Snail Mail

Snail Mail Organisation – 2017

     Hey everyone. As you know, I am an avid snail mail fan. I’ve been writing and receiving letters for over a year and a half now and since starting, I’ve gotten quite a number of pen pals. With all the letters I get, I’ve needed to find a suitable way of storing them – it’s a problem every snail mailer faces!

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     I started out with a shoe box but eventually that got too small and I needed a bigger one. TK Maxx is the store to go to if it’s nice boxes you’re looking for. That’s where I got mine last year and I made sure to get the biggest one I could. It looked pretty sad at first when I put my letters in there and there was so much empty space but I was thinking ahead – it’s important when coming up with a system of organisation that you build in room to expand!

     If you check out my post from last year about how I organise my snail mail, you’ll see that I had my letters from 2015 tied up in bundles by sender, and the letters from 2016 on the other side of the box, with a clip holding the letters from each pen pal to keep them altogether. It worked for a bit but at the start of this year I decided I needed to do a bit of reorganisation.

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     I now have all of the letters from a pen pal together rather than separating the years. Each pen pal has a section with older letters to the back and newer letters to the front. Now it’s easy to quickly put letters away safely when I respond.

     It’s a fairly simple and somewhat rapidly put together system that I have going on here. The dividers are simply A5 pieces of card from a pack with sticky labels for tabs. I was literally just rummaging around my craft room for inspiration on what I could use to organise my box! For the middle divider, I cut a 12×12 piece of paper to size to fit, folded it in half and stuck it down with some washi tape.

     This is just something I did when I had a spare hour to kill. It’s not the prettiest an organisation system could be but it also wasn’t that time time-consuming or expensive to put together (a pack of A5 card that cost €1.50 and some sticker labels I already had?) so you get what you put it!

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     By the way, in my box, I also have a section for lost pen pals – for when you write one or two letters but then never hear back from them. These are really the could have been pen pals. Things didn’t work out but I still can’t bear to throw out my letters!

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29 thoughts on “Snail Mail Organisation – 2017

  1. Until I came across your blog I never realized this was a thing. Very neat, how did you get into this? Are the ppl you write ppl you know directly?

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    1. Snail mail has had quite a revival in recent years I think – I only discovered it about a year and a half ago having spotted some people blog about it 🙂 And no, I don’t know any of my pen pals in person – I met all of them online.

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    1. That’s a start! xD I know, when I first went to organise my snail mail I really had to psych myself up because it was a mess! It’s the same whenever I decide to reorganise my craft supplies or book shelves

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  2. This is a nifty and thrifty solution for storing and organising your snail mail, Emma, and you found a nice box for it. I wonder if there’s a way for sorting goodies intended for swap partners, too. I recently sent two out that were supposed to be colour-themed, but I kept mixing them up pre-sealing. 😂

    Also, is that my name I see? Emma’s a common enough name I have to ask before getting excited. XD

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    1. Thanks! Good old Tk Maxx – can generally find the right ox for the situation there! 😀
      Ah, I’ve faced that problem with swap bot swaps before! I just solved my problem with mixing things up by doing fewer swaps…the cost of doing lots of swaps also impacted that decision xD
      And yes that is your name! Emma is such a common name – I remember there being at least 3 other Emma’s in my year of 90 girls in secondary school! You’re the only Emma I’ve written letters to though 🙂 Laura and Sarah seem to be the common names among snail mailers I think xD

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    2. Ooh same here with all the Emmas! 3 in school & 4 in some of my college classes 🙈 I can’t remember how many people there were in total, but it was more than 90, though.

      I’m trying to decide if ox is a typo or slang I don’t get… 🤔

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    3. Ah, type. meant to be box -the some of the keys on my keyboard aren’t working so well so when I type quickly they don’t register – really need to clean it out. There’s probably some dirt stuck in there from my cat rolling around on top of it xD

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  3. I definitely need to get mine organised…I’m the bad pen pal who stops writing back because I’ve forgotten where I put the letters!! Then it’s six months later and the letters turn up but I’m so ashamed of my long silence that I just don’t write anymore 😦

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award. I love your blog and think it deserves some recognition! I hope you accept… I’d love to see your answers to my questions! xo J
    https://sunshinediary.com/2017/02/16/mystery-blogger-award/

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  4. I have my own spot!!! I really need to get my act together so I won’t be put in the lost section…lol
    This is a great idea, I have a hard time getting rid of letters.
    I went to my mail box today and the lady who puts the mail in my box said, “Where are all of your friends?” you haven’t had mail in months. I wanted to hide. So I said, I need to write to them, I’ve been lazy.

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    1. Hate when people just say something’s different because I start to think ‘different good or different bad, you haven’t said good, it must be bad, isn’t it?’ xD

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  5. This is so smart! I need a way to organize my letters, so I just might have to steal this! Do you mind if I mention it in my upcoming snail mail class in March? I’ll give you full credit, of course!

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    1. Thanks! It’s a simple solution but sometimes simple is best – all too often I find I have had trouble finding a storage solution that works because I keep trying to over complicate things 🙂
      And mention it away! If it helps other people solve that problem or storage, I’m a happy person!

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  6. Oh, this is clever! I may have to steal it. Mine are just thrown in boxes, vaguely organised by year. I have about 6 boxes at this point though, which makes things confusing (and is why I need to get rid of letters from some people who haven’t written in over a year and probably never will again, or that one girl who wrote and told me she doesn’t want to write to me any more).

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    1. That’s a lot of boxes! I imagine at some point I’ll have to do the same, getting rid of letters from people who are never going to write back but until I absolutely can’t fit any more into the box, I shall keep everything!
      Not nice receiving a letter like that saying they don’t want to write to you any more…although I guess that’s better than just never responding to your letters – saves you from wasting money thinking that maybe a letter just got lost in the post.

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    2. I have actually done that once myself. Sending something that said I wasn’t interested in writing. We were a bad fit for pen pals and I did it as gently as I could, but I wanted to let her know so she wouldn’t keep looking for letters from me or keep writing to me or whatever, like Emma said. While tough, I figured it was the more polite thing to do than to just disappear.

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    3. I do think it’s nicer to let pen pals know you’re not a good fit or whatever. I’ve had a few that just disappeared and you always wonder. This one had been writing to me for 3 years though. I can understand not being a good fit, but it doesn’t usually take 3 years to work that out.

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    4. True, I can’t imagine it taking more than a year to discover if you’re a good fit as pen pals. Who knows, maybe she just doesn’t want to write letters anymore, not just to you.

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