1 Thing I’m occupied with at the moment is: I’m changing my mother’s archive from about 10 boxes of “paper stuff” from her whole life into neatly categorized reference work in time order. Only in the beginning had she put together letters from an acquaintance, but for the rest, pieces of paper on top of each other (from correspondence of families, friends and acquaintances, financial, all kinds of notes, coupons, clipped out pictures and texts, half used workbooks, poems, to magazine and newspaper clippings) all stemmed from different times in her life, mostly without a date and no or abbreviated addressee.
How do you tidy up this enormous mess? The only way to find out what the letters and notes were about was to make a genealogy from her brothers and sisters, father and mother, uncles and aunts, and mapping everyone else she had corresponded with. That way at least I could see to whom she was writing and whom she was writing about.
This is my archiving expertise. As a secretary I was renowned for my clarifying filing, because I put myself in the place of the person I filed for, taking into account their way of thinking and working.
In my teens, when I lived at my parents’ home, I tidied up their home many, many times. The key to tidying up is categorizing things. Making a map of where and how you want to access things, to keep the overview. Your decision where to place things so that they best suit your way of working, is a direct result from your goals in life and the way you want to achieve those.
And then there is the logic on which you base your choices and decisions about what and how to tidy up, what to keep or clear away.