New Year Cleaning Challenge Day 6: Update Address Books

Update Address Books

For many of us, it's the last evidence of Christmas Past: a piled-up heap of Christmas cards, letters and photos. Time to tuck away those holiday greetings.

Whether you'll read and recycle, or file cards and letters away, stop!

Before you consign Christmas cards and letters to their forever home, take advantage of this treasure trove of information about loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Today's Assignment
Update Address Books

To stay in touch with loved ones throughout the year, schedule a post-holiday address book update.

Sit down with planner, smartphone or computer and that big box of holiday greetings.

You may read to your heart's content, but you must make note of new addresses.

Reassess the way you keep this important information. Still scribbling and scrawling in a battered old address book? Perhaps this is the year to move contacts to the smartphone or computer.

Already there on the tech side? Take this time to prune and correct your contacts, adding home addresses to phone numbers and e-mail addresses for a more robust contacts manager.

Note any names whose holiday cards that were returned because of an incorrect address.

During the year to come, be on the lookout for a new address. Friends are too important to lose for want of correct contact information


Double-check telephone numbers. E-mail addresses make it easy to keep in touch with far-flung friends --- so check and correct them where necessary.

Finally, make note of any changes in the lives of family and friends. A new baby? Add the full name to your address book, and you won't fumble when you ask for family updates next time you chat.