Tackling the stacks of paper that genealogists collect

That’s a big topic. A huge topic. An often-unwieldy topic. A scary topic. 

I have limited time to sort the years and years of accumulated boxes and tubs of paper. I still work full time in research and lecturing. Yet, I still need time to whittle down some of the stuff that surrounds me.  The paper includes mementos, family research, client research, lecture content, 2022 taxes (ICK), things to read, and a few other subjects. My workspace is not very big so I have to move things in order to get to other things.

I finally have figured out a way to assist myself in this. Strike that, two ways. First, I recently hired my 17-year-old granddaughter for a few days. She helped me reshelve books, did some photo sorting, and was wonderful company at the same time. What friend, niece, or someone else would be your own helper?

Second, I activated my long-ago Lazy-Day filing system. If you’ve attended my presentations on Controlling Chaos, you’ve heard about this. Dollar store to the latest rescue. 

I purchased a bunch of these trays and labeled them for my sorting purposes. I really don’t have space to spread these out for my sporadic sorting times. Solution, put an old towel on my coffee table so it doesn’t get scratched and use the couch behind the coffee table for more space. Now I sit in front of the television, using my rolling cart in front of me as I sort, and immediately sort the stacks into the recycling paper grocery bag or into the proper Lazy-Day filing tray. Now I can easily move these trays to my desk when family visits. Maybe I should just let them do the moving?

© 2022, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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3 comments on “Tackling the stacks of paper that genealogists collect

  1. yes, 50 years of genealogy – books, records, letters, photos; it mounts up. Someone sent me a box of research materials. I’ve been scanning some of it and what I don’t want to scan I am putting it all back in the box that was mailed to me. I am contacted one agency and they weren’t interested; so Monday I will call another and see if I can send it to them. I hate to discard the research but it did come from other libraries so it is not lost completely.

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