Can't get rid of received cards, can't keep them either

What am I to do? Does anyone else struggle with this? I truly enjoy getting the happy mail in my box, but beyond that I can’t make myself feel good about keeping them or getting rid of them.

I don’t love having boxes of received postcards taking up space in my house. It makes me feel like I need to spend time looking through them or make some crafty project with them or something. It feels like an assignment and is stressful. Even the really thoughtful ones, I enjoy looking at them for a while, and then what? I feel guilty throwing them in the recycling. What do you do? Talk me through this, please.


You could give them away. There are a lot of people who collect cards and stamps. I enjoy looking at my cards and reading the messages and looking at the stamps.


I’ve seen people sell used postcards on different sites like ebay, but I’ve also seen postcrossers offer them during swaps! I bet you could try to make some kind of swap, where you send an envelope of 5-10 used postcards for one new card! :hugs:


What about scanning the fronts, and using them in a screensaver or digital photo frame? Then you can remember them without filling up all your space.


Do a lottery for them in the “Lotteries” Subforum. :slightly_smiling_face:

There are also travelling envelopes for this topic which you can make as RAS which means the last participant on the list gets to keep the rest. So you don’t get your used cards back.


-I’ve done lots of swaps for used cards! They’re great.
-Could donate (many thrift shops around me sell used cards).
-Sell to a stamp/cover dealer at a club near you (~$30/shoebox).


You can cut the stamps out and donate them to charity. :slightly_smiling_face:
There is a charity in Germany in Bethel which collects international stamps for example.


Just some observations. I often bid on and win large lots of postcards. Some of these I keep; some just don’t have a fit here. I used to get a good number of unsuitable cards via Postcrossing. I would batch these together with other cards I didn’t want and just accumulate them. Once I got a sufficient number, I would ship them to a stamp auction house on consignment. The lots would sell, but for very little. I have one such lot of 2400 cards that they will offer in January.

■ I noted some members donate their cards to charities. But I have never done that
■ I believe in the Forum there is a Used Card tag Members would post pictures or albums of Used cards they are offering. You tag them and select their cards you like. When you tag, you list your cards that are available and then someone would tag you. The times I did this, I would state the person who tags me can select up to (4) of my cards.

…Those are just some ideas…


I keep most of my received cards, but not all. I have already:

  • gifted them to other people for craft projects
  • swapped them (gave away many for 1 or 2 new ones for me)
  • damaged or not appealing cards I have cut out the stamps (and donated those to charity), rest to the bin

If you do anything else than throwing them away: please black (or white) out details such as address of sender (some add it even on cards)


I keep the ones I really like, some get bookmarks, some decorate my walls, some are collected in a box…
Every now and then I sort out what I dont want to keep…

And yes Bethel is something I use to share the stamps…
Local churches collect them and send them…I dont have to do it myself

And some get upcycled…nice washi…nice stamps…nice paper …
You name it…

At the beginning I put all on a wall, and after a while started to wander the other walls of that room in height of my eye…but dont like it that way anymore…

Play with it!

After about 2,5 years, I stopped feeling guilty about throwing cards away I dont like…maybe someone does it with a card from me too…

My life, my choice, my world, my feelings :wink:


I too came to the realization in the last 6 months or so that I didn’t want
& can’t have hundreds/thousands of cards in my apartment (there is only so much space).

So I’m keeping a few I like from each country & some that are special to me & special ones (like Tilly cards) & then the rest go for art projects or the recycle bin.

It’s a good thing you don’t want the clutter, so don’t feel bad or stressed about it. You’re clear you don’t want them to take up space so liberate yourself & your space - it will feel great.


After reading all of this, I have mixed feelings. I put effort into my cards and try to choose the best fitting ones for my recipients. And to think that some will just throw it in the bin… If they would say this on their profiles then I wouldn’t “waste” good cards on them.


There’s been a lot of great advice given in this thread for what to do with unwanted cards, but I wanted to share some advice from Marie Kondo, a professional organizer with a really lovely way of looking at things. This is her advice for unwanted presents, which it seems the postcards might be in this case - at least in the sense that they take up space and you might not want to keep them long-term.

"Thank it for the joy it brought when you first received it – and bid it farewell. The true purpose of a present is to be received, because gifts are a means of conveying someone’s feelings for you.

When viewed from this perspective, there is no need to feel guilty about parting with a gift that ultimately doesn’t spark joy.”

I hope this helps you to feel less guilty about not wanting to keep them! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I try not to think about people throwing them away. I keep them all and think a lot of people probably do. I enjoy being able to go back and read a message again.


I think you have think about the happiness a postcard brings someone when they receive it & yes, they appreciate all the work you did in choosing it, writing it & decorating it & be satisfied with that.

I think postcards are meant to be an ephemeral joy & experience (lasting a short time).

For many, many postcrossers, it’s just not possible to store hundreds or thousands of postcards given the limits of our living spaces & the people we live with who aren’t happy with boxes & boxes of postcards taking up space.


This is why I do not put an address on most of the cards I send because it is out of our control what the person does. I keep all cards and have to admit finding out people threw them away was disappointing.


I like the 1st part of her quote, but not the 2nd part because I think postcards do spark joy & they are wanted, not unwanted presents, but I think it’s fine that receiver can accept that present, experience the joy & bid it farewell if they choose or if necessary (space limitations).


I record the message on the back of each card in a spreadsheet, and upload a photo of the front of the card to Postcrossing (if the sender hasn’t already done that). So the essentials are already digitized so that I can go back and enjoy a “reread” at any time.

Once that’s done, I keep a subset of my favourite cards. As for the rest, I may clip the stamps, repurpose some portion of the front, or whatever. And the rest, I shred – and then put the shredded remains into our paper recycling – so as to respect the privacy of both parties.

Because I have limited physical storage that is already overstuffed, I have no problem doing this! The card has already made me happy, I have thanked the sender, and I have a record of its essentials. Now the disjecta membra of the card may well go on to make someone else happy in turn (for example, I share animal stamps with my best friend who loves to craft with them). So it’s win-win!


Most people don’t put their return addresses on the cards they send given the 473 I’ve received to-date. I would say no more than 10 senders have put their return address on my cards.

The solution is to cross that info out/shred it etc. People do need to respect others’ privacy, that’s a key part of Postcrossing.


Replying to amplify the post from @Cassiopheia

I second this. I realize postcards are mostly just going disclose your own address- but some people do include a return address.