11 Jan The Ink Pen Reckoning
I ordered Francine Jay’s book, The Joy of Less on my Kindle the other day, and I am hooked! I strongly suggest it to anyone pursuing a simpler lifestyle.
Jay is a big fan of limiting the number of duplicate items in your home. She gave the specific example of ink pens. If you think about it, how long does a pen last? Unless you happen to be a medieval scribe, even a cheapie will get you by for 6 months. So if you owned 10 pens, you could write for 5 years. And if you do run out of pens, a quick $3.89 trip to Target or CVS will solve your writing woes. So why do most of us harbor upwards of 100+ writing utensils in our homes?
With this in mind, I turned my decluttering gaze upon my writing utensils tonight. I scoured the house for every pen, pencil, highlighter, and Sharpie hidden in various locations. (Note: I did not include the kids’ art supplies in this count.) Here is what I found:
Ignoring the fact that I felt like Rainman, I counted my collection. It contained 44 pens, 16 highlighters, 9 Sharpies, 9 pencils, and 3 markers. I could see the fear in their inky eyes as I scrutinized their numbers – they knew they were goners. I pared the collection down as best I could: 19 pens, 3 pencils, 4 highlighters, and 4 Sharpies. I think I still have more pens than I really need, but for some reason, this is as far as I can go with pen decluttering right now. I may revisit my collection in the future and cull it even further. Note to the pens in my house: you are not safe!
The best part of my ink pen reckoning, though, is this: a big bag of writing utensils to take to school for those students who never have anything to write with!
I hope I motivated you to take a second glance at that free pen (or 20) from your bank and see if it’s really worth keeping around. And remember, if you’re getting rid of writing utensils, your local schoolteachers would LOVE to take them off your hands!