**In case you missed this project I did for Buzzfeed DIY, here it is with all the details! Or see it, and all the amazing projects in the Buzzfeed article "50 Clever DIY Ways To Organize Your Entire Life"**
Why oh why do I make the same mistake every year? I procrastinate and procrastinate until Christmas has gone by and no letters have been sent out, then New Year, and still no letters, and the next thing you know years have gone by and family is still wondering if perhaps I've fallen off the face of the planet. No my darlings, gravity still works.
Last year (after 4 years of intending to but never doing) I managed to mail some New Year letters. It barely made it...several days after the New Year had already begun, and I've done it again this year! *Sigh* I'm a bit "challenged" when it comes to keeping in touch. I hope they love me anyway.
One morning this month, after forgetting to mail thank you notes for the lovely gifts we received over Christmas, I woke up with a brilliant notion to overcome my tardy letter writing. Yes! I would eliminate the things that seem to stop me short of getting the letters to my mailbox, then hope for the best!
My Letter Sending Hang-up
The Problem: Who loves having to address 60 different envelopes? (Put your hand down you enviable people with gorgeous handwriting, and a love for calligraphy...grrr). It doesn't help that my address book is an urban legend, there are rumors that it exists, but no confirmed sightings. So off I go to call the mom and mom-in-law for addresses, THEN I am required to write until my hand is burning...*humph* I should only get these kind of hand cramps from blogging or painting! *dismayed expression of remembrance* The longer I write, the more my handwriting mocks me as it becomes less and less legible. And you wonder why my good intentions wane each year...
The Solution: Create a mailing book of label templates with the addresses on them! Why didn't I think of this simple solution years ago? Don't write addresses in an address book, create a label template with all the addresses stored readily available for print! The great thing about this "address book of labels" (if you will) is that it can be used for upcoming parties or showers, Thank you notes, Christmas Cards, New Year letters, business contacts, bill pay, weddings, even on Christmas gift packages...pretty much wherever you use snail mail, you can use your address book of labels!
Creating Address Label Templates: Begin by deciding what size you want the address labels to be, and your return address labels. I chose 1-1/2 x 4" for my regular address labels, and a smaller 2/3 x 1-1/4 for return address labels. Purchase a variety of labels in your desired size: white, clear, designed & colorful. Download the label template provided by the brand (in the size) you chose.
Do not print addresses directly onto the labels. Save an electronic and printed version of the address label templates. When you are ready to do a mailing, take your printed address template, and use it in your copy machine to finally print onto actual labels. This prevents wasted labels if someone moves and you need to change the address in your computer.
Now rather than writing numerous addresses, just print, stick, and send!
Assembling your Address Book/Organizer: Here is the fun part, stocking your address book! Besides organizing the address templates, you can use clear poly dividers or poly envelopes to store your labels and stationary. Keep cute stickers, and craft paper to print letters onto.
A beautifully organized Address Book binder makes sending out letters for any occasion a breeze! Now if only there were a zero effort method of getting them to the mailbox (I suspect I may be a teeny bit lazy).