Working on genealogy means collecting up piles of papers that contain details about your ancestors. It means gathering up books and newspapers that are useful resources. It means keeping a collection of family photographs and stories. It might mean filling notebooks with notes, sketches of family trees, and names of websites. Often, it means covering your kitchen table with all of these accumulated items. If your family members have started complaining about not being able to use the kitchen table for the purpose it was intended to be used for, it is time to find better ways to store things!
Start with the books. Return anything that is overdue to your library immediately. The remaining books need to go back on your bookshelves. Are you out of room? You can get a second bookshelf. Or, you can sort through the books and weed out the ones that you do not absolutely need. Consider donating these genealogy books to your local library, or your genealogy group. In the future, you might want to get a digital book reader, and browse through eBooks instead of physical ones.
Another great idea is to go digital. Use a digital camera to make a copy of your old family photos. These copies can be stored on an external hard drive, where you can access them with just a few clicks of your mouse. These digital copies won’t age, fade, or become damaged, no matter how many times you view them. If you know how to properly scrapbook, you can store the original copies of your family photos in the form of a scrapbook. Use archival materials, to avoid problems with acids.
Scan your handwritten notes into your computer for easy storage and retrieval as well. You can store the piles of papers in a file cabinet, or even a plastic storage tub that comes with an airtight lid. The tub can be stored in a closet, in your garage, or a table.