We have all seen or at least heard of the reality TV series “Hoarder”. It is about people who have an obsession to keep everything they have ever owned and then they continue to add to it. They do this for various reasons but the results are the same: a home filled to overflowing with stuff. This is how I feel sometimes with all the documents, notes, photos and books pertaining to Genealogy that I have accumulated over the years. I do try desperately to stay organized but sometimes it gets away from me. I have limited space and the piles seem to keep growing. When I have time, I try to go through all of it, but that isn’t as often as I would like. The question I keep asking myself is, “What do I really need to keep and what should I throw away?”
Case in point: While I was organizing my Death Certificates’ I found I had 5 copies of my Great Grandmothers Death Certificate. I think my thought process was, “What if I happen to lose one? If I make several copies then I will be able to find it when I need it.” However once it was scanned into a folder in the computer and uploaded into my tree I then had a permanent copy I could find anytime. Also, if I have the original filed in a binder that is properly marked I would have easy access to that one too. Plus if I cite my source of where I obtained my information I could find it again if I needed to. So why, oh why, do I feel compelled to save all 5 of the hard copies?
I do the same thing with most of my documents and ALL of my photos. Did I mention I love photos? Is it really an obsession or is it that just I don’t want to lose any of it? After all, some of the documents took years to find. Would this be considered trying to justify the hoarding?
I will make this declaration here: I, Valerie Hughes, will begin today (well maybe tomorrow or better yet next week, oh I meant to say next month) to sort through all of my duplicate notes, files and photos and discard them (or find a new place to stack them, or possibly put them in a file box and store them in the shed) and I will refrain from any more Hoarding.
Okay, I will, from this day forward just start calling it Antique Paper and Photo Collecting!
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.