SCRAP Step 2 — Pens, Pens, Pens

My de-cluttering saga continues.  (You can see my other blogs on this theme by clicking on “Clutter” in the TAG CLOUD).

I don’t know why I have so many pens.   I seem to have hundreds of them, scattered all over the place.    But the amazing thing is I can never find one when I want one.

So now I am into de-cluttering in a big way, I am going to set about today and sort out my pens (and pencils and marker pens and felt tip pens and every other writing implement) and when I say pens I really mean biros.

So my first step should be to gather them all together, but I will need a clear space before I start and that in itself is a challenge !

Desk top cleared, here we go :-

I start with my pen drawer where all the pens ought to be —- there are at least 60 black biros in the drawer which I use for most things.  I am sure there are still more to find all around the house.   Then I also find 1 lonely black felt tip, plus a load of photos which are obviously in the wrong place but I won’t look at them or I’ll be here for hours.

My desk tidy or more properly called my “desk untidy”— I have 3 desk untidies, plus  a tray of odds and sods, plus a small flower vase all full of assorted pens and pencils, 3 staplers with no staples, plus pins, paper clips, big and small crocodile clips and scissors.   The last thing it does is make my desk look tidy !    It just looks a mess and I haven’t even mentioned the large hole punch, the 3 foot folding ruler, the sellotape and the post it notes which don’t fit in the desk tidies, so they get moved around the desk top all the time.

Now for the office desk drawer —– this has all of the above items and more.  Parcel tape stuck firmly to the bottom of the drawer, invisible tape – what was that for?, a pencil sharpener that I must have last used in school, almost fossilised blue tack and white tack, floppy disks which were obsolescent before I learnt how to use them😟

I spread everything out on the desk top.    I could run a school with all of this, or at least open a pop up branch of Staples.   I fill one desk tidy with a sample of each thing I might need and  put the pins and paper clips into containers in the drawer.   I throw away all the duplicate rulers, the round the world collection of hotel pens, three now empty desk tidies, two pencil sharpeners, and two fountain pens with a bottle of Quink ink, which have secretly been waiting to be discovered on Antiques Roadshow.


Now all I am left with is about 200 pens.    The ones I set out to sort hours ago.  First I ditch the round the world collection of hotel pens, then most of the pencils go in the bin.   I keep all the black biros, they should last me till about 2036.    I also hang onto all the Stabilo felt tip pens just to remind me of my glittering architectural career.

Finally, I am left with about ten pens with my father’s insurance brokers brand name.   I remember Dad was very proud of those pens. He had lots and lots of them that he used to give away to all his clients.

At last it dawns on me.   Pig Pens Disease must be hereditary, that’s where I got all this pen hoarding from 😄.  It’s all my Dad’s fault.

So has anybody got any good ideas for disposing of  lots of pens ?????

There will be a copy of Walt Hopkins’ book — “Seven Ways to Lighten Your Life Before You Kick the Bucket” — for the best ideas on de-cluttering.


This entry was posted in SMILES and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to SCRAP Step 2 — Pens, Pens, Pens

  1. OH, honorary uncle and friend to the uninitiated, and general good fellow all round., my grand daughters would have a ‘field day’ with your ‘throw outs’ you are only missing paper of various shades and weights, or patterned, coloured or plain and a pair of scissors, and off course that ‘glue stick’? You may then received home made cards for that great occasion: such as a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or that card sent from a holiday resort, to say how enjoyment is being had! or a cut out shape which means so much and presented with pen, pencil. coloring’s, or even crayons, to represent some happy occasions either to you or from the sender, to hang on the Christmas tree.
    Your desk is not too bad you are up to date, with your clutter, biro’s, felt tips, and plain and coloured pencils? I detected in you minds eye utter disappointment, you have gone through your Draws (Literally), and have not come across that fountain pen, from ‘PARKER’ OR ‘ WATERMANS’, or that bottle of ‘quink ink’: maybe as that architect a half bottle of blue, three quarters bottle of red, or even a bottle of green-unopened? reminding you of all those accounts and detailed sketches and plans/drawing you had to submit to some council/authority for permissions to carry on with your personal project? Not for getting your favourite fountain pen ( Oblique. fine, broad, or just knackered nib), with which you acknowledged you r name or even you ‘OBE’.
    As I may saw you have made a ‘Horses arse’ out of your de-cluttering your desk! or if you prefer lighter language a ‘DOGS BREAKFAST’
    May i suggest you donate to a nursery/preschool club a donation of your pencils, definitely, and ask the questions about biro’s as these scribbles together with the felt tips if on the floor or walls, and the ink is not washable but indelible may cause the carers/ tutors no end of unnecessary vigilance and in the end scrubbing and cleaning.
    You are getting older, but not senile: however the older one gets the more the younger life’s memories come back! We are watching!!, Are you with your architects brain designing a retirement village for the elderly, or have you been there done that and got the ‘T’ shirt? but not the memory, or the mind to recall such events? Dear John you are getting there! It makes me feel warm and wanted: by whom I am not too sure? But Molly says she loves me! So I am living at the right address in the right place at the right time of life.. Bye Bye.

    • john graham says:

      A good suggestion David. I will collect all the pens, pencils and felt tips together and save them for the local primary/ nursery school. I will wait for a while, because as I think you will see in my next few blogs, there is still a lot more office clutter to de-clutter.
      Still you idea is something I will act upon in the New Year. Meantime, I am sending you a copy of Walt’s book as a reward . I am sure you will enjoy it.

      Best wishes for Christmas and let me know what you learn from the book in the New Year.


  2. Well, John, as David observes above, I think the answer to your question is in paragraph eight of your blog: “I could run a school with all of this.”

    Nearly 50 years ago, when I was a teacher, we always needed extra supplies. And it’s getting worse. Two teachers told me just last month that when a pupil asks for a pen, they often say there isn’t one available!

    So when I go through my own pens (and it’s time again!!) that are sticking out of the 24 (just counted them!) mugs on my desk and windowsill, I put the extras straight into the box on my desk for Fossoway School. That’s our local primary school. Whenever I arrive, the secretary says it’s like Christmas, as I hand over all sorts of supplies that are left over from my training courses.

    It’s great–our clutter is vital to the next generation! 🙂

    • john graham says:

      I was a governor at the local village school when my son was there and first found his love of drawing, so passing on some of my surplus stationary is particularly appropriate. Especially if it inspires other children to develop an interest in art.

  3. Well Walt! I know a FOSSWAY as a person living in Yorkshire, within the city of York, but external to the city walls???

  4. Fossway York due south east to Brough, wade the Humber to Barton on Humber and then due south to Lincoln A19?- The old roman road.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s