Post-move Doldrums.

Ken profile.jpg

Unpacking my files I see I shipped some junk with my goodies.It happens fromtime to time that we find ourselves holding on to things we should have dumped lears ago. For example:

  • Lecture notes, handouts, overheads for old versions of lectures. There were thick files on using the 1880 US cenus CDs, searching the first online version of family search, and several beginners classes I’d not teach again.
  • Project files for projects I’m no longer interested in.This includes a locality guide to an 1891 canadian census, biography files thick with duplicate info no longer needed, or loved.
  • Client file dupicates from wrk done 15 years ago
  • Un needed handouts from my and other people’s lectures
  • Diverse truck and trash.

Still have not found my computer glasses.I suspect a covey of quail took them. They lurk around our home like burglers.

Is it time to weed your files?


7 responses to “Post-move Doldrums.

  1. Christine Sweet-Hart, CG

    Hi Ken —

    Although I moved 18 months ago — I still haven’t cleaned my files either. I brought all the junk with me. Funny you should post this today – I was in my office cleaning with machete and pith helmet! My problem is that I am so afraid I’m going to need something, that I hate to throw anything away!

    Well, after ripping the tops off two file folders this morning trying to remove them from my file cabinet, I think it’s time! Maybe we should form a support group – packrats anonymous! 🙂

  2. Christine and others may beneit from the refridgerator cleaners motto, “When in Doubt, Throw it out”

  3. Brenda Dougall Merriman

    Hi Ken. I did an office renovation this year which required downsizing. I identify with the machete and pith helmet Christine mentioned! Because I have retired from lecturing there is no point in keeping all the years of lovingly created overheads (read: with anxiety, cursing and sweat). I have wondered if some of them, especially those which illustrate original document sources, would be of assistance or interest to other lecturers or teachers still in their prime .. or starting out. However I’m not prepared to “catalogue” each item …

  4. Brenda raises a good point. Its a shame to chuck out overheas of documents -but how do you find a new home for things like samples of local tax records, or icelandic lutheran church records, or those funny cartoons you used to bring a light moment to a serious lecture. Who has time to itemize a list? Who would pay postage for an unknown quality/quantity of overheads when many are switching to DLP machines and powerpoint.

    Any gamblers out there?


  5. Ken,

    An alternative is to scan it all into your computer, save the files to a CD or DVD and pitch the hard copies. This is my plan, not yet started, on the 60 linear feet of genealogy records I’ve collected.

    Alternatively, my advice is just to box them up and write on the box “precious and hard earned genealogy documents” and put it in a dry cool place. One of three things will happen:

    1) You will need something and thank your lucky stars you had the foresight to keep it

    2) When you die, your heirs will open the box with anticipation and find this stuff. Leave it up to them!

    3) When you die, your heirs will laugh and say “good old dad” and donate it to the local genealogy society who will then have to deal with it.

    Don’t worry, be happy! — Randy

  6. Brenda Dougall Merriman

    Randy, you have a good solution. Although you forgot #4 which is when your heirs say “good old dad” and throw the lot in the dumpster they parked in the driveway of your house which they are selling. At that point you will not be worrying about it. Personally I have to add that my retirement as a lecturer coincided nicely with the rise of power point as “the” speaker’s medium and that plus learning about things like scanners was above and beyond my self-imposed technological limit. More power to the rest of you!

  7. So, my suggestion is that you not leave a stack of boxes for your grieving family to sort out. Either put a codicil in your will OR take care of it yourself before you die or even before you are shipped off to a nursing home.

    If there are no family takers, then find a library, genealogical repository, or society or whatever to take it. Find out how the material has to arranged and do it.

    During my summer vacation, an Appalachian Regional Library had folders of notes worked on my earlier genealogists. Why my personal brick wall is intact, I found it very interesting reading hand written notes, written letters, and pedigree charts.

    As for scanners, let me encourage you try one. They are now inexpensive and are EASY to use. After a few bouts of fire and floods in my life, I scan everything I get. Hard drive space is also inexpensive, so storage is not an obstacle.

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