that my hand would begin to cramp as I rapidly tried to fill out these cards filled with holiday cheer. In fact, I actually found myself resenting the whole process, all the while blaming myself for procrastinating. Since then, I have discovered seven ideas that help me to streamline and simplify my greeting card process, which I hope you will find useful.
1. Purchase holiday stamps TODAY!! Don't wait until you have completed your greeting cards to purchase stamps. Avoid the long holiday lines at the post office by purchasing your holiday stamps NOW or better yet order your stamps online.
2. Begin filling out your greeting cards TODAY!! I have created a new holiday tradition where I actually begin filling out my greeting cards on November 1st. Not only do I find the process to be less cumbersome but I also discovered that it allows me spend time to personalize each card on an individual basis.
3. Include a personalized holiday letter with your greeting cards. Add a personal touch to your greeting cards by creating a holiday letter in MS Word. How fun will it be when family members and friends receive a special holiday letter that includes photos and updates featuring your family's highlights of the year. For example, many years ago I was a pet sitter for a client who has since moved out of state. Every year, I receive a holiday letter, which features their travels, adventures and news on their grandchildren. They personalize the end of the letter with "hugs and kisses from Bonnie and Cleo", which of course are the name of their pets who I had watched over. It's a great way to stay in touch. Simply copy on holiday paper, add a note at the end to personalize the letter and place it inside your greeting card.
4. Holiday Photo cards are a great alternative to the traditional greeting card. Every year I can count on receiving a holiday photo card featuring my niece's two children. Since I don't get to see them that often, I am always amazed at how they have grown during the year. Instead of receiving a typical card, which tends to gets tossed and lost in a pile, I consider photo cards to be a gift and proudly display them on my refrigerator all year.
5. Create a portable greeting card tote. A portable greeting card tote is a wonderful way to use your time wisely. Create a tote filled with your list, clip board, cards, envelopes, stamps, pens and other supplies you may need that you can carry with you where ever you go. This year I am using the "Stuff It", A Clever Container Exclusive, which features 15 different pockets and is easy to take and carry it with me everywhere. Creating a portable tote will allow you complete your greeting cards during free moments such as lunch breaks, coffee breaks, waiting at the doctors' office or best of all, watching TV. Place the completed pile of cards in a basket until it's time to mail them off to the post office.
6. Create A Greeting Card Address File On Your Computer. To simplify the process next year, if you haven't already done so, create a greeting card address file on your computer. As you receive greeting cards this year, place all the envelopes in a manila envelope or folder. After the holidays, take a few minutes to type them into a word or excel document and next year your labels will be all set to go with updated addresses.
7. Organize Incoming Greeting Cards. As you home begins to receive the annual flood of greeting cards, don't leave them lost in a pile of clutter scattered on your kitchen counter. Instead, display them in a nice album placed on your coffee table for all to see. My mom use to tape her cards to the frame of the wall located between our living room and kitchen, which added a nice festive touch to our home.
Preparing your greeting cards today will allow you to create more "you-time" as the holiday draws near, making it a truly merry holiday season.
Are you ready for the upcoming holidays? Follow me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/organizinggenie where I will be sharing my favorite techniques and strategies to simplify your holidays and help you create the organized and stress-free holiday of your dreams.