Everyone has an expertise or something they are super knowledgeable about.
I would say the thing I am most passionate about is Memory Keeping.
The photo above is the expedite / Kalax from Ikea that I bought in 2012, before moving to Tasmania. Much of 2016 I spent getting this space organised. Below are some things I learnt whilst on that journey.
My top ten tips to memory keeping would be.
Gather everything into the one place. This has I have found to be the key to getting organised. Go around your house into each room and look for photos, memorabilia, old diaries, books, anything that can be considered memory keeping or family history related and put it all in the one spot.
Files, folders, photo albums, Archive boxes and folios all make great places to store items into. I have ours sorted into families. When I come across photos or things that need to be dealt with I put them in an Expandable file (mine and Jack’s is sorted into ten-year gaps, family type, school etc), angels are by age – 0-19/20. She also has a school folder that all of her school only stuff goes into. But the Expandable file is the drop point until I go through them.
Other Media – Try to keep items Like with Like. Such as old videos/cassettes etc. I keep these together in a plastic container. For years they were in various places, and to be honest I didn’t even know we had them all. We have a lot of negatives that were in assorted places, I found a box to store these into. The same with slides and items that you have multiples of.
All three of us have a My Life Story book where we write down memories into. These are all kept together. Are easy to get to. I update mine about 4 or 5 times a year. Angel about three, jacks got as far as putting his name in his.! But a general notebook or diary would work just as well.
The family history stuff is filed by family (His / Mine) if we come across something we put it in these files to either be dealt with at a later time or for reference (i also have a file on my computer with dates/photos to be printed).
Larger items such as Bibles and old books are kept in a trunk so they 1. don’t get damaged. 2. are not exposed to too much light. Whilst these are not kept in the Expedite, they are kept near it. Also in this trunk is random things that haven’t been dealt with or that are too big/bulky to put into the expedite.
Make notes. If you receive information from a family member in relation to a birth or death note it into a Notebook or add to the family history folder. When sorting through old diaries I found that they held lots of little pieces of information. I have lost count of how many new babies that have been born into our families. My mum used to have a birthday book that she would write in. I don’t have a copy of it but what a treasure trove of information that held. Birth’s, Death’s, Marriages, and everything in between. I have a couple of books but nowhere to the extent that she did.
Greeting Cards, Invitations & old Letters. I am a hoarder of these from way back. I brought files years ago from a cheap shop years ago that holds Plastic Sleeves. This is where I keep old letters from family. Greeting cards I went through and found all of the ones from family (parents etc) and I added these to my Accordion File. Over the years Jack & Angel have brought me various cards and as lovely as they are and as grateful as I am for them, I am finding that they do tend to build up. So as of Mothers Day this year we have decided to make a “Greeting’s Book” Instead. I bought a lovely notebook that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use it for, and I ended up giving it to Angel to write my mothers day message into instead of a card. This can then be kept with all other books, and used for many years to come. Invitations. These are another thing that I have a lot of. At the moment they are with the family cards but I do plan on adding them o my life story book.
You will come across photos where you have no idea who the people are, I have a folder called the Unidentified. I have a fair idea of who some are and when I find other photos of them I just place it into a plastic sleeve in this file.
Match up / or pair together items. There is a little Vignette in the middle of the Expedite with Jack’s Dad’s Bell from the H.M.A.S Melbourne. Previous to this the bell was in two separate parts and the book stored with Books.
I try as I discover things to add them to the right spots, and over time this has become easier to locate things. It’s nice to have it all in the one spot (i am however dreading packing it all up), but knowing I will be packing it in a much better order than what it was is also helpful. I am yet to work out how I will arrange/store the items on the expedite after we have moved, but I know I will be a lot more organised than before.