Above all else, Take Stock

Family Mementos, photos, documents, and prized possessions. Over 3000 items ready to scanned.

Do you work in retail?

Or maybe you’re a farmer or a nurse.

Jobs that serve others have one important task that needs to be performed regularly, a good old fashioned stocktake.

My first job was a cadet accountant at the State Railways of N.S.W and I remember the one task all cadets dreaded was having to take stock; ironbark railways sleepers aren’t the most interesting of stock items. The audit senior enjoyed  scheduling them during a hot summer day – so hot the iron rails would buckle under the Sydney sun.

Thankfully doing a stock take of family keepsakes can be done inside your home and can be a rewarding experience. Well in theory it should be.

I’ve noticed when listening to audiences speak about family prized possessions that few people consider doing a stock take of their family documents and photos. Now there is an important difference in a railway sleeper stocktake and a family keepsake stocktake. When we counted ironbark railway sleepers we had to reconcile to exact numbers. When you take stock of own keepsakes at home you only need do a considered ballpark estimate. What’s a ball park estimate? It’s an approximate number – a rough sizing – and doesn’t have to be exact.

Here’s a good tip for a quick way to take stock of your family keepsakes. Classify your keepsakes into four main classification groups.

They are:

internal documents (DI) that haven’t been printed or published externally,

external documents (DE) printed or published externally,

photographic media (PM) and

prized possessions (PP).


What I’d recommend is doing an estimate of the first three groups DE,DI and PM).Gather all the keepsake documents and photos related to just one Family Group and display them on the dining room table, or lounge room floor. Grab a piece of paper and write the three categories (DI,DE,PM) down one side and place your Family Group Code on the top.

Family Inventory Template

Ballpark estimate for family inventory


Now grab you camera and take a picture of this family groups keepsakes.

Once you’ve photographed them you could also do a video explaining the importance of the items and keep this video along with the inventory in your Family Group inventory folder.


Now that you’ve completed that photo documentation you need to size up  how many document, and photos you have for this one Family Group. When I completed this step I was overwhelmed at the number that we had accumulated.


I knew that if we were to have a fire that we’d be incapable of rescuing the volume of keepsakes that we had inherited and accumulated.

Having a portable hard drive stored offsite containing eleven thousand digital images has given our family a digital life raft.


Start saving your family keepsakes today by reading Digital Dreaming.

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About Soul Assets

Soul Assets exists for a soul purpose, to educate families with survival skills to KEEP family knowledge in the Information Age. Soul Assets is the place for families to share skills of the Family Knowledge Process. Imagine, fifty years from now, people inheriting keepsakes that are welcomed by the next family because they were treasured as Soul Assets.