Alright, I’ve researched my supplies, I’ve made plans, and I’ve used trial and error to go through my chaos of papers. All of this with the help of Elyse Doerflinger‘s book Conquering the Paper Monster. If you feel even a little overwhelmed by the task of organizing your genealogy papers, I definitely recommend this book. I’ve changed my methods a million times in the last 10 years. She explains in very easy to understand terms all the technical terms you may be stuck on. The different types of supplies, the terms you should look for in your supplies. There’s so much information in there and I wouldn’t even dream of trying to reiterate it all here! Just go get the ebook, it’s only a couple of bucks. You’ll spend more on your office supplies then you will the book.
What you’re looking at is my finished crates of documents. It doesn’t look like much, but everything is in sheet protectors and sorted by which line of the family tree they come from. Birth, marriage, and death records are all separated. When I have more documents, I’ll switch to an individual reference number sorting system. Right now, I just don’t have the volume to make that kind of leap. What I realize is I have a bulk of miscellaneous documents for William and Llewellyn, and another bulk for the Taylor line. Most of the Taylor bulk is photocopies or written notes we took during our Eastern Shore trip. Unfortunately, it was before I knew what I was doing. So I don’t have any source information for those things. I’ll have to research that stuff again.
The only question I have is what to do with these books. I have a lot of the funeral service guest books, bibles (not family ones, just bibles, like gift bibles), and just general kind of notebooks. How do you go about preserving those? The’re too big to fit into a sheet protector. Right now I have them laid down in the crates for storage but I’m starting to think that a bookcase might have been a better investment, even if I don’t have room for a bookcase at the moment. ha.
Next I’m onto the photos. I’ve already researched the supplies I’m going to need and where I’m going to get them from. I’ve thought about my priorities when it comes to the photos. Since I have so many to begin with, I’m going to focus on the really old ones first. I’m ordering a set of photo archival pages from Light Impressions. I decided on the 6 to a page sheets that are just big enough for all those photos I have from the 1920s-1930s. I am not going to be getting the albums for the pages yet as those are a bit too expensive for my budget right now. I’ll plan on getting those later in the year when I’ve got some extra money again.