Thursday, February 8, 2024

What to Do with Old Documents?

We got a bunch of boxes full of old documents from my childhood home. It probably came from Mom's old steel cabinet. I wasn't hopeful since the steel cabinet stank. I requested the decluttering team if they could clean it a bit. They did their best and I was short of wearing a gas mask and hazmat suit when I went through the documents. 

We got busy with tests and doctor appointments so we left the boxes outside our family room. Few weeks later it started to really stink a lot! Ugh. I spent last weekend sorting through it. I wore a mask and gloves. The blue gloves I used turned grey after I finished sorting the documents. 

My Dad didn't have a lot of things, but he had a lot of documents because he was a lawyer. He was into corporate law and later on did real estate cases too. I asked advise from a lawyer on what to do with decades old documents, he said I could dispose it already since all notarized documents are submitted to the court. He said it's best to burn it. I said we'll just shred it so it can properly be recycled. (I also figured out that most of my Dad's clients are gone too, so no one will really look for the docs. Dad's been gone for 13 years now).

My Mom, on the other hand, rarely wrote. She's the one who kept things organized. The only documents that were personal to her were her garden club lists. I'm actually surprised there were very few CWL related literature, just some random certificates that were not given out. Of course, all the bills were there, Meralco, Nawasa/Maynilad, PLDT etc. were there. She never threw away anything, haha. We normally only keep up to five years of bills, then we scan and shred it. If you take over a house anyway, you just need the real property title to transfer ownership of utilities plus a recent bill. 

Other old documents I found were letters, post cards, some random photos, and certificates. Most interesting were my Papa Lolo's transfer documents signed by Mayor Leon Guinto. Also found Papa Lolo and Mama Lola's original marriage certificate. My Mama Lola was just 16 when she married Papa Lolo who was 24 years old at that time. I'm hoping to find their wedding photos since I've never seen it. 

My Dad used to write to my Mom a lot when they were dating. Mom kept those earlier letters since she only gave me those that Dad wrote closer to when they got married. I think she kept it from me because they were still students when they started dating. Dad would write to her so they could meet up. He was quite busy though since he was a medical student at that time. I hope to find some note or writing on when he decides to shift to law. 

Of course, I'm keeping the letters, certificates, Dad's multitude of writings and letters to the editor (as far as the 70s!). I plan to scan them so I could share to family. I'm just thinking at least Miggy won't have to sort through my writings since they're all here on my blog, haha. All of Sweetie's love letters before we got married went under water due to Typhoon Ondoy. He's the one keeping the notes and cards post-Ondoy (and he sometimes scans it haha). My clutter will be digital, lelz.

I've been able to trim down the multitude of boxes to one filing box. I sorted the documents and categorized them into envelopes. Some I will give back to my cousins since Mom had kept documents for her siblings too. I think there's still more to sort. Oh well, good luck to me!

#BeKind #StaySafe 

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