1. Tackle one project at a time, such as going through the file folders of newspaper clippings. Review each one, measure its relevance. Separate piles in subject-like matter. Take each clipping and trim away irrelevant print, but make sure to keep the date and publication info. Repair any rips with preservation double coated tape available at www.amazon.com. Either re-file kept clippings chronologically or place a few notable ones in a scrapbook designed for keeping newspaper. For a wide selection of albums go to Google and typed in scrapbooks for newspaper clippings. A plethora of websites will give you all the help you need to find what you are looking for.2. Paper tubes are wonderful for storing large drawings, poster art, etc. Charlie is an artist. From the time he started to draw, his doodles, drawings and later, his diagrams were of ships. His father and I thought he would pursue a career in technical drawing, but alas, he did not, but to this day, he still draws pictures of ships. As he grew, so did the size of his drawings. The largest is a pencil and ink illustration of his most revered ship, the TITANIC. Charlie made multiple copies of this drawing. He even gave one to his high school teacher on his graduation day, and while he was a docent at our local maritime museum, he presented it to the director of the museum.
Solution to storing large drawings are to store them in paper tubes. Charlie has several of them and one already contained drawings. But he had many others and overwhelmed at how they were all going to fit. So we laid out each and every drawing, unfurling them and making sure frayed edges were smoothed out and rips repaired. Then the drawings were lined up and firmly rolled back into place and slipped into the tube, date and contents noted.
While doing this and before the copies were rolled up, I had Charlie take note of the TITANIC drawing hanging on his wall. I asked him if he saw any difference in the two drawings. At first he said no, but I told him to take a closer look at the writings in the picture. Getting close to it, he exclaimed, “Oh my, the writing is fading!” Yes, it sure was. So I explained how all artwork, be it a painting, photograph, reproduction work, etc., all fade with age and by light. Why do you think art museums take due-diligence protecting their artworks. So now, with him taking care to preserve and protect his drawings, when the day comes and his TITANIC drawing has faded and no longer enjoyable to look at, he can slip the preserved one from out of the tube and replace the faded one, and once again enjoy his master piece. When looking for paper tubes, check out www.uline.com
4. Storing items that are not flat, such as booklets, brochures, maps, and in Charlie's case, maritime memorabilia, such as past ocean liner menus, programs, even tiny ashtrays, need to be preserved in a box that is used exclusively for that purpose. Called "Memory Boxes" they are available at www.punchstudio.com, Michael's Arts & Craft Stores, and Amazon.com. When you use these boxes, to help with organizing the items inside, keep to a theme, i.e.: travel, souvenirs, cards & letters, etc. Make sure fragile items are wrapped in tissue paper, photographs in slip covers, and then fashion a list of contents with dates, places, etc. And don't over-stuff the box. It won't close properly and the idea of preservation is mute.
5. As for Charlie's bag of bags, it's entertaining. If he ever needs an odd gift bag or amusing tissue paper, he's got it. This reminds me of a few words my father said to me time and again: "Lisbit, never throw anything away. You may need it later."