One Drawer a Day

DrawersThis week, sort, clean and organize just one drawer per day that might hold family history paperwork or artifacts.

By Mary V. Danielsen: Documented Legacy, LLC

Bring it out of hiding and assess it. What purpose do these items hold for you? What stories do they hold that advance your family history?

Keep Post-It notes on hand to help you label the piles.


  • Sort-Scan-Save-Toss-Share-Sell
  • Keep the shredder handy to rid your home of unnecessary or duplicate papers.
  • Clutter is stress and stress is clutter.
  • Be thoughtful in evaluating the items for your collection.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it vital?
  • Does it add color to your story?
  • Is it interesting but not archival material?

In the latter case, it may just be worth writing a story about it and/or taking a photo but not keeping it. It may not be worth the cost of rehousing in archival materials and preserving.


A fun family history treasure hunt to create in your home is to sort through an old sewing kit, the gadget drawer in your kitchen or the old tool box. Most often, when you look into something with a history, you will find a connection back in time.

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