Diving In

The weather wasn’t the best today—a drizzly rain settled in after lunch—so I decided to take a longer stab at tackling the stationery decluttering project than the few minutes I’ve spent on it during the week. In a fortunate coincidence, the well-being practice for the Whole Life Challenge (I’m starting week #3 of the six-week wellness challenge) is to avoid all social media for the week. Had that not been the case, I KNOW I would’ve been running to my phone as a way to procrastinate and soothe my overwhelmed nerves. But I’ve removed the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps, so without that pull, I dug in for a few uninterrupted hours this afternoon.


The starting point

Step one is “macro” sorting—grouping like items together. I’m separating pencils, notebooks, fountain pens, ballpoints, gel pens, pen sets, Retro 51s (they get their own category), etc. into separate cartons. This isn’t their final destination, but it’s giving me a better sense of how much I have of each major category.



The tip of the Retro 51 iceberg

So many thoughts are passing through my head as I tackle this project.

  • How did this get so far out of hand?
  • My notebook/pencil stash will certainly outlast me. (Fun thought.)
  • Ooooo…I forgot about this pen! (Repeat about 15 times. Maybe more.)
  • What do I do with all of these empty pen boxes?
  • How can I ramp up my use of all of this?
  • Should I put some notebooks and/or pens up for sale?
  • Should I toss a match into the room and call it good?
  • And the critical one…DO NOT ACQUIRE ANY MORE STUFF!!


Midway through the afternoon, I cancelled my Log+Jotter monthly subscription (despite how much I enjoy their notebooks), because really, there is no justification for adding to this.


I’m still hanging onto my CW Pencil subscription for the time being because I truly enjoy the quarterly, beautifully curated surprise, but, I dunno, does that make sense when you are already knee-deep in pencils?

Right now I feel very much like a toddler at the dinner table who’s pushing peas and carrots around their plate to make it look like they’re disappearing. The vegetables are in different places but are all still there.


It’s kind of a shell game.

Progress? Maybe?



7 thoughts on “Diving In

  1. I like the idea of putting items of the same type together. It really gives you an idea of just how much stuff you have. I went through a phase of buying pocket notebooks (Field Notes, etc) until I realized that I had drawers full that I hadn’t touched. Years later, I still have drawers full that I haven’t touched. Same with ink samples – I did Ink Drop for a while back when that was still a thing, and I still have gobs of them that I haven’t touched. I know my stash will definitely outlive me (and I’m only 32!) but for now I’m content with it. Trying to not accumulate too much more, though.

  2. Can things be fun and stress-inducing at the same time? Yes. Enjoyed the photos because it looks like Christmas. And I’m envious of some of your stuff. Yet I am laughing and shaking my head too. How do we write/draw/work/play enough to use all the stationery that calls to us?

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  4. I applaud your efforts! It is agonizing. These things are like friends, old and new! I was inspired by your efforts and began tackling a couple of boxes in the laundry room(of all places) and stalled rather quickly!

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