For a self-proclaimed organizer, I can be quite a hoarder when it comes to certain items, especially when they’re meaningful. One of my hoarding pleasures, letters. Or cards. Or notes. Or napkins with a special message. Literally, I keep it all. {I still have a holiday card I received from a bus driver in 7th grade, yea, it’s that bad}. When I made the move to NYC, I had to leave my big box of memories in storage at my parents. So since the beginning of 2010, I’ve be re-collecting every bit of documentation that has any meaning to me. Now that two boxes have been filled, and with 2013 Holiday cards on their way, I knew I needed to figure out a new way to hide the inner hoarder in me and make it an organizer’s project. 

This project did take a little more time than my typical projects, but it mainly had to do with the massive amount of “stuff” I had been collecting over the last 3+ years. Let me not forget to mention, for those fellow letter hoarders, I did not have to throw away a single note or card. Just simply had to relocate them into a better storage system. 
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Let’s start by taking a look at what I had… I was using two Ikea boxes that I purchased who knows how long ago. It started out as one box, then another one needed to be added, and now the second one is full…

These boxes really were great and served their purpose well. If you hang on to keepsakes for only one year, or don’t keep everything, then these would probably be perfect. 

In organizing my keepsakes, I really wanted to make it easy to keep up with as we get new cards flowing in, as well as make it easy to find old cards {I’ve actually been looking back at some wedding stationary we’ve received in the past to get some ideas. Sometimes it pays to hoard, I supposed}. So on a Sunday while watching some football, I pulled out my two boxes and started organizing. 

It was actually a ton of fun {for me} to find old cards and read through some old notes. I divided the cards into categories of holidays, birthdays, thank you notes, weddings, just because, and a few others. Then I wrapped a rubber band around each one and stared at them. 

And stared.

And stared.

After I had divided them up, I had no clue what I wanted to do with them. They sat right there on the coffee table for… we’ll just say longer than a day. 

Midweek I picked all of them up and placed them in our {new} empty drawer in our office, which had not been assigned a role since cleaning out its previous remnants for the Cosmetic Organizer {you can read about that project here}.

I hated them there. I’m not sure why, I just felt for all of the love and time that each one encompasses, they deserved something a little more special than a rubber band and the bottom of a drawer. Yes, I just personified some letters, I never claimed to be normal.

They stayed there a few more days while I brainstormed how I could store them more creatively.

Finally, it came to me. We had received this small woven trunk from Brit’s brother and sister-in-law as an engagement gift {it was full of so many fun little goodies, such an amazing gift!}. 

I moved all the piles of cards to the trunk, just to make sure they would all fit. 

Thank goodness they did, and even more thanks to the fact that there’s plenty of space for 2014, and possibly 2015! 

Now to address the rubber bands holding the love together. This is where you’re going to think I’m crazy {if you didn’t already}. 

I knew I wanted to keep the letters divided but the trunk is not exactly your typical space for dividers so I was going to have to make my own. And how was I going to go about creating a cute, unique, sturdy divider for my hoarding habit?

{Enter insanity Costco Sun Chips Box}

Now, before you stop reading and chalk me up to a loony bin escapee, just wait to see the end product. 

I used this Costco box of Sun Chips and chopped it down to size. I started with a small flap from the closure at the top and measured every piece from that one. Again, this was done while watching a little more football {we’re looking at a week later now}. Like I said, this project wasn’t as quick as they typically are. 

Once I had cut up every single piece of the box to my liking, it was time to make it pretty! I had this bright, patterned paper from Bed Bath & Beyond, supposed to be used to line shelves and drawers, but a Sun Chips box-card-divider is about the same, right? I wrapped the paper around the piece of cardboard, creating a little pocket, and tapped the sides. I left about an inch or two at the top so that I could label the dividers.

I labeled each little pocket divider, and stuffed them with the keepsakes. 

This picture does not do justice to how many cards these can hold. There’s about 20+ cards in that sucker. 

And check out how great they look in the trunk, so much better than the rubber bands. 

So as the weather is getting cooler, if you’re looking for something to do when it’s dark outside at 5PM, this is a great project for taking some time to organize and a walk down memory lane. 

Cost: Free** It was free for me because I had all of the supplies on hand. But If you’re looking to take on this project…

  • Trunk can be found at Pottery Barn, or Crate and Barrel. But I know I have seen very similar items at T.J. Maxx and Home Goods. 
  • Paper was $7.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond, gift wrapping paper would work perfectly fine as well. 
  • Any large amount of cardboard, depending on how you want to go about making the dividers {if you have any other ideas, I’d LOVE to hear them!}

Time: Approximately two NFL games.


Do you have any unique hoarding habits? Do you have a great way to store all of your keepsakes?

Thanks for visiting!

Categories: DIYOrganizing

Stef Jones

Stef Jones

Welcome! I'm Stef and am so excited you've stopped by my blog! I am a mother of two little boys, 3yo and 1.5yo, simply trying to survive each day. I love keeping an organized home, but understand that does not mean my home is magazine worthy! I like to stick to simple organizing methods that help prevent clutter and reduce stress. Read more about me, my blog, and my company on the About page. Thanks so much for visiting!

4 Comments

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Bekka Joy · January 30, 2014 at 12:17 am

This is a fabulous and inviting solution! Mine are tucked away in various boxes! I am going to get them out and attempt to give them a cosy new home just ilke this! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Saw this over on i heart organising!

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Stefanie Sliger · January 30, 2014 at 12:19 am

Thank you so much, Bekka! I'd love to see how it goes 🙂

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Sarah · January 30, 2014 at 3:33 am

I found your blog through Jen over at iheartorganizing, and I'm so glad I did! This is exactly where I want to get organized this year! My husband and I have moved twice in the past year, and he's tired of lugging around the several boxes of cards that I've saved since childhood. I think it's time to keep only the ones that are meaningful and organize them properly. I think the best part of all this is seeing that it's really not as complicated or time-consuming as I thought it was going to be. Thank you for this awesome inspiration!
Sarah @ http://www.marriageisnotforwimps.blogspot.com

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Stefanie Sliger · January 30, 2014 at 3:43 am

Thank so much for reading, Sarah! I completely empathize with you and your husband, it's amazing how long I've held on to some. Feel free to share how your sorting and organizing goes.
ps- I love the title of your blog 😉 I've already sneaked a little peak

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