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#398837 - 04/11/10 05:10 AM Organizing Old Papers / Letters
Lisa Shea Online   content

Gold Star Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 6010
Loc: US
I had a large crate in a back closet of "random papers" - old letters, old James artwork, old school stuff. It was a mess. So I finally brought it down and started to sort through it.

For the various papers I've written for over the years, I got some scrapbooking boxes that fit the newspaper format perfectly. I was so happy! Now those are organized and labeled and can be stored neatly.

For James' artwork I got a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves and put it all in there. Now that is all organized and easy to look through too. So that's great.

I'm left with a several inch high pile of papers and letters though. This gets into the realm of "how many old letters do I need to keep"? I've already gone through and recycled all the old Christmas cards I was saving. So that is done. But how about letters from my great-aunt? I want to keep those, in one book. Then how about all these letters from guys, from before Bob? Do I really want to keep those all? It's not like I read them ever - but to me they're like my old diaries. They have painful information, but it was something I went through and survived, and having that documentation of it seems important to me.
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#398961 - 04/13/10 03:32 AM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: Lisa Shea]
tweetymom Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 1663
Loc: Austin, Texas
I have a hard time throwing away letters, receipts, statements and cards. Brochures from the doctors office, the Grand kids drawings, I don't know what all! lol

i have papers and all of the above from years ago. I put like, a three month period of all that in a plastic groc bag, and put it away, in case I missed something important in there!

I think I know deep down that I don't really need these things, but by now I'm so overwhelmed by all this, that I'm not sure if it wouldn't be easier to just keep doing it!!

So I would be interested in hearing another point of view on this subject. How do you deal with this, (if you have this problem)
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Dinah, Tweetymom

RIP precious Merlin
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RIP Tweetylove
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#399024 - 04/14/10 03:56 AM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: tweetymom]
jilly Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 1795
Loc: beneath the rim of the Colorad...
LIsa I like the scrapbook idea and the binder idea. I have so many misc papers I do not know what the heck to do with. I think this is an EXCELLENT topic to discuss. I also have several boxes of 'potentially important' boxes to deal with.
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Jilly


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#399025 - 04/14/10 04:11 AM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: jilly]
jilly Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 1795
Loc: beneath the rim of the Colorad...
I guess the important next step for us is to make steps:

1. Set aside time to go through the papers we have and make categories of them.

2. Look at the categories and start thinking about how to sort/store the information. Scan it onto computer files or a disc? create a binder or scrapbook? A lookbook or vision board? A photo gallery or 'past love memory' binder? I do think categorizing is the first step. Then being creative with the piles is the next step.

3. Is there a third step here? If I had the answers I'd tell you. :-) Next person, please take it!
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Jilly


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#399602 - 04/24/10 08:22 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: jilly]
Lisa Shea Online   content

Gold Star Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 6010
Loc: US
Well for receipts and anything non-personal I just scan it. I have an easy auto-feed scanner which I'm sure I've mentioned several times. So you sit watching TV and stick things into it one after another. So anything non-personal definitely gets scanned and recycled.

That leaves me with only personal items. I put all of James' artwork into a binder, with plastic sleeves. So that is done and up. I put all the newspaper copies of things I'd written into scrapbooking boxes. So those are organized and upstairs and done.

My Aunt Dot is 92 and I have a number of letters for her. I'm putting those into my genealogy drawer for now. I think I would want to keep the originals of those.

So the next stack I think is old boyfriend letters, which I was undecided on. I think I will scan those and toss them. I might want to refer back to them at some point, as diary entry sort of things. But I have no need to keep the "originals" for those. So that is my next plan.
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Lisa Shea, Owner

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#399609 - 04/24/10 08:36 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: Lisa Shea]
jilly Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 1795
Loc: beneath the rim of the Colorad...
Maybe the old boyfriend letters, after you scan then, can become part of scrap booking projects. Some kind of memory book where you cut and paste little entires or signatures or any doodles they wrote you, or special lines. Maybe cut out each I Love You and make a montage piece of art.
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Jilly


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#399612 - 04/24/10 08:41 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: jilly]
jilly Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 1795
Loc: beneath the rim of the Colorad...
I have a problem with newsletter articles and newsletter photos I've published. I have literally thousands of published news pieces in many newspapers and magazines. I am so proud of them but do not know what to do with them. I could scan them, but i like having actual copies. Especially the full color front page or front section items, or the ones that won awards.

I really need to take the time some day to find acid free journals to place them in. Some items I want to frame and hang (in my some-day home). In the meantime I have about four huge tupperware bins from Target that store all these things. They get schlepped all over storage to storage. And I do not have time right now to do this project at all.

Any ideas would be appreciated. maybe I can pay someone to handle this for me? I just don't want the pages to get ruined while they wait for me to archive them properly. it's already been longer than ten years on these papers.
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Jilly


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#399617 - 04/24/10 08:49 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: jilly]
Lisa Shea Online   content

Gold Star Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 6010
Loc: US
Jilly - the scrapbooking idea is a cool one. I'll see what I can do.

I have kept my two big boxes of papers so I know what you mean about saving the papers. I like having the physical copies too. Have you trimmed them down to just your pages, and recycled the rest of the pages?
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Lisa Shea, Owner

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#399622 - 04/24/10 09:10 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: Lisa Shea]
jilly Offline
Best Friend

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 1795
Loc: beneath the rim of the Colorad...
Trimming them is hard. Most of the newspapers have stories from me on every page, or have three pieces from me on every page with five photos. So I actually need to have multiple copies of issues in case I wanted to cut things out that have my stuff on both sides of them.

When there are only three reporters and an editor on your weekly newspaper, and you are one of the only two full time reporters/photographers, you tend to write almost the entire paper by yourself.

It's a mess. it's not like everything is great shakes (covering school board and water board meetings is sooo exciting), but the festivals, bank robberies, plane crashes, foster kid series and column pieces are keepers. As are my photos. Going through everything as a full time job would take about a month to sort out.

I have these fantasies that my storage will burn down and set me free. Crazy, eh?
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Jilly


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#399827 - 04/26/10 05:15 PM Re: Organizing Old Papers / Letters [Re: jilly]
Lisa Shea Online   content

Gold Star Soulmate

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 6010
Loc: US
Ah ok that does sound more challenging!
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Lisa Shea, Owner

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