Being an “organized genealogist” is like trying to reach enlightenment. It seems like such an unattainable goal, like me climbing Mount Everest. (I’m lucky if I can climb the stairs sometimes!) However, there are many tips and tricks, blogs, books, magazines and people (they call them “professional organizers”) to help you get and stay organized.
A new Facebook community got me thinking about this topic. Susan Peterson started the community “The Organized Genealogist” which allows genealogists the chance to swap ideas, photos, ask/answer questions and get some great tips on organization geared directly at genealogists. People have been sharing their personal systems for organizing everything from their photos, to their files and research to their entire office. You should go and visit. It is a great group to be a part of.
Currently my office is crammed into our guest bedroom. I mean crammed. I have boxes of books stacked in the corner, bins of office supplies stacked up, two bookshelves over-flowing, a card table, a few piles on the floor, two small filing cabinets, a hutch, on top of the hutch… well you can see for yourself:
There is no way for anyone to use this room! When we have visitors, I have to “clean up” which means put everything into a pile on top of my desk while they are visiting. I’m not saying I mind having visitors, I am saying I mind not having a REAL office.
We have lived in this house for 10 years now, and for the entire time, my dear husband has been “finishing” the basement. Granted, he works a full time job to put food on the table and the roof over our head that houses said basement, however, this summer is the summer of completion! I can count the projects left to complete on one hand: finish the mudding/sanding in one section of the basement (the rest is done), prime that section, paint, carpet, floor/window trim. We did a lot of prep work over the last few weeks to get this ready to finish. We moved a lot of stuff upstairs (the upstairs is a series of piles right now), we stapled and taped plastic to various sections of the basement where we’d like to keep the dust to a minimum, we bought primer and paint, we have some cash set aside for carpet (I hope it’s enough) and we moved as much out of those two rooms as possible to give clear working space for sanding/painting and carpet.
There are basically two large sections to our basement, one will be family/TV/video-game play area and the other, larger section will be our offices. My husband and I will be getting two of those U-Shaped desks to put together, his and her offices. There will be plenty of room for shelves, I have two large filing cabinets already that were given to me (I love free!) and the basement has really nice large windows that let a surprising amount of light in.
So, this fall look for the “grand opening” of GenealogyPants, LLC home offices! I will keep you updated!