Everyone has a guilty pleasure, right? For some it’s reality TV or the latest teen pop band. For me it’s Stationery.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it impossible to walk past a stationery shop without ducking in and having a little drool over absolutely everything. I never could resist a new pen or notebook and as a result I have a stupendous amount of stationery.
Have I gone too far?
Is there such a thing as too much stationery?
I don’t think there is a simple yes or no answer. Perhaps it more a question of organising your stationery more efficiently.
Organisation is key for any stationery addict. It’s all about knowing what you’ve got, where it is and what you’re going to use it for.
Here are a few quick tips to help you keep on top of your ever-expanding stationery collection.
Let’s start with pens
The good thing about pens is that they take up very little space so you’d have to have a whole lot of pens before you would even question whether you had too many. The easiest way to keep tabs on your pen collection is via pen pot or pencil-case.
The whole point of having a pen pot on your desk is so you can grab a pen at a moment’s notice without wasting any time so it makes sense to only keep your favourite pens or the ones you use most often in the pen pot.
Keep the rest of your pens together in the same place, in pencil cases or small storage tubs. I like to organise mine by the colour of their ink. If my blue pencil-case is overflowing and my red pencil-case is looking a little neglected, I know what my next stationery purchase needs to be.
Be strong and force yourself to get rid of any broken or empty disposable pens. They are taking up valuable stationery space. If you can’t bear to part with them, why not turn them into an original piece of wall art?
Having at least one of everything (ballpoint, rollerball, fountain pen, metallic ink, laundry pen, marker, dry erase, highlighter and every other kind of pen going) is not over the top, it’s what I like to call ‘Being prepared for every eventuality’.
Time to tackle the notebooks
Notebooks are a stationery addict’s second biggest problem (pens being the first). Walking away from a cute notebook is just unthinkable. How many of you have walked away from a notebook feeling victorious only to rush back the next day after a sleepless night, thanking your lucky stars that they weren’t all snapped up in your absence? Come on, own up, I know I’m not on my own here.
It’s understandable to want them all, and there are so many. Small notebooks for your bag, slim notepads for lists, a pocket notebook, a fancy journal (leather-bound journals are my downfall), notebooks with adorable animals on the cover, spiral bound, and lets not even get into the paper (plain, lined, dotted, choosing the right gsm).
Gather all your notebooks together so you can see exactly how many you have. You could display them proudly on a shelf or neatly box them up. It’s easier to choose the perfect notebook for a particular task when you can see exactly what you have.
If you have enough to keep even your grandchildren’s children in notebooks for life it’s probably time to stop buying and starting writing.
How about making a start on that novel you keep saying you want to write? Enjoy drawing or doodling? Start a doodle book. Write some letters. Keep a spy journal, writing down funny conversations you overheard, observations and outrageous characters you come across. Get creative with your notebooks and before you know it you’ll be ready to buy more.
Of course no stationery collection is complete without the whole set up. A stapler and hole punch are desk top essentials along with drawing pins, paperclips and elastic bands that somehow find their way into your drawers even when you haven’t actually bought any. Where on earth do they all come from? Just these few items alone come in such a huge range of designs and colours that it’s difficult not to keep adding to the pile. Then there are the rubber stamps, stickers, erasers, sharpeners, rulers and so many others that I couldn’t possibly mention them all.
Again, it is just a matter of storing them neatly. Small plastic storage boxes, the empty tin of Christmas sweets, quirky trinket boxes or a good old fashioned desk tidy are all great ways to store your stationery keeping everything neat and tidy and easily accessible.
With everything organised you can shop for stationery knowing exactly what you need and what you don’t so too much stationery will never again be an issue. Forget guilty pleasure, stationery shopping should just be a pleasure.
I can always make room for more stationery. How about you? Are you overloaded with the stuff or can you never get enough?