What’s Important?

How To Be Organized – How To Get Organized – Collectibles, Old Photos, Family History

Organizing collectibles, old photos, boxes of old letters and documents, old books from loved ones past on can be a daunting and mind spinning experience. Where do you start? What is your goal? Well, those aren’t really the right questions to ask.

One of my great pleasures since 1978 has been to work on the enormously popular and historical items within the collection of the Historical Department of the LDS Church. One of the oral history researchers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) was in my lab this week interviewing me about the art conservation and restoration work I’ve done for the history department of the Church History Museum over the decades. We discussed my book, How To Save Your Stuff and Ann Marie thought you would be interested, as she was, in this quick tip about how to avoid confusion when getting organized. The video is less than 2 minutes.

Questions? Call Scott Haskins 805 564 4348
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

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Sad Family History Story From Japan’s Earthquake/Tsunami- But A Lesson Can Be Learned

Irreplaceable originals

Ancestors, children growing up, weddings... some are more important than others

From the news… With each passing day after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, more and more poignant stories of survivors and victims are emerging.
Immediately after the quake, Katsutaro Hamada, 79, fled to safety with his wife. But then he went back home to retrieve a photo album of his granddaughter, 14-year-old Saori, and grandson, 10-year-old Hikaru.
Just then the tsunami came and swept away his home. Rescuers found Hamada’s body, crushed by the first floor bathroom walls. He was holding the album to his chest, Kyodo news agency reported.
“He really loved the grandchildren. But it is stupid,” said his son, Hironobu Hamada. “He loved the grandchildren so dearly. He has no pictures of me!”
Grab n’ Go… planning ahead is really a good idea… whether its because of fire, water, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunami… plan ahead. Here are some people’s opinions about the book How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster can help you get ready: http://saveyourstuffblog.com/what-people-are-saying-about-the-book/

Help, I Inherited A Pile Of Family Photos and Scrapbooks!

This question (and answer) is reproduced here for the benefit of all… this is a very common situation that appeals to the heart of family history.

To Scott,

Thank you for the photo archival information that you sent to me as the Preservation Tips that I signed up for on www.saveyourstuffblog.com. It’s been very useful.

I put the info in your book to use recently. I found a ton of photos of my parents from the 1940s on… A lot of photos of my dad’s from WW2. I quickly put them in photo albums to protect them per your recommendation. I, also, found a scrapbook of my Mother’s from the 40s that’s falling apart. She wrote names on the paper pages so I need to retain those mounting pages, but they are disintegrating. The photos are attached with those corner triangular shaped things that the photos slide into. Any ideas?

Louise Elam

Park and Rec Dept. (Care of Public Art Work)

City of Dallas, TX

Family History photos

Piles of family photos handed down from relatives


Congratulations of taking action! There are two things you can/should do:



Is it Family History or Clutter? 3 Tips

What's the difference between clutter and family history?

Clutter or Family History?

Ellen Lupton, the curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the director of the master’s program in graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art recently posted a well written and humorous article in the opinion section of the NY Times about the angst of having inherited stuff from the past. It appears that her need to eliminate clutter trumps her archival gene… something I didn’t expect from a curator.

Here’s the article: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/how-to-lose-a-legacy/?ref=opinion

Of course, you know that there are always opposites in life, even extremes: throw the baby out with the bathwater is at the opposite end of the spectrum as not being able to throw anything away for fear. Some inner emotional balance is required in this discussion that, surprisingly, has a lot at stake. (more…)