Mom had pulled out some papers—the hospital bill for my aunt’s birth, the building materials order for the family’s first home—and the rest were in what-do-we-do-with-this? limbo.
Of course, I had to go through it all. I took a bunch of papers, including the bill for Mom’s first communion around 1954
and the receipts for her second-grade schoolbooks (someone played connect-the-dots on the back)
and 12th-grade tuition (including a $25 graduation fee).
I’ll definitely save stuff related to my mom. But what about the other kids’ schoolbook lists, random furniture receipts, a refrigerator repair ticket, ancient correspondence from an insurance company, BBB reports on business schools an aunt was thinking about attending, and similar items?
Theoretically, it’s great to keep every piece of paper. But with limited space and crowded lives, reality demands most of us be choosy about what we save. What would you do with these papers? Click Comments (below) to reply.
Added to my to-do list: Review the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine guide for what to do when you inherit the family archives (print copies are sold out, but this issue is available as a PDF download). And if you’re considering donating family materials to a historical archive, see the advice on our Now What? blog.