Archive for Memorabilia

Are your keepsakes a legacy, or a liability?

Mom's punch bowl, usually used for fruit, is being used here for pecans.

Mom’s crystal punch bowl, usually used for fruit, is being used here for pecans.

Have you inherited keepsakes you don’t know what to do with?

I can’t tell you how many of my clients have had a garage or storage unit full of stuff they inherited from a loved one. These items represent a mix of emotions – memories good and bad; guilt over secretly wanting to reclaim the space they occupy; fear that they will accidentally discard a priceless heirloom. They are paralyzed with indecision: Am I betraying my loved one if I part with this item? Will I forget them if I don’t keep all their stuff? (I promise you won’t!) How, and where, can I get rid of it? How, and where, can I keep it?

 

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Are your files backed up?

I originally wrote this post for World Back Up Day (Don’t be an April Fool – Take the Pledge!)

But…really, shouldn’t every day be Back Up Day?

(Click to view video: “What Would You Do if You Lost Everything?“)

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What’s a photo without the story?

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

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Mom’s Boxes # 7: Sharing family history with my family

Family website

Shhh! Don’t tell my family, but I’ve finally figured out what I’m giving them all for Christmas.

“What?” you ask…with bated breath…

Why, The Gift of an Organized Family Tree, of course!

“But wait…you’re an organizer, and a genealogist. Haven’t you already shared your family history with your family?”

Well…yes and no…

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Mom’s Boxes Part 6: Sometimes Organizers Need Help Too!

You didn’t think I was finished with Mom’s Boxes, did you? Ha ha ha! Noooo! In fact, I haven’t done a thing on this project since my brother left in December to spend a year in Japan.

These are a few of the resulting categories: Cassette tapes, Mini photo albums, Grandma & Grandpa’s letters, Ephemera to sell?, Sketch books, Grandpa 1920’s, Negatives, 60’s & 70’s photos.

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Managing Memorabilia: 5 questions to ask before you start

We’ve all inherited and collected keepsakes and memorabilia. Are yours a legacy, or a liability? A blessing, or a burden? Are you afraid to open the boxes that have been languishing in your garage or storage unit? Do you feel overwhelmed by piles of your own photos, letters, kids’ artwork, and other tangible memories?

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Mom’s Boxes Part 5: The Old Man of the Mountains

George D. Hankins

READERS: This is the sort of story I intend to write more of over the next few years to share with my family. It’s also the sort of story I encourage you to write about your own family! It doesn’t have to be fancy, with footnotes and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.

This is a different kind of New Mexico family history in that no one in my family was born in New Mexico! My mom, her parents and two sisters, and my three brothers were all born in Indiana. My dad and I were both born in California. But most of us came to call Albuquerque home.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 4: Grandma’s Lawn Chairs

I wrote this blog post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), but it’s essentially Mom’s Boxes Part 4, since I found most of the photos in mom’s boxes.

Photos keep memories alive. And they tell the story of a family over time. They show how it grew and how it changed. Some people have the forethought to mark the passage of time by taking photos of their kids each year wearing the same outfit (oversized at the outset), or standing next to a fixed object. And sometimes everyday objects in a family’s life seem to inadvertently bear witness to these changes for us.

Click here to read the rest of the story, and to view my family photos.

[Tweet “What special stories have you discovered in your family’s photos?]

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Mom’s Boxes Part 3: Trip down memory lane

Me and Mike enjoying a picnic of lemonade and raisins in 1964 Indiana.

My brother, Mike, and I have agreed there’s something about going through Mom’s boxes that we hadn’t fully bargained for: Going down Mom’s memory lane includes going down our own memory lanes. This can be heartwarming, and great fun…and also embarrassing, sad, and exhausting. It feels like my life is flashing before my eyes in excruciatingly slow motion.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 2: Panning for gold

My 2nd great grandmother

My 2nd great-grandmother,
Margaret Keysling Hankins Smelser (1833-1921), of whom I’d never seen a photo. Gold!

When my mom died, in 2001, she left us 33 boxes of scrapbooks and other memorabilia. Not 33 scrapbooks; 33 moving boxes full of them. In Mom’s Boxes Part 1: The Shed I described what we did with them for 16 years, and why I’m finally going through them now with my brother Mike.

 

We’re making progress…..

I’ve been posting on Facebook about this project (#momsboxes), including photos of some of our great finds. People leave comments like, “Wow, what a wonderful treasure trove you’ve got there!”

Well….yes and no. The analogy that comes to mind is panning for gold. Do you know how many tons of sand and silt one must sift through to find a few nuggets of gold?!

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