How to Store Cards to Prevent Damage to Your Keepsakes

Despite our digital world, greeting cards still prevail. Keep your favorites safe so you can read them for years to come with these simple storage ideas.

cards storage box

Dera Burreson

If you’ve ever walked down the greeting card aisle during the holidays, you know that physical cards remain popular. While digital options exist, the joy of receiving a tangible card is hard to replace. However, cramming cards into drawers or a pile of papers doesn’t honor them and can even ruin them in the long run. To truly treasure them as keepsakes, they should be stored in a way that keeps them safe so you can enjoy them in the future. Below is a list of ten different methods for storing and preserving your cherished cards.

How to Decide Which Cards to Keep

Before choosing a method for storing greeting cards, it’s important to go through the ones you have first. Chances are, you’re holding on to some without sentimental value. Generic cards with a simple signature, for example, probably don’t mean much to you years later, unless, of course, it's from a loved one. Gather all your saved correspondence and spend some time deciding which ones to store and which can get recycled or tossed.

Orange container filled with stamps and cards
Jay Wilde

10 Ways to Store Cards and Correspondence

Once you have your card pile, it’s time to pick a way to organize and protect them. Depending on the method, you may want to go through the pile again and sort by either person, occasion, or year, though this isn't always necessary.

1. Keepsake Box

For this card storage idea, all you need is a pretty, sturdy box with a lid and a spot for a label. Place cards in the container alongside other mementos (if you’d like) and place it on a shelf in a closet so that it’s out of the way but still within reach. If the box becomes too full, expand your collection of boxes and sort them by occasion or year.

Note that this method can easily escalate to a dozen keepsake boxes, which many of us don’t have the space for. So it’s important to be intentional about the quantity (and quality) of what you decide to hold onto.

2. Card Organizer

This method separates cards from other keepsakes, making it easier to stay organized than with boxes. A dedicated card box has dividers that can be labeled, whether by holiday or date, and keeps cards upright and secure. Generally, these types of boxes are advertised as organizers for new greeting cards that you’re sending someone else but can absolutely be used for your keepsakes instead. Some are lined with acid and lignin-free paper to further preserve the cards.

3. File Folder

If you have a file cabinet somewhere in your house and it has some room (perhaps you’ve become gone mostly paperless), put that empty space to use. Using a hanging file folder, add a few regular file folders with your favorite cards. Feel free to sort and label in a way that makes the most sense to you and your belongings. Whenever you want to reminisce, just open the drawer and remove the file, then pop it back in when you’re done.

4. Photo Album

The standard greeting card is considered A-7, which means it’s measured at 5x7. For this card storage idea, purchase a photo album designed to hold 5x7 photos and organize your cards in it. Fill it with unlined sleeves so you have wiggle room for those few odd-shaped cards. Place the album on a bookcase or a coffee table shelf so you can flip through it anytime you’re lounging in the living room.

5. Scrapbook

While you don’t hear the term as often now that most of our photos and correspondence are online, a scrapbook is a suitable option for storing greeting cards. Use a hot glue gun or double-sided tape to attach cards to the pages. Add photos of the sender or other things that remind you of them alongside the card. Like a photo album, slide the scrapbook on a shelf, so you can take it out whenever you feel like taking a trip down memory lane.

6. Key Ring

This is a good idea for anyone who likes to keep things in order. Use a hole punch in the corner of each card and slip it onto a key ring with other cards in the same category. You can make a mini “binder” with all the cards from your birthday or the holidays each year. Lay them in a keepsake box, so they stay free of dust but organized.

7. Glass Jar

A traditional Mason jar will most likely not work for this method, but a taller, wider glass jar with a lid can do the trick. Place one on a console or open shelf and tuck in your cards as you receive them (and decide to keep them). The lid will keep them from getting dusty, and the clear container keeps them in plain sight yet totally tidy for you to read whenever you feel nostalgic.

8. Display Box

Keepsake organizing brand Savor has an all-in-one story box that's suited for storing cards. It has a slot on the front for a 5x7 photo (or standard greeting card)  and compartments on the inside for small trinkets and cards. I utilized this solution to store cards from my grandmother, who usually writes sweet notes inside. I'm able to fit a good amount of cards inside the box with a photo of us on the front. It sits on my bedroom dresser, so I can see her often and open the box when I want to reflect on her sentiments.

9. Shadow Box

If you’re the crafty and sentimental type, this might be the perfect card storage method for you. Create a small shadow box with a card or two from a specific person, alongside other small, decorative items that they gave you. If you make multiple, for different people or occasions, stick to the same style or size box to create a gallery wall.

10. Digital Collection

Last but certainly not least, cards can of course be stored digitally. If you simply don’t have the space to hold a box or two of cards, or you just don’t feel like you need the physical reminders, consider scanning them so you can retain the digital form. Any scanner that you have access to should do the trick. Save them to a cloud or back them up regularly so you don’t lose them. You can also try an app, such as Greeting Card Capture, that is designed to save cards specifically.

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