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Decluttering the Genealogy Office

December finds me taking a hiatus from active genealogical research. I devote the time instead to finishing up my research project for the year and cleaning up my office.

Now that January has arrived, I have a less cluttered workspace. Over the holidays, I worked to get rid of some materials I no longer need:

  1. Our office worktable had several stacks of work in progress. I admit they were all mine. I discarded or filed most of them, and now we have some clear space available.
  2. Many years ago, I joined a couple of genealogical societies that published monthly or quarterly newsmagazines. I saved them all. Last year I realized that much of the material in these magazines was time sensitive and of no use today. I went through these back issues, preserved the articles worth keeping, and discarded the rest. This freed up some valuable shelf space in the office.
  3. Several years ago, I inherited a cousin’s research library and work. The books sit on shelves, and file cabinets hold her research papers. And then there is The Box. Full of miscellaneous material, it sits on the office floor. I have begun working through it to file or discard its contents. Before long, I will be able to remove the empty box from our office.

My office remains stuffed with genealogical material despite this effort. I simply have too much, and many things from the cousin relate to her family, not mine. I need to get rid of it, and I have a plan to deal with that.

Instead of waiting until next December to resume the decluttering, I plan to go through the office systematically. Taking one drawer, one shelf, or one notebook at a time, I will work on purging something of the contents every day.

I wonder what my office will look like next December.

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