Study reveals the keepsakes the average American holds onto the longest

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Research conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Minted, found that 73 percent of Americans consider themselves to be sentimental. (Photo by on Unsplash)

A quarter of adults still have a keepsake from a past relationship, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 Americans explored the sentimentality around keepsakes and found that 25 percent have held onto a keepsake from a previous relationship, while 43 percent harbor a keepsake from a current partner.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Minted, found that 73 percent consider themselves to be sentimental.

And 85 percent consider themselves to be people who hold on to keepsakes, with 76 percent storing them in a dedicated box or drawer. In fact, 38 percent of respondents have kept a keepsake for over 20 years.

Interestingly, a third (35 percent) of people revealed they’re more likely to keep something if they’ve fallen out of touch with the sender.

But what are the top keepsakes people save? Turns out, a birthday card tops the list, with 61 percent acknowledging that they save birthday cards they’ve received.

Forty-four percent make sure to hold onto Valentine’s Day cards for sentimental reasons and 24 percent currently have a note from a childhood sweetheart saved in a special place. Interestingly, when it comes to young love, male respondents were twice as likely than women to hold on to love letters from an old flame.

Sixty-one percent of Americans revealed they’d keep a greeting card for over six months after receiving it, no matter the occasion. In fact, the average American has 17 greeting cards from over the years.

Respondents aged 25 and over prefer a greeting card (36 percent) over a call, text or email to honor an occasion.

And results revealed that 75 percent of those surveyed get genuinely excited about receiving a greeting card.

Americans love to be loved, which is why 68 percent like getting a greeting card. But that’s not all — in today’s digital age, 44 percent of the Americans studied admit they like greeting cards because they can save them as a keepsake and 36 percent simply like receiving something in the mail.

While 21 percent of those surveyed admit to never forgetting a celebration, there are people who do miss special occasions. In fact, a friend’s birthday was the top forgotten celebration among those surveyed (34 percent). Nineteen percent revealed they’d forgotten an anniversary.

When broken down by gender, men tend to be more forgetful with 17 percent of male respondents having lost track of a partner’s birthday versus only 9 percent of women.

But why are people holding onto sentimental gifts and cards? It turns out, 52 percent simply feel guilty throwing away a greeting card. They also enjoy looking at their keepsakes, as 64 percent of those who have a keepsake look at them at least once a year.

“We’re truly honored for our greeting cards to be chosen to celebrate life’s important moments. With high quality and convenience, Minted offers unique designs and greetings from independent artists and writers around the globe,” added a spokesperson for Minted.


  1. A birthday card 61%
  2. A gift from a parent 53%
  3. A Valentine’s Day card 44%
  4. A gift from their child 43%
  5. A card from their child 42%


  1. Mom 63%
  2. Dad 48%
  3. Current partner 42%
  4. Sibling(s) 42%
  5. Other relatives 39%


  1. Friends’ birthday 34%
  2. Relative’s birthday 32%
  3. Co-worker’s birthday 30%
  4. Sibling(s) birthday 21%
  5. Anniversary 19%


  1. It shows the person cares about me 68%
  2. It’s a nice gesture 61%
  3. It’s personal 57%
  4. I enjoy keeping greeting cards as a keepsake 44%
  5. I like getting things in the mail 36%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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