Well, the answer is simple! I’ve been right here, but I haven’t been blogging! Why not you ask?
Well, remember all those binders with all my families in them? Each branch neatly organized, with a cover sheet and all the documentation neatly inserted in sheet protectors? Can you imagine how many binders that took up? And how many sheet protectors I bought? Not to mention the dividers for each section within a section?
This was a picture I posted about 3 years ago of my office area. We have since moved, but those black binders in the picture had multiplied and filled one of those oak bookcases and two shelves of another! Something had to be done so I could have an organized office in our “new” old house. (I can almost date the picture by the computers. I’ve been a Mac person for over three years and them ain’t Macs!)
My solution to the binders full? Well, I still have all the information, but I no longer have the binders. Salvation Army does . . . and some of the sheet protectors and dividers. Here are most of the rest of them! I’m keeping some and giving away others. I have a lot invested in just those alone!
Need some? Come on over! I’ll be more than delighted to share! There are litteraly hundreds there! The next picture shows you how many binders I have left to “work” ~ and I’ll explain that!Each of those binders represent a family line. Some lines had up to 6 or 8 binders full, depending on how many branches off the tree I researched and how much information I found! Church records, tax records, biographies, letters, deeds, court charges, newspaper articles, obituaries, pictures, yada, yada, yada. The more I found, the fatter the binder!
My new system involved a little cash outlay to get started, but now that I have it down to a science and expense under my belt, it’s almost smooth sailing.
The first thing I bought were lateral files. Ikea lateral files. Four of them, plus a corner desk, drawers and two bookshelves. Think I spent a lot on those? Guess again! I bought them on Craigslist over a period of about 6 months, traveling as far as Baltimore to pick them up! This one was my latest and I got it for $75 ~ deal? You bet!The top two pieces are bookshelves (and I like the door over the 2nd one because it hides a whole lot!) the next three are nice drawers for those maps and pictures you can’t stack upright, and the bottom one is a lateral file, like the one next to it in the picture. In stead of huge, fat binders, I now have families in a pendaflex file system.
. . . and each family has there own file. I’ll used John Auxer, of Marietta, Pennsylvania, as an example.Each family member has what I refer to as a “coversheet.” I have listed every known fact in chronologicial order with the source of the information. John had five children, however two of them died young. I have a sheet for each of the daughters who went on to marry and raise their own families.Behind each of those “coversheets” is the documentation for those facts. Everything is in this file. A large envelope at the back holds pictures, and any documentation I don’t want to copy or get rid of. (My grandmother’s wedding announcement, my father’s passport, etc.)
Now I know you may be thinking, just organizing everything in a pendaflex file and getting rid of binders couldn’t save all that space ~ and you’d be right! The key to saving all that space involved another expense.
I bought a new printer. I bought a Lexmark Pinnacle printer. The salesman sold me on it for one reason, and one reason only. I was going to buy another “throw away” but he explained to me that black ink for this printer was only FIVE DOLLARS a cartridge, AND for every five you buy, you get one free, and for every five you recycle you get one free! That worked right into my plan!
The plan? Well my plan was to double side everything in my files and that is what I’ve been doing for about six months. Binder by binder, document by document, everything is two sided in my files! And yes, black ink really is only $5 and yes, I’ve sent back my cartridges and got a free one for each five I send back, and yes, I do get a free one for every 5 I buy!
I love my new printer! and I love my new organized office!
My Ikea filing cabinets ~ they go great against my red wall, don’t they?This is the south wall in my office ~ I bought a little table to sit under the window and work on my jewelry creations ~ as though I don’t have enough to keep me busyand my wonderful, big desk (the more places to stack things!) and my wonderful, wonderful printer sitting on it! With such a nice area to work in, I’ll be back blogging soon ~ I only have a couple more binders to organize and
I’ve got a lot of catch up to do!