One of my big challenges in the last few years is to ‘declutter’ and reorganize our home. We have inherited much of our grandparents, parents and children’s ‘stuff’ over the years, and that is not counting the mountain of possessions, my husband and I have acquired over fifty years. It is time to do something with it all.
Some of the documents, photos and paper memorabilia can be digitized and shared, but I also need to take care of some of the ‘originals’ for the family archives of the future.
My mother kept many items, which meant something to her in the proverbial ‘shoeboxes’, which I inherited.
As I am the eldest in the family and cared for my mother for over fifty years, particularly in her later life, I have heard many stories and can identify much of the material in those shoeboxes.
I have now scanned and photographed all the original material, and have digital copies saved in various places for safe keeping.
The original paper, card and flat items as well as photographed items, I am gradually scrapbooking into acid-free albums. I have journaled, labeled and added as much information as I can to each item. The scrapbook pages are often plain and basic at this time, but I can always add embellishment later. I need to get the basic albums done first, as time is of the essence now.
Many of the scans are also being scrapbooked into albums-one for each of my siblings. I usually try to get a few pages ready as gifts to my siblings at Christmas and birthdays. One of the ‘Christmas Gifts Past’, was the story of our parent’s Kitchen Tea and Wedding in 1946.
Our mother had kept all the gift cards and pieces of paper from all the Kitchen Tea and Wedding gifts. I glued each card or scrap of paper to a folded piece of acid-free scrapbooking paper. In the folded piece of paper, I added any information about the people, who had given the gift, and even what the gift was if I knew. To curious people flipping through the album this information was ‘hidden’, but when the page was removed from the album the card could be opened to reveal the extra information.
Sometimes the Christmas gift pages are not about Mum’s Mementoes, but my childhood memories of special items, places or events that mean something to our family.
The pages below are about our family’s first car- a second-hand Austin 7, which Dad painted, Fire-engine red. Wherever we went, it was recognized in a moment, and was affectionately called ‘the little red bug’.
This one is about Mum’s ‘house-cow’ who was a bit of a pain and would often ‘run away’ and have her own adventures.
It will still take me a couple of years to complete this project, but I am on my way.
What a great idea!
Thank you for the lovely comment. I hope it has given you some ideas for organizing your family history.
Very encouraging to know that.
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