Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Slash the Stationary - My Hoarding Addiction

As in the previous sections of my downsizing posts, I was forced to go through my belongings, item by item. I opened every pencil box and shuffled around every drawer and cabinet in the house to track down my stationary tidbits for evaluation.

No surprise, I had quite a lot.

Pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, tiny little containers of pencil lead, erasers, markers, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, highlighters in every color, my fountain pen collection, pen cases, ink cartridges, notebooks, loose paper, folders, file folders, note pads, post-its galore, note cards, blank books and journals, washi tape, scotch tape, staples, staplers, scissors, rulers, paperclips, binder clips in various sizes and colors, bookmarks, envelopes, binders, cards, postcards, business cards...you name it, I had it and in several colors and styles to boot.

So, what to do with all this stuff? As you might imagine, many of the items I'd clung onto for years had sentimental value. Although I hadn't seen the thing in five or ten years, as soon as I had it in my hand, a wave a memories descended. This can be challenging to navigate - not to mention time-consuming. I think I saved this step for last because I knew how difficult it was going to be.

You may shrug and say, what's the big deal, a bunch of paper? But you have to understand that stationary, paper, and blank books have never been just paper to me. These things are Potential - pure raw possibilities-to-be. They are great ideas about to be birthed. Stories on the verge of telling. My love for stationary is more about what they can do than what they are.

To help you see how beautiful and inspiring stationary could be, I thought I'd share one of my Pinterest boards with you:

And to fully understand how serious I am about my love for stationary, I'm going to share a picture of my one and only tattoo with you:

(Caption: There I am getting it done - this was about two months ago, June of 2016).
(Caption: A fountain pen! Isn't it simply beautiful! In case you're curious, it is designed after a MontBlanc Fountain Pen, with my own motifs added.)
(Caption: Here I am writing this post. And that is why it's on my forearm - so I can see it when I write. Now you know.)
Okay, that aside, how did I do it? How did I downsize my stationary? Well, I held myself to the same rigorous standards from the previous two stages of my downsizing project. I held each thing (after first organizing them according to type, size, and color, of course) and then I asked myself if it had use beyond the sentimental.

If it didn't have value related to usability, then I got rid of it. And by "got rid of it," I mean I packed it into a box to donate. I like to imagine a young girl, much like I once was, stumbling upon one of my old blank books and a set of colorful pens...what story will she write one day?

So, what did I keep? To accompany me to Chile, I am bringing a small box of assorted pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, and clipping/labeling devices. The box is small, I swear, probably 8 by 8 by 4 inches. As for paper goods, I am bringing three empty binders, three notebooks, two blank books, and one sketch book.

I'm going to strive to be much more responsible with my notebooks in the future. Upon going through all my notebooks and blank books of the past, I discovered (although, sigh, I already knew this) that I have a bad habit of filling them only half-way before giving into my urge to buy a new one.

(Caption: the Circa notebook system from Levenger.)

In keeping the content of the past, I cut out the used pages with a razor and punched them into one of my Circa notebooks. If you don't know what the Circa system is, you absolutely must visit Levenger, one of my favorite purveyors of stationary and all things writing-porn. (And if any of the Levenger folks happen upon this blog by any odd circumstance, I would totally NOT MIND if you wanted to provide corporate sponsorship for this project in the form of Circa products. I promise to promote the hell out of those things. Just saying...)

Anyway, now I'm all set with my stationary. It may have taken me forever and was at times, painful, but I got through it and now I am officially more streamlined and ecologically responsible!

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