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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  June 2006, Week 1

ARCHIVES June 2006, Week 1

Subject:

Disposal [was RE: Archives II - getting out, etc. [was Fwd: Re: Retirement of Tom Brown]

From:

Maarja Krusten <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Maarja Krusten <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 1 Jun 2006 14:23:15 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

Excellent points, Sonny and Dean.  When the remnants of Hurricane Isabelle moved northwards and hit the Washington area in 2003, I had to give some thought, for the first time, as to what might happen if my roof was damaged, etc.  We rarely think about these things in the DC area, although we occasionally get some fierce storms that track our way (Hazel, Agnes, Gloria).  I consider myself lucky in comparison to those of you in LA, FL, etc.  We lost a tree in the backyard but otherwise escaped damage from the wind and torrential downpours.  Before Isabel hit, I put some of my "must have" documents in a zippered plastic tote bag and also stored some other precious items in relatively waterproof storage tubs.  Of course, in the post-9/11 environment, they're always encouraging people to have "go bags" at the ready.  How and where those without cars (such as I) ever would "go" is another matter, LOL.

Actually, Sonny, I understand what you and your foster son are thinking.  Losing things or losing someone precious to you does change your perspective.  And yes, it is awfully sad to have to sort through the things accumulated by a loved one, I sympathize a great deal with what you went through with your parents.

I always envisioned growing old with my twin sis.  Obviously, that's not going to happen, now.  There are so many things I look at differently, knowing I don't have her around any more.  I just don't value "things" so much, relationships are much more important to me.  I recently had a roll of completed film in my camera from Christmas 2004 for a year before I bothered to take it out for developing.  I always associated sharing pix of Christmas etc. with my sis, without her, there doesn't seem to be much point in even taking pictures.  I know you don't want to hear that, Sonny, :-)

After I retire, which won't be for a few more years, I plan to spend a lot of time sorting through stuff and downsizing at home, even though I plan to continue living in the same house for some time to c ome.  Of course, if you don't have children, you view things differently.  For me, there will be no one to pass stuff on to, no one closely related by blood, anyway.  So you really start thinking about downsizing.  I'd rather do that in a controlled, phased way, disposing of things over years, rather than be confronted by it all at once whenever I move out of my house.  I've started discouraging people from giving me many presents, I just don't need knickknacks, etc. *  although I still welcome books!!   In my case, I have SO many books, some of which I'll keep longer than others.  My ever helpful boyfriend kindly has promised to help drive me to places where I can donate some of my books, LOL.  

As to the workplace, I really would advise people to carefully segregate, mark and file separately what are personal materials and what are work-related or official records in your office or cubicle.  Better that than inadvertently mingle medical information, personal financial stuff, etc. with your work related files.  And leave all that for your colleagues and records managers to sort through, in a worst case scenario.  Of course, it's best to keep that stuff to a minimum at the office, but we all know people bring in or generate personal stuff in the office some times.  Segregation of personal versus work-related will make it easier for those who might have to sort through and do disposal.  

As you all know from my yapping over the years, we who worked at NARA's Nixon Project faced so many problems due to the legal need to segregate "personal returnable" from "governmental" in Nixon's tapes and files.  As you've seen in my many prior postings, Nixon, not NARA, ended up defining the issues in court.  That never should have been the case.  I fervently hope that doesn't ever happen to any of you, may you all on the List be blessed with stand-up bosses who look at the longterm and institutional effects of their actions regarding their subordinates!

Thanks again, Sonny, and my condolences on your losses!

Excellent point about the tape seals, double strapping, etc., Dean, I really appreciate your tips!  In 2003, I did some of the things you described but picked up some extra hints from your posting today.

Maarja


>>> "Sonny Carter" <[log in to unmask]> 6/1/2006 12:35 PM >>>
 Maarja wrote:
 "Wow, I wouldn't want to burden anyone with too much stuff to go
through, I gotta start throwing stuff away" in my office!


Yeah, I sure understand that one.  I was "Lead Researcher" last year
after both of my parents passed away.  They had been retired for 30
years after a military career of 30 years.  

The accumulation was unbelievable.  They also had been gardeners, so the
little plastic bowls and the like that they saved "because it might be
useful" was in the thousands.  

Not like the pack-rat houses you sometimes hear about, but it looked
like they never threw anything away.   The storage building in back was
held up by the contents.   It took two large dumpsters, and several
sessions of lining the curb with full contractors bags to finish the
chore.
It was an unbelievably sad thing to have to do.

Anyhow, I took the same attitude as you, and came back home, hoping to
clean stuff up, but it is so very hard to do.   Even after a year, I
still have rented temporary storage for the overflow at my home.  

I recently had a conversation with my grown foster son.   He lost
everything to Hurricane Katrina; all their clothes, all the toys,
furniture, and all the family pictures.  Oh yeah, also the new home they
had recently built.  He and wife and three young boys have moved to the
North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.   He says "The experience has totally
changed my attitude about keeping things, and what is important to me.
I just don't keep things that I might miss if I lost them again."   

I don't really know where I'm going with these thoughts, especially
given the business I'm in.


Sonny Carter
http://www.sonc.com 
Digital Imaging Specialist
Cammie G. Henry Research Center
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Natchitoches, LA

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