What To Do Before Downsizing Your Home Or Genealogy Files

It’s hard to believe but someday you will face the challenge of downsizing your home and your genealogy files. Before you begin, take time to do this one very important task that few people do but wish they had.


Stop and Take Pictures


Much context is available in the arrangement of the things in our homes and genealogy files. Before you begin downsizing, take a ‘BIG’ picture.

  1. Step outside and photograph the home, cottage, or apartment building. Where appropriate photograph the other buildings on a property (barn, shed, guest house, etc).

  2. Step back inside and photograph the rooms of a home. Take pictures of each room from multiple vantage points to truly encapsulate the place you live or where your loved one lived.

  3. Then zoom in on a few key areas within each room. The pianos, the kitchen tables, the office desk, and the living room couches. Highlight the ‘zones’ where the activity took place in each living space.

  4. For genealogy papers, photograph the organization (or lack thereof) of the entire collection. Photograph the shelves of binders, the boxes of photos, the wall of pictures, and so on.

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Why Photograph Before Downsizing Your Home or Genealogy Files?


After you downsizing, your household goods, keepsakes, and genealogy files will never be together again in the same configuration. By photographing a home, you can take people back in time to the family gatherings, daily living, and so much more.

Robert Zumstein family home from Gainsborough, Lincoln, Ontario Canada. c 1981

In this photo, I can only dream of what the home was like on the inside for the Zumstein house in Ontario, Canada.

Penny Geiszler’s China Cabinet, c. 1984

These pictures take me back in time to my mother’s home and the treasures in every room.


Need more Downsizing Tips?

  1. Check out our YouTube Video about Downsizing While Preserving Your Family History

  2. Order the book Downsizing With Family History in Mind available at Amazon.com.


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