I am just wondering how mail artists organize in coming mails? 

Do you put them in files? Boxes? 

Do you separate returned mails (meaning you send mails back from the one comes)  not-yet returned mails? 
I put mails that I have already retuned in one files, and then I have put other not-yet retuned mails in used boxes, bag, porches etc. 

Sometimes large mails, bulky mail like matchbox art does not fit in the file or bag. I put matchbox art in one boxes like to be able to see them together. 

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I started to put mail art alphabetically in binders. At one point there was no room left on my mail art shelve. Then it all piled up in order to get organized. The piles whisper, but do not scream.

Hi Carien Thank you for your experience.

Hmmm, alphabetically order in one way. But it may get confused with when it came, maybe label the year/time?

Or another idea, put together by countries.

I believe that if you are active, it may pile up quickly.

Dear Tomoe,

I would like to answer Your question in detail, as it concerns me too.

To answer briefly, I put the mail-art into plastic files, each file dedicated to one country, and I keep these files in large cardboard boxes.

I would now like to give a more detailed answer. For most of my life I have been living in a room of nine square metres, in a large apartment building in Moscow. As a result, I can't store much stuff at home, especially since my library is housed in the room with me (I read a lot). I donated a large part of my collection of mail-art to the Museum of Moscow. It is a large state museum designed to concentrate everything connected with the lives of Muscovites. I kept only my best-loved artefacts for myself. For two or three years, my boxes of mail-art were in the museum, waiting for the admissions committee to decide whether or not they would take a particular item. And what do you think, they finally refused! I am now in negotiations with another museum, called the Museum of Modern Art. It hasn't been open very long and it's still in a state of continuous development, and they're currently setting up an archive at the museum. At this museum, the staff are considering creating a collection of mail-art, as it is a vibrant contemporary art phenomenon. Let's see! I hope it works.


Thank you for your answer.

That comes another question though, I believe depending on countries the numbers of mails differ. I think United States and Italy have more, so the files would fill up quickly, other wouldn’t. 

Mail art is precious and I would want keep them also, but I admire your willingness. I hope your donation works well. 

I organize received mail chronologically. I am marking each received piece with a date-stamp. Then, when the pile is too big I just put everything in the shoe-boxes. That way it is protected from the sun-light and dust, and it is staying in that chronological order. If something I received is of low quality, or if I don't like it, I try to recycle that, if it is not possible (''useless shyte'' type) I put it in a recycle bin with all other recycable items like newspapers, magazines, wrappers,  and other ''paperish'' items.

Thank you for your ideas. Very helpful. Organizing mail chronologically is one good idea. I like the idea that you mark mail art with a date-stamp. That makes me think to get one for mine. This way even I accidentally mixed up I know which old or new. Some people sent paper materials, which I can reuse to make collage or whatever or re-sent to another people. Like you said, those mails of paper materials can put in the same place to use for something. I often order stuff from Amazon so I have some cardboard boxes also. 

The newly received ones are standing up somewhere in the living room, so I can look at them and interact with them mentally. Then I reply to those. After that, they go into a Mail Art box. When that’s full, I decorate it and go to the next one. 
Sometimes there are items in them that I would like to use in my journals. When I got stickers or something. But I am having a hard time separating the content from the envelope for archive’s sake. Last year I received a Mail Art package including a stamp. That is the first time I put an item in another place: with the other stamps. 
I am thinking of filming all the Mail Art I ever received, and maybe I could be more free with the elements afterwards. 

Right now it's in unruly piles in draws.  I'm working on moving them into binders so they can live in my bookcase.  Once my bookcase gets full, I'll start moving the older stuff to air tight containers.

I just got 2 clear books yesterday and sorted mail inside. They have 40 pockets each. 
Not it will be 4th file that I will put new mails, but I am thinking knew mails in a mesh bag until I will return, so I know who I send back to. 



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