I've recently been working with my siblings to clean out our parent's house. They passed away a few years ago and we are finally cleaning out their home of nearly 50 years. The house is in FL and I live in VA, so it makes for a difficult trip, both emotionally and physically. My wife and I came back with a van loaded with boxes and boxes of things to save, mainly books, china, and crystal....
One thing I've learned, is that my parents had TMS -- Too Much Stuff. My wife and I are suffering from TMS too. We hope to keep the stuff minimized and organized for our kids, however our attic is expanding and filling up with more and more stuff.
I've learned a lot about organization by going through my parent's stuff. My mom was a great organizer of parties and civic events. When she began the Spring Pilgrimage to help restore the Thomas Center in Gainesville, she kept all her plans, correspondence, and notes. We have letters to and from the city discussing the event and thanking her for chairing the event. We have party lists including menus and drink lists. She kept EVERYTHING -- leading to TMS.
A friend has DBMS on his desk. Database? No: Don't Buy More Stuff. We suffer from that as well. As we get rid of more stuff, we end up buying more at garage sales and antique shops. I need to frame DBMS over my front door.... Wait, I just got another package with more electronic parts and Arduinos!
How does this tie in with the normal theme of this blog? Organization! I am a mess with physical organization, but I keep my files organized and replicated. I am a strong supporter of version control systems like Subversion (free, open source, runs on Linux, etc.). However, I do tend to keep TOO MUCH digitally. I'll discuss my digital organization in a subsequent post (hopefully).
I can't digitize and electronically organize all my documents, books, videos, crystal, china, etc. I am trying to digitize old photos (yes, I have an 1800's photo folder). It's a long, difficult process.
One fear with digitization is the fear of my documents not being readable in the future, a so-called digital dark age. I try to use open and widely-supported formats, however.... This will be a subject for a subsequent post!