[APG Public List] Advice on organization

Ray Beere Johnson II raybeere at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 21 12:06:02 MDT 2009

--- On Wed, 10/21/09, Denise Mc Enerney <denise at macrep.com> wrote:
> It turns out that she has about 5 banker boxes of mostly letters 
> between many family members; interspersed with written works,
> certificates (mostly from educational institutions I believe), diaries,
> I feel this is a perfect worse-case scenario

     Worst case? Not in my experience! This woman and her family don't even count as "keepers". Yes, some families do throw out a lot, of course, but between my experience with my own family - _REAL_ "keepers", and the estate sales I used to visit, I've seen far worse. Enough to know I never wanted to accept those kinds of clients. :-)
     I don't know how much is cultural: New England Yankees are real hoarders. But anything under a couple of dozen banker's boxes - with another dozen or more for photos - fails to even register. Most of the keepers I know have at least one room, 10' x 10' or better, crammed full to the ceiling with "stuff".
     The worst I've ever seen was one family up in Maine that had an entire barn stuffed with papers and photos stacked in wooden crates and cardboard boxes. Probably not in very good shape, of course, but this was a _big_ barn that had once held roughly a hundred cows, and there wasn't even enough space left in there to get more than twenty feet or so inside, and _that_ was a pretty narrow corridor. God only knows what must have been in there; the family had lived in the same place (enlarged over time) for about two hundred years. I was told the lofts were full, too, but I wasn't exactly in a position to verify that. :-)
     Note that I'm limiting myself here to individuals or families who were _not_ "junk dealers". There was one guy who had an old hotel in Rhode Island, and another who had a sprawling factory building in Connecticut, who ought to be in the record books. :-D In the last few decades, the economy has driven most of the more extravagant junk dealers out of business, but there are still old folks and families tucked away here and there who would shock you with the amount of stuff they've got stashed away - especially if you think a mere 5 banker's boxes full of papers is anything even close to "worst case".
                              Ray Beere Johnson II


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