Spring is finally here! Well at least for some, it might not feel like it in some areas of the world. Here in Northern New York, where I am currently living, it definitely does not feel like spring yet. Before we know it summer is going to be here though. So do not try to push off your spring cleaning too long. Now is a great time to start working on getting ready for those summertime research binges, whether you are hoping to travel to your favorite repository (fingers crossed they will open soon) or will be sitting in the back yard enjoying the warm weather.
Just like the way we organize our genealogy, our spring cleaning will be unique depending on how we organize it. One system does not work the same for everyone. Below are a few tips that can help you do a little spring cleaning (just kidding, it is probably a lot of spring cleaning) in a way that will help you continue your family history journey, a little more organized.
Stacks of Papers
Do you have a stack or two of research notes and print-offs that you have collected? Try to set aside 30-minutes a day to work on putting these papers where they need to go. It will be much easier to find the information you have when it is in its proper place.
All those images and documents we save to our computer can stack up in the same way paper piles can. The best thing about digital piles is that they are harder to see and are easier to ignore, which is actually a bad thing. Set aside time just as if you were going through your physical paper pile. Go through what you have saved to your computer and place them in digital files that can help you organize. Do not forget to do a backup of your files when you are done. Especially if you are not good about doing a backup of your family history information each month.
Physical vs. Digital
Compare the digital information you have on your virtual family research compared to what you have in your family history binders or folders. If you are like me sometimes you will spend time researching online and won't get a chance to add it to your family binder at that time. By making sure that the information you have is the same across the board, you won't be wasting time researching for information that you might already have.
Websites List Update
Do you keep a list of websites that you use for your genealogy research? One of the best ways I have found to keep track of all the websites I use or find that I would like to look at eventually is to place them into an excel spreadsheet. I am able to quickly add websites I find so later when I need to look up a site I can quickly reference the list. I wanted to share my website list with you for FREE. Click on this link below. You can add, delete or edit it however works best for you.
Check-in with Cousins
When was the last time you checked in with some of your cousins that you have connected with through your family history research? Check-in with them to see what they have been up to and share any new information that you may have discovered about a common ancestor or that you are struggling with. Maybe think about setting up a virtual family reunion for this summer.
Do you have a stack of emails related to genealogy? Try tackling a few each time you open your emails. If you are struggling to keep up with eNewsletters you have subscribed to, maybe think about unsubscribing to a few for now. At least until you can keep up with your incoming email. Work on handling emails by replying or adding information to your family history that someone sent you. This way you can get those emails deleted. If you have too many emails there is a chance of missing an important email that comes in.
Spring cleaning your family history information can seem like a huge task. Honestly, if you break it down and work on it a little each day you will find that you will get through it. Having organized family history helps to save time in the long run because then you truly know what you have and do not have on your ancestors.
If you have tips on ways to spring clean The Simple Living Genealogy Community would love to hear about them. Leave your tip below for everyone to see.
Until next time, take care.