Facing boxes filled with old letters, bank statements, tax records, newspaper clippings, and more is a daunting task. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming. Remember, no one said everything had to be done immediately. Boxes of paperwork may need to be reviewed a little at a time.
Perhaps your family trend was to keep very little from past generations. That makes things you may find even more precious. On the other hand, perhaps your family saved all sorts of documents for those “just in case I need it” moments that never happened. The documents are just waiting to be found in boxes long forgotten.
First, like taking on any huge task, do it one bite at a time. If you plan to preserve some treasures for generations to come, this is likely not the time for your craftsmanship to come into play. For heirloom documents and photos, you need a professional who is skilled in preservation techniques. They can work with you to showcase those memories in the best way possible – perhaps as framed works, collages, albums, etc. – while protecting delicate documents/photos.
You may want to create a memory book for each sibling or for certain family members. You may create a preservation book for children born later who never got to meet many of their relatives. Each person has their own thoughts and levels of sentimentality.
Perhaps a shadow box with an item of clothing, a piece of a hand-stitched quilt, a handkerchief, or a recipe card is a treasure you’d like to preserve and protect. Items created or written by a family member are worth saving. Grandma’s biscuit recipe, framed with a photo of her hand mixer and a piece of tablecloth, is a wonderful addition to your kitchen. A family christening gown preserved under glass and hung in a nursery is a time-honored tribute.
Taking a stroll down memory lane by digging through old boxes is like opening the door to the past. So, plan those trips with care and enjoy the journey. Celebrate your family – past, present, and future. Memories are made to last.