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Can Having Too Many Books Become Stressful?


Wow, it's been three months since I've blogged. I can't believe how little I've been blogging. A lot has happened here at Homeschooling6 in the past six months.


One of the reasons blogging has slowed down is I haven't been inspired to write. I feel like there is not much happening (even though it's been crazy around here). Another reason is I have the worst luck with technology. For some odd reason, I can't get my photos from my phone or camera do upload to my computer. I have to upload them to Facebook and then download the pictures to my computer before I can use the pics. When I put them on Facebook I usually post them as a private picture.

In May I started a weird journey of me wanting to get rid of stuff - and I can't believe I'm saying this but a lot of what was on my heart to get rid of was my books, yup, can't believe I typed that. If you all have been reading my blog and "know" me you also may know how much I LOVE books! I have collected books since we started homeschooling in 2002. I have bought books from Sonlight, My Father's World, WinterPromise, Heart of Dakota, um, let's just say I have owned almost all the bundles from each company! So embarrassing!!!

But lugging them around has become too much and too stressful AND I can't believe it but I finally had to accept that my four younger boys do not enjoy reading as much as I do (and Annette & Josh). That was really hard to admit to myself.

In 2009 we moved from our 3500sft house to an 850sft apartment. We lived in that apartment for nine months, then moved into an 1100-1200sft house which we lived in for seven years. While living in these two places I had over 40+ standard size Home Depot/Lowe's boxes of books, stored, just sitting there.

In February of 2015, we moved in a larger home about 2600 square feet. We had books coming out of our ears. Even in this size house, we didn't have enough room. We had bookshelves everywhere. I had books on a shelf in two rows, some in the back and some upfront. We had to put bookshelves in the garage. We had books in bins and baskets. They were just all over the place and many of them getting dusty sitting on the shelves, bins, and baskets because nobody was reading them.


 Dust bunnies and books don't mix, it was really sad to see for this book lover. My books were becoming all-consuming to me, they were not only taking up space but stressing me out. I would stand and stare at them wanting my kids to read them (minus Josh and Annette because they read practically all of them). I would look over the titles and just be sad that my boys didn't see them as an adventure like I did -so many places to go and knowledge to learn.

Although I must say my boys do love audio books so they are listening to them but I can't replace my whole library with audio.

Part of the stress of my books was, what to do with the books? I wanted them to have a good home. I wanted them to be appreciated. I would have been happy to donate but where and how, so I started to sell them. At least this way they'd go to people who wanted them.

A video of some of the books that I had a hard time getting rid of.

In June of 2017, I started selling some of my books and curricula. It was hard for me to part with many of the books. I sold almost a $1000 worth of books. It was like a part-time job. I had to take pictures, write descriptions, be online answering questions, keeping the orders organized so not to mail to the wrong person, and so forth. One customer kept changing her order she wanted this book, no that that one, no I'll take the first one again (my brain was hurting) needless to say it was a lot of work, especially when selling the books at a low cost to just get rid of them. In the end I was making a few dollars an hour for a lot of my time and finding boxes to fit the orders in was another thing. I decided selling them wasn't worth it in the end.


My Facebook group that I created to sell my books and curricula.


I started taking them the Half Price. You don't get much but at least they were going to a place where other homeschoolers could get them at a low price. I also donated a lot of them to the Salvation Army type donation places. I just didn't want them to be tossed in the trash or anything like that.

I sold or gave away at least 20 boxes of books and curricula but ya' know what? I still had bookshelves left. Many of the books I sold/donated were books that were in boxes in the garage so my shelves were still full, ack! Never thought I'd use the word 'ack' with the word 'bookshelf' in the same sentence-what is my world coming too, haha.

Fast forward to May of 2018. We lived in a good size house yet it was kind of cluttered. I wanted an airy feel. My house was not that. I admit I didn't keep up with the dusting all the nooks. I'd forget about corners and even window seals and my books needed dusting too. When I'd finally remember certain corners I'd imagine these teeny tiny almost not able to see critters living there. It totally grossed me out thinking about it. I'd go in to spring cleaning mode. I'd get my vacuum and go crazy.

My schoolroom had so much stuff -it wasn't cozy or inviting. I had every corner taken up with stuff. And you know what? A lot of it had to do with my books/curricula. I asked the Lord to help me just let go of my stuff, my books, my things. I really started looking at all this and said to myself, "Is this stuff really worth my time, is it worth all the stress it's causing?" the answer was no, so I went into a tails spin (if you will) and got rid of over 60 boxes of stuff, just things, books, papers, anything that I wasn't using. I went into the kitchen and got rid of half my kitchen stuff, went to the living room gave away all the candles I hadn't used but were collecting dust and no telling what little critters that I could not see were probably living in the dust.

Then something happened and we were going to have to move again. This time to an 850 sft house. My new kitchen (we are replacing the stove and my boys need to finish painting the wall)


We were downsizing again. I told my hubby that I'm ready to get rid of my beautiful oak desk and other furniture. We gave them to my Sister-in-Law and our eldest son Joshua to sell. Again, I started donating.



We are now living (still moving in) in a small house. We do have a storage but I'm happy to say, a lot of the stuff is not mine, haha. We don't have a garage so my hubby's tools need to be stored. I do need to purge again and plan to take box by box and donate 75% of what's in each box. This is what I'm doing as I unpack too. I'm not always successful at getting rid of 75% but I really am trying.

In conclusion to this post, I thank the Lord that I don't miss all the books (and stuff) that I got rid of. It actually feels freeing. I am happy for the books I donated or sold because now they are in homes where people are reading them. They were meant to be read not sitting on my shelves collecting dust and getting old or even destroyed (like in 2016, the crazy hailstorm ruined tons of my books).

So the question is (or questions): can too many books (and stuff) become stressful? What are your thoughts?