I saw a Facebook post recently about decluttering pens, and thought it would make a great weekend challenge. The author of that post was seeking advice for decluttering pens. The catch was, she writes prolifically, using pens to write stories and letters. The second catch was she and her partner were unemployed, so buying new was not an option.
I did a little searching for a good article on decluttering pens, and found this one by Rashelle Isip of The Order Expert. 3 Easy Steps to Decluttering Pens, Pencils, and Markers Read through the article, and then come back here where we’ll talk about the prolific writer, and I’ll share what we ended up doing in our home.
The steps 3 easy steps to declutter pens as outlined in the article are:
- Collect pens, pencils, and markers
- Purge items.
- Replace items where they belong.
I completely agree with these steps. Collecting (gathering) all the pens, pencils, and markers scattered around your house is the essential first step. The purge should be done quickly. Don’t spend time forcing a pen to write – if it doesn’t write in the first couple of scribbles, toss it. Then find a home for what remains.
The Prolific Writer
In the case of the prolific writer from the Facebook post, the steps outlined above should work well. She will need to keep more pens than most of us need as she writes so much and can’t afford a new set of pens. Gather, purge the broken, and store the remaining.
My Preferred Technique for Decluttering Pens
I took a different approach when decluttering pens. I started out with the steps outlined above, but found that most of our pens were freebies from conferences and local businesses. What kind of pens do you think people give out as freebies? Yeah, junkie ones. Even when we would test pens and keep the working ones, I’d always end up finding one that stopped working later.
The answer is to toss the whole lot of junky pens and buy a few good ones. I tried a few different kinds of pens and found a brand I really liked. The Pilot G2. A four pack is just $5.99 on Amazon. I found them at my local grocery store, which was nice as I could easily pick up a new one when needed. They write really nice, the ink flows out well, they don’t tend to dry up, and they are affordable. I have tried the fine (.7) and ultra-fine (.5) and found they both work well.
You shouldn’t need a bucket full of pens, but if you find 4 isn’t enough, you could buy a 12 pack for 12 bucks. We keep 2 pens in a kitchen drawer, and one or two in the bedroom, and my daughter keeps one or two in her room.
The replacement technique for decluttering pens:
- Gather all the pens from all over your house.
- Toss them all.
- Buy a few quality pens, assign them a home, and put the there.
- Optional: Test all the old pens, and donate the working ones to a school, a waiter/waitress at a local restaurant, or to anyone else that might be able to use them. (Keep in mind, these are all junky pens, not bars of gold, so don’t feel the need to donate them unless you really think someone could really use them.)
Weekend Challenge – Declutter your pens, pencils and markers
Your weekend challenge is to declutter your pens, and you may as well do pencils and markers at the same time. Use either technique, a combination of the two, or something of your own design. Then report back here and let us know how it went. You can share your success in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.