In preparation for a recent get down and get serious sorting session with Mom, I made a list of things I thought might be helpful. I figured since we were getting serious about going through over 50 years worth of stuff, I should be prepared for anything. Remember, my parents are Depression Era Babies - they saved EVERYTHING. Here's what I came up with as well as some thoughts and notes on what did/didn't work, what I did/didn't need and what I wished I had come prepared with.
Camera - charged
I used it to take pictures of items that I thought were important to our family. I wish I had come prepared with an extra memory card. I didn't think I would be able to fill mine up but alas, I forgot I had a ton of family snapshots still on it.
Camcorder - charged
I ended up not using the camcorder. It turns out the camera and audio recorder worked out fine.
I picked up a pocket sized recorder at Target for this project. It's my new best friend! I just set it out and when mom (or someone else) started talking about something interesting that I would want to remember, I just pushed the record button. Of course, I let everyone know ahead of time what I was going to be doing. If anyone had any reservations or didn't want something they were about to say recorded, they could tell me and the recorder would not be turned on. The audio recorder saved me having to stop and write things down and interupt the train of thought of whoever was talking for clarification on something. A couple of times I let it run for 15 or 20 minutes because little tidbits kept coming up.
Now I can go back, relisten and incorporate all of the important information into my notes, heirloom book, etc. It should improve accuracy quite a bit.
Extra batteries for all of the above
Fortunately, they weren't needed but they were there just in case.
Spiral notebook & pen
I did use this to make a few notes and list some "To Do" items.
Tags/sticky pads/colored dots
These ended up being used to mark some items with who it belonged to in the past. A very basic provenance. We are also using them to mark items that someone in the family would like to have someday.
Boxes to put things in to be donated or given to someone and a wastebasket
These were handy to have as it saved the extra step of packing things up later. Besides once the decision was made - the item was outta there!
That was the preparation. Next week I'll talk about the adventure and the sorting.
Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum