"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Cleaning and Organization

I have that room in my house, that almost every house has, 'the home office' which has become not really a home office but more of the family dumping ground for things that we don't know where to put it or where to hide everything when company is coming. We're trying to clean out that room, and I have found that the two feet of paper on the desk is mostly genealogy related. I think many genealogists share the same clutter of papers and treasures we've all gathered in our ancestor hunt.

I have also realized that I have a desk I have to clean off under all those papers. I've tried to tell my husband that it's an 'organized mess'. Now as the home office makes its transformation from office to a room for our baby that we are expecting in Decemeber, it gives me a chance to reflect on my organization and to see where I am repeating my work because I didn't know that I had a certain piece of paper. For example, I have found 4 copies of my Grandpa's step dad's obituary.

So I'm going to talk about my methods of orgnization. A very good book about organization is Oragnizing Your Family Tree by Sharon Debartello Carmack. In the book she describes some wonderful ways to organize your research, which I have modified to fit my needs.

First of all I have files of families by husband and wife. In those files also include their children unless I have 1)added so much additional paper on the child and his or her spouce and/or they have children as well or 2)they are my direct line ancestors and I am working on reseraching them.

There is so much more I could talk about my organization, but then that wouldn't get my cleaning very far. The house is slowly starting to look like a house again and not like a tornado went through it, although with a 3 year old sometimes it feels that way.

Happy researching and organizing.

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