My wise every year’s genealogy resolution for you

This post could be just five words. Sort. Scan. Toss. Donate. Now.

It’s actually more than genealogy advice. I recently moved to a much smaller place on a very quick and unplanned timeline. The story is not fun and I won’t bore you with the details but let’s say I am happy to be away from a certain landlord. I am settling into my new place. Between relatives and genealogy friends I got packed, moved, and am somewhat livable again. Movers did do the heavy lifting and transporting. For the last couple of years I had promised myself to do a lot of sorting and tossing. I did some. Not enough. Not even close.

  • How many old genealogy periodicals are you saving? Time to lighten your bookshelves by saving what’s vital to your research, donating some to a library (IF they want them), and recycling many. Recycling could be just taking them to a genealogy meeting and letting others take what they want.
  • If you have been researching your family history for many years, do you really still need that photocopy that tells you how to use the 1910 census miracode? Another safe bet is that you don’t need that sheet of paper that gives the hours of the historical society in 2003. They have probably changed more than once and the current hours should be on its website.
  • I decided that I don’t need 4 copies of recent Minnesota and Wisconsin highway maps.
  • Look at the measuring spoons, small appliances, mixing bowls, serving bowls and other kitchen and dining items. Many of mine found new homes with my oldest granddaughter and a genealogy friend.
  • What about your favorite shirt from ten years ago? I bet you won’t fit into it ever again or if you haven’t mended that ripped seam in ten years, you aren’t likely to do it today. Other need clothes so why not share the warmth?
  • In recent years I have been good about sorting, tossing, and donating holiday decorations. Your turn.

I did have 7 tall Ikea bookshelves filled with genealogy and history books along with periodicals. I now have 4. Many painful decisions had to be made. I do have a 10×10 storage locker that awaits more decision making. I will be selling a french provincial china cabinet, a filing cabinet, and maybe some other items. I won’t buy more books with the money, but will be saving for a self-feeding scanner.

My children and some friends are not shy in wishing me a very happy tossing and sorting new year.

p.s. when you move, do use large and bright colored labels to mark boxes and tubs that you will need immediately. I didn’t do that this time. One vital tub of papers is somewhere piled high in storage. I need that for a current project. HELP!

© 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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3 comments on “My wise every year’s genealogy resolution for you

  1. I have tried a couple of times to subscribe to your blog and something isn’t taking. When I click on the spot and put my info in, then hit subscribe – nothing. I noticed as I was trying to put my email address in, nothing shows up – but the space keeps moving over ?

  2. My single word of advise to all newbie genies I meet – DIGITIZE! I caught the bug after reading so many articles by Dick Eastman about how he tackled going digital. It continues to be a work-in-progress for me as well, but I am reaping the dividends every single day.

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