2 In DIY

DIY to Try // Organized Stationery Box

Organize your stationery into one box so it's easier to send mail!

I have a confession to make… I am a hoarder.

Okay, maybe not a certified hoarder with a serious problem, but enough to cause a bit of alarm and an organizing frenzy. During my recent deep clean of our office, I discovered a shocking amount of notecards, envelopes, extra pens, and stationery items. It’s hard NOT to collect these things by the arm-full when you love sending mail and feel a card is appropriate for even the smallest of celebrations–the first day of spring is around the corner people, get your cards ready!

All good intentions aside, I realized that my collection of stationery items, amassed over dozens of trips to the Target Dollar Spot and Paper Source, was really exploding and not doing me any favors in my attempt to send more snail mail. With cards stuffed in several different places, nowhere near envelopes, stamps or an address book, simply sending one “Hello there!” card took a ton of unnecessary effort.

So, I set out on what might be my quickest but also most effective organizing project to date and came up with an organized stationery box.

An organized way to stay in touch and send more snail mail!

I’d actually prefer to call it a “Correspondence Kit,” but I’m not sure anyone outside of the 19th century uses the word “correspondence” so “stationery box” it is.

Want to know how to create your own? Just follow these tips:

To start, pull all of your notecards and miscellaneous stationery items out from their hiding places. And I mean all of them–that’s the only way this system will work. Recycle anything that’s missing envelopes {that you can’t replace}, that you wouldn’t be absolutely giddy to drop in the mail to a friend, or, in my case, anything that has your maiden name or initials on it. {Yup, 18 months later and I still had plenty of “M” cards from my unmarried days}.

Sort your items into groups, including your notecards. I discovered four different themes in my cards plus extra envelopes and flat cards, stamps, labels, stickers, and a few other small items. Think about everything you would want at easy reach when writing and mailing a card or gift and gather it into one pile.

How to organize your notecards and mailing materials into a stationery box // Bubbly Design Co.

Next grab a box. I used this size box from The Container Store, because I happened to have an extra from other purging I did. You can go as fancy or as simple with the box as you want–the key is the size. You’ll want to find something deep enough to hold at least a 5×7 card standing upright and also big enough to hold your collection, ideally with a little wiggle room for when you just have to add something to your collection.

I knew I wanted to store my cards standing upright with dividers/tabs in between them so I could quickly flick through them, sort of like you would at a record store. But how to create them? I was on a mission to complete this quickly and cheaply, which forced me to get creative on how I’d solve the divider dilemma.

Upcycle Birchbox boxes // Organization hack

After some pondering, I discovered that the longer side of a Birchbox box is just about the perfect height to serve as a tabbed divider between notecards. If you happen to have two… or ten extra boxes lying around like me {#hoardertendencies}, simply cut the longer sides off the box and trim them to size. Add the “themes” of your notecards in sharpie along the top edge of each divider.

Upcycle Birchbox boxes to help organize your stationaryRecycle your extra birchbox boxes into tabs to help you stay organized

If you don’t have a plethora of old Birchboxes sitting around, any sort of cardboard would work. If you use a darker color, wrap a white sticker label over the top edge of the cardboard divider and then write the section names on top so it’s easier to read.

Great idea! Re-use Birchbox boxes to help organize your notecards and stationary

Now it’s time to compile your stationery box. My advice is to think of your box a bit like Tetris. Consider the size and shape of the items you’ve collected and add additional containers if necessary. It may seem silly to put a box within a box, but corralling items like stamps, labels, and stickers into a neat little container inside your stationery kit will help keep the whole thing under control.

Here’s a peak at how I set up my box–but don’t worry if yours looks a little different!

What to include in a stationery box // Bubbly Design Co.

As a side note, I have a separate card box that I use to store occasion-based cards for things like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I sometimes buy these in advance or have generic versions for surprise events or “oops, I forgot” moments. Since those serve a slightly different purpose, I chose to keep them separate, but they could easily be included in this box, just add a few more dividers.

DIY Stationary Box
DIY Organized Stationary Kit

Don’t the Birchbox dividers look fabulous with that black & white pattern and a pop of pink Sharpie? They peak out just enough over the notecards, allowing me to see exactly what I have on hand.

And I’m telling you, ever since I instituted this new organized stationery system, I’m loving how I can grab one box from our closet anytime I need to mail anything. It’s all right here and such a time saver to have it all in one place. Who knew organized stationery could make me smile so brightly!?

And, the best part? With this new system, I’ll know exactly when I’m getting low on a specific type of card and be able to meter my paper goods purchases when I don’t need them AND allow myself to splurge a little when the box has some empty space. SCORE!

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  • Reply
    Emily Bradford
    March 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Such a great idea!! And I love the colored pencil thank you cards – where did it come from?

    • Reply
      Jessica Alayne
      March 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Thanks, Emily! It’s such a simple thing, I can’t believe I never thought to do it before! That card is definitely a favorite, too and it’s from Rock Scissor Paper and it’s still available! http://www.rockscissorpaper.com/thank-yous/

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