Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dealing with Stress

I'm still working on ways to cope with stress in my life (without stressing myself out about how to de-stress!).

In addition to these strategies, I recently decided to dedicate two full days to re-organizing our house. I know not everyone gets unconsciously or consciously stressed out by clutter, but I do.

It's a catch-22 because I don't like to pick up clutter and yet I don't like having it around. Argh!

Even worse, the more stressed I am, the messier things get, and the less I feel like I have time to pick things up.

I decided to stop the cycle and just spend two days organizing our craft room and bedroom. Our closets still had stacks and stacks of book boxes from our move over a year ago. I decided to go through hundreds of books and get rid of the ones I've been saving but not using since high school.

Since I've invested thousands of dollars in books over the years, I decided to try to resell them at a local used bookstore. My piles and piles of books amounted to a whopping $83. I almost cried.

Even worse, Matt and I used the money to buy some new [used] books. We got the Lonely Planet guided to British Columbia for our trip this summer, and I bought two other books:
  1. Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight: 52 Amazing Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change by Karen Scalf Linamen
  2. Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf
That left us with only $40 to show for my 14 years of books. [insert soft whimper]

Oh well. It feels better to have less clutter.

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megan said...

omg. ok, thank you so much for that post! we moved a month and a half ago, and it feels like the boxes will never be gone. it also helps me to realize i'm not lazy for not getting it all together right away. life gets in the way, and sometimes i would rather sit on the couch with my computer than unpack, you know? thankfully, i'm not alone.

and bummer about the books. HOWEVER, congrats on the motherhood book. i'm glad you're getting all of your ducks in a row before trying to conceive. some people just don't do that.

Sarah said...

For next time! You might be able to get a bigger tax write-off by donating them to Goodwill.

That being said, I totally get you on stuff being "worthless" (especially with technology... ugh)

Phoe said...

I'm also one who does not like clutter but is not always interested in preventing it.


spanishteacher83 said...

I am going through the exact same thing right now. My partner and I are stressed by illness, new jobs, a move, frequent travel, etc...It wasn't until said partner starting throwing laundry baskets around the bedroom in frustration (sounds scary, but actually kind of funny...maybe you had to be there...) to realize that our post-move clutter was not helping our stress level. Spending an hour cleaning the bedroom has made a huge difference.

Kelsey said...

I totally agree about the clutter! We have been doing lots of painting and furniture re-arranging at our new house so I'm feeling a bit overwhlemed too. But we recently went through all of our old school binders and recycled YEARS worth of knowledge. We really didn't need all of our class notes from every year of college and grad school. It was very satisfying and freed up lots of room so that was a small victory.

Something that works for me: I have a good friend who also loves to organize so sometimes we'll have an "organization date" even though she's in TX and I'm in AZ. We both plan to organize around the same time and check up on each other, kind of cheesy but it's fun and is good motivation.

A Los Angeles Love said...

The pile of clothes on the bedroom chair is just calling for a de-cluttering day. As is the pile of old paperwork and mail on my desk. I swear we were organized a month ago...

Good reminder. Agreed on the too-much-stress and need to de-clutter.

nina said...

I fell exactly the same way about clutter--it stresses my out, but then when I'm super busy with school and work, it seems to get away from me and then I'm more stressed out!

The Websters said...

AMAZON.com next time! You'll make way more. it's really not that much work. I get excited each time a book sells...even though i know we paid way more than we are getting back. It's getting that book out of my house and into someone's hands who wants it.

Emma said...

But you got a great book for "free" out of it! Misconceptions is a wonderful book. I've been debating motherhood for a while now and this book was really insightful for my partner and I. Enjoy the reading!

Swiss Avenue said...

Wow, I bet that organizing felt good! When I want to de stress I make crafts! Check out my give a way today and you can see/ possibly win it!!


solson said...

I know exactly how you feel Sara! I'm a cut paper illustrator and over the years have amassed a huge collection of handmade papers, basically out of love for the paper itself! I enjoy working on a small scale, so it was clear as I was cleaning out my studio on Sunday that it would take forever for me to use it all up. My cleaning was spurred upon an invitation to be a guest speaker on cut paper at my alma matter and I had a brilliant idea that I could literally cut my paper collection in half and give it to the students I would be teaching...after all, wouldn't it be better to be altruistic with hopes that these sheets of paper could become great works of art instead on hanging in my closet for 100 years? Well, while it took a few deep breaths to cut everything in half and make a pile to give away, that was nothing compared to watching the pile disappear with ravenous gluttony and then realizing that not only did they take the pile I meant to give away, but some students found their way into my personal stash that I meant to keep! I was apparently so ruffled up that I woke up at 3 AM fussing about this paper I had lost that they could never value as much as if they had collected it themselves. I still feel good that I have a lighter load and probably did help on some level, but I should have been better prepared and watched my own stash much more closely. *Sigh*

Amber said...

When I moved last I went to Half.com to see which books might be even a little bit more valuable and listed those. Then a lot got donated to the local library and a few others sold at my moving sale.

Anonymous said...

RE: Megan's post: While it's great that Sara is exciting about planning for motherhood, it's important to not judge other people for how/why/when they have children. It gets into harmful territory when we start assuming certain practices = good parenting, especially when not everybody has the luxury of time and resources to plan for pregnancies. Planning is not what makes a good parent, love is. This blog does a great job of being non-judgmental when it comes to weddings, lets hope it stays that way when it comes to parenthood.

megan said...

Anon: I appreciate your concern with my beliefs, but I am probably the least judgemental person when it comes to when/why people decide to become parents. I am all about people who actually love their children and are able to take care of them having kids whenever they want. However, it is my personal belief that if some people were better prepared to be parents, there wouldn't be so much violence, illiteracy, and abuse going on in the world. Incompetant parenting seems to be a direct link to a sub-generation of children with these problems.

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