card.loveGreeting cards can present an organizing dilemma. We feel bad throwing them away, yet in practical terms the natural life expectancy of a greeting card (five minutes) is significantly shorter than that of the ordinary housefly (2 weeks to a month). Cards are often beautiful, clever, or both, and they are the physical manifestation of someone else’s affection for us. But saving every card is neither practical nor useful to daily living.

A greeting card is not meant to last a lifetime. If you’ve opened the card, enjoyed its message, and thanked the giver, it has lived to its full potential. No need to save it forever. It’s ok to throw it away (in the interest of good manners avoid doing so in the presence of the person who gave you the card. No need to rush. Also, make certain that any cash, checks or gift cards inside said card have been carefully removed and safely stowed in your wallet).

If you can’t bring yourself to throw a card away, and you are the crafty type, Pinterest has a used greeting card board  on various art projects and creative re-use endeavors. Some cards are special and deserve a second go-round.

Donating cards is also an option. St. Jude’s Ranch, a children’t charity, has a  recycled greeting card program. They accept the fronts of old cards, and the children make new cards that they then package and resell.

Finally, local teachers or senior day programs might make good use of cards in art programs. Contact a school or senior center near you.

That said, if any of the above options are going to hinder your progress and cause you to stress about when you might get around to actually make that craft, mail that package, or call that local school, it’s still ok to throw them away (recycle bin if materials are recyclable). Thank the giver in your heart, and move on.

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