Family History: Things You Will Need to Get Organized and Rescue Your Heirlooms

In order to organize that box of family history related papers that look like trash, you will need to have a few things available.  You may have some of it on hand, other items will need to be purchased.

♥ Things you will need to organize your family history:    

  1. Table space, I used card tables set up in my family room in order to avoid sorting everything on the dining room table.  It could take a while to do this and you don’t want to start over every time your family needs to have dinner if you can possibly avoid it.
  2. File folders, start with one box.
  3. File boxes,  If you are concerned about the finances, cardboard bankers boxes or most any cardboard boxes that will accommodate file folders will work.  For children’s memorabilia  accordion files may work well.  These boxes are not meant to be a permanent home for your memorabilia.  The quality of the boxes you will need is also determined by how long you will be using them.  If this process is going to take many years (and I do mean many years, my son’s memorabilia has been in an accordion file for 29 years!  Embarrassing, I know!) You will be best off purchasing archival boxes, file boxes however, they will be more expensive.  In my case, these items have survived for many years in old cardboard boxes, so most anything is an improvement!  I bought plastic file boxes at Walmart. You can decorate them pretty and make them cute. Mine are practical. I labeled them with a Sharpie. I will save the time involved in decorating the boxes and labeling them beautifully for my end product. Scrapbooks, shadow boxes and other keepsakes. If you are sorting through your children’s paperwork you will probably need one for each child, while you may be able to get both Grandma and Grandpa into the same box.  Don’t go buy a box for each individual from the past.  If your grandparents start crowding each other out you can separate them into 2 boxes when you get to that point.
  4. Trash Can some things really aren’t worth keeping.  For some items you may even want a Paper Shredder.
  5. Pen or Sharpie

When you have these items you will be ready for the next step: Sorting your family history.

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