People are often amazed at the amount of family stuff we have. Well, I come from a long line of savers, and being the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family; I inherited a lot of stuff. Some of it was wonderful like great dishes and furniture; but a lot of it we are still wondering what on earth we are supposed to do with it!!! Among the questionable items are 17 World War II ammunition boxes full of papers from the paternal side of my family; and that are now stored in our shed.
That's right - 17 of these huge things. They are about 12" wide, 18" tall, and 40" deep, and they are full of cancelled checks; receipts; birth, confirmation, and death certificates; bill of sales; and lists of this and that dating from the 1880s up through the 1960s. If you need to know how much it cost to ship a load of sheep on the railroad in 1927, I probably can find a piece of paper that tells you.
As an example of what we are up against, we recently found this envelope with this note in my great-grandmother's handwriting. We laughed at how ridiculous this was. Not only was she NOT going to get rid of these useless papers; BUT my family has kept them since her death in 1951.
By the time this had filtered down to me, all that was in the envelope was this 1937 receipt.
Now, pray tell, what am I suppose to do? Do I destroy something that has been kept all of these years? Of course, we'll keep the birth, etc. certificates -- some of them have lovely graphics and are important family history.
But, some of this stuff is meaningless -- just old.
I've about come to the conclusion just to keep it out in the shed in the waterproof World War II ammunition boxes; and leave it to my kid's discretion after I'm gone. Sounds like a solution to me -- after all that's what my ancestors did.