As you narrow down and sort through these old memories, you will determine which items will mean something to the children or grandchildren and which will only mean something to you.
But these days it’s not just the boxes, it’s also the e-mail messages on your computer. Some of them will have to leave. Some of them will be valuable.
The question is what should stay on the computer. Some sources say: Keep nothing. Delete anything personal.
You should ask yourself what, if anything, should be seen if you are no longer there to explain it.
The delightful messages that meant so much can be passed on to senders with a note. Tell the sender that you are cleaning up your computer and going through the note. Say how much it meant to you and why. Then delete it. Print it if you must, but delete the email.
The bad and the ugly:
The problem with email is that people send it impulsively. What they say (and what you may have said) probably shouldn’t have lived a single day, much less a lifetime. But those nasty messages are there, buried deep within the computer, ready to be reviewed. Delete them.
In fact, remove anything untoward, embarrassing, or secret — not that too much of the stuff emailed is secret, but still.
You can start by searching by email address. Scan to see if something is worth keeping. If you don’t see anything, delete all messages in that email. Do this for every friend and family member.
Find out how to clear your browser history and do it. Nothing is more misleading to others than the history of what you have watched online.