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Clutter Bother You? Don't Throw Out The baby With The Bathwater! 5 VERY Helpful Tips
From:
Scott M. Haskins --  Art Damage Expert Witness Scott M. Haskins -- Art Damage Expert Witness
Santa Barbara , CA
Thursday, February 04, 2010


 
For Immediate Release- Modify as needed

For more information contact:

Scott M. Haskins

Best_artdoc@yahoo.com

805 564 3438 tel

805 568 1178 fax


Clutter Bother You?

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater!

5 VERY helpful tips…


We've all got piles of stuff. And it gets really bothersome, especially for someone who aspires to being organized. But ask yourself, "Really! What is 'organized'?"

Yes, I know there are books and courses on being clutter free... even organizations similar to AA that want you to go on a 12 step program. From the results of a Google search, you'd think it was a pathological psychological mental disease.

There are extremes: I've known people who barely have a pathway wide enough for a thin person to pass through their house through the piles of clutter. And I've seen a family sell EVERYTHING they own and dispose of all memories/traces of their past in an effort to live a lifestyle unattached to physical items. I'm NOT writing this article to or about those folks.

My parents weren't exactly polar opposites but my Dad was unemotional and unattached to stuff… including the things that normally would document a person's life. My Mom was creative and loved to gather things that made life more fun and documented our lives. I kind of got the archivist gene passed onto me. I could always be better organized but my life is not a mess. Most of us just want to be a little more organized… but at the risk of what? It's a common fear to clean up the clutter because "What if you throw something important away?!!!!" At one level of intensity or another we all feel this to some degree.

As humans, we are wired with two instincts, usually: 1. To gather things that are important to our lives and 2. protect and save those important items. That's what history is made of. Imagine a world or society without history. Imagine a family without history.

Put, you are right, we don't need to keep everything. So how do you choose your priorities when you want to start eliminating things? Here are 5 VERY helpful hints:

1. Important legal, vital documents – Gather your passports, birth certificates, wedding certificates, christening documents, driver licenses etc.

2. Other major important legal docs – IRS returns, car ownership slips, titles on real estate, bank records, loan docs

3. Historical documents – college degrees and certificates, important love letters, important letters from family, historical personal and family news clippings

4. The most important photos! Ancestor's photos, weddings, family portraits, photos of important events

5. What has financial, historical or emotional value to your family? Ask your kids; they will have a different perspective than you.

With a little imagination, you can easily substitute business/work/office terms in this list.

Not only do I strongly urge you with all my heart not to throw out the baby with the bath water, but I'm going to ask you to do one more BIG thing in the interest of preserving your story (or your company's vital info) and emergency/disaster preparedness, especially important if you live in area prone to natural disasters:

Make a copy on a LaserWriter of the docs included in your list (above) and

1. put a copy in a safe place off premises (out of your home or office) and

2. send a copy out of town to another friend or relative to keep for you.

Just having a copy on a hard drive isn't archival. Having a copy on a CD or hard drive will not be readable by the technology in 10 years. It will be so outdated that you won't be able to retrieve the info.

An option, however, are some on-line storage services that allow you to download your docs onto their server. They also provide "redundancy" a favorite word for multiple locations of storage so no one location could get knocked out by a disaster. But be careful about information security. Storage services can run from $10 per year to $25 per month!

This suggestion may make it possible for you to reopen your business after a disaster! This may be the suggestion that saves your family history even if you are blown to OZ and in the middle of total devastation. Think of the peace of mind!

Get more free tips from Scott M. Haskins by going to www.saveyourstuff.com

Scott M. Haskins, dubbed "The Preservation Coach" by NewsWire is author of "How to Save Your Stuff From A Disaster," a non-technical book with instructions on how to protect and save your family history, heirlooms and memorabilia (www.saveyourstuff.com.com). Free Spanish language material can be found at www.salvesuscosas.com.

He has worked in both Europe and the U.S. as a professional conservator for the last 35 years. He has been personally involved in nine "major" California disasters and has consulted with people on innumerable other accidents, nationwide. He works with the general public, historical societies, museums, corporations, private collectors, art galleries, state governments and the federal government. He is an expert witness in the Los Angeles Supreme Court system and on the part of the federal government regarding public art issues. He has done consultation work for Pope John Paul's family, the Shroud of Turin project and the Getty Conservation Institute among many others.

He writes articles and contributes regularly to blogs, e-zines and newsletters. He provides free content to organizations who distribute educational emergency preparedness content and required content for Homeland Security Emergency Plans. He wrote a free booklet entitled "How To Respond After An Earthquake" for the Bank of America Corporation of which over 500,000 copies were distributed through their Human Resource Depts after the Northridge Earthquake.

 
Scott M. Haskins
Conservator, Author
www.saveyourstuff.com
Santa Barbara, CA
805-564-3438