Guest Guru: Storkie Express – Stay in Touch and Never Break a Sweat
Stay in Touch and Never Break a Sweat
by Rachel Smith of Storkie Express
Massive mailing projects are sort of like running a marathon.
A month in advance writing everyone you know with “Here’s What’s Happening in my Life” letter feels like a grown-up, healthy, fun decision. It’s something to look forward to!
The first two cards out of 26 feel easy, breezy, beautiful. Look how fast I can write these! Look how fun this is! This was a good idea!
You round the corner on card 13 and it hits you – you’re only half way done! What? Why?! This is exhausting!
You finish card 26 with your head on the table, drool marks on the envelope and your handwriting illegible. Never again, you tell yourself. I’m never going to write to anyone ever again. Ever. No good news is good enough to share through writing.
And yet, another year passes and you’re back to being that healthy grown up who thinks that writing to every cousin with your new address is a good idea. This time, though, you will follow four simple steps so you’re crossing the finish line at card 26 fist-pumping and head held high.
Marathon Mail Made Easy in 4 Steps
1. Start early.
I know, I know, that’s the big “duh” for any sort of time-consuming task. But I’m going to reiterate the reason why starting early is the difference between finishing the process still standing and collapsing when finished with that white vomit stuff dribbling down your chin:
Starting early means you get to pace yourself. No one can sprint 26 miles, and no one can write to all their friends in a day.
Deviating from the marathon metaphor for a moment, starting early also means that your invitations or cards will be received on time. Your Hanukkah cards will actually be Hanukkah cards and not New Years cards. Your baby shower invites will arrive in your guests’ mail boxes with more than a week’s notice.
2. Make a plan (and stick to it).
I remember growing up my mother had the same process for writing Christmas cards year after year. Early on in her marriage she made a list of everyone she was going to send cards to, and after she had written, stamped and sealed each one, she made a little dot next to the recipient’s name. Simple and effective.
So effective, it turns out, that she has kept the same list for her entire life. There are so many dots, checks, and stars next to those names I have no clue how she keeps track of them all. Not to mention the crossed-off names of deceased relatives, or the new friends penciled in at the bottom. I offered to type her up a new, fresh list one year, and she glared at me for a second and said “I like this one.”
In short, create a system you like and stick to it, no matter what your know-it-all kids have to say.
(And in case you were wondering, my mother has never missed a name on the list, and never has sent a Christmas card out after December 25. She is an inspiration to us all.)
3. Use technology.
This tip might be a little bit touchy. Because Emily Post and heck, even the wedding invitation etiquette guide I helped write for Storkie, say that handwritten invitations, cards and letters are the only way to go. And they have a point: handwritten anything has more meaning that something typed, stamped, or printed off in bulk.
But hand writing a bajillion wedding invitations is just plain unrealistic (like running a bajillion-mile marathon is just plain unrealistic – yep, the metaphor is back). And let’s face it: a typed page recapping your aunt’s move from Sarasota to Abu Dhabi is much more fun to read than deciphering and translating her flourishing cursive. So go ahead and get things printed, be it a letter or addressed envelopes. You have my permission.
The way you feel after letter number four. Someone get this woman a lap top!
Marathon running is an individual sport, so I’m going to trash it and finish up with cycling instead. Lance Armstrong did not win the Tour de France all those times because he is just some super-creature who can ride up hills really fast. Nope, he had a ton of help from the rest of his teammates. And so can you with your next mailing project.
Make stuffing envelopes into a fun girl’s night with Fuzzy Navels, funky music and a few rounds of Truth or Dare.
Or, take a page from my mother with her ever-faithful Christmas card list who made licking stamps punishment for not cleaning my room like I was supposed to. Much more effective than a time out.
On Wednesday we will have a special giveaway contest sponsored by Storkie Express. Enter to win your chance for 20 custom invitations – come back to get the details!