I bet I’m not alone in being a blogger who loves office supplies. I can hardly imagine life without file folders, paper clips and Post-It notes. I like office accessories far more than I like fashion accessories!
Despite keeping most of my records electronically, my home office is fully outfitted with calculator, a stapler, a mini-stapler, a hole punch, a paper cutter, scissors, rulers, tape, and a math set with a compass and protractor, just in case! I have pens, fountain pens, pencils and erasers, colour pencils, gel pens and brush markers. I have clips, brads and push pins. I have binders and binder tab dividers and report covers and page protectors. Inkjet paper and glossy photo paper and card stock and sketch books. Avery labels and Hello Kitty stickers. Kraft envelopes and Tyvek envelopes and puffy envelopes. Cute packs of greeting cards and little notebooks. And yet I can still joyously browse at Staples, thinking I need more stuff!
Where did my love of stationery come from?
- As a bookish person, my heroes were authors who wrote manuscripts and letters by hand, and I wanted to follow suit.
- I have a special fondness for “little things” like beads and buttons, but since I am not much of a crafter, colourful Post-Its and thumb tacks fulfil my craving for having dozens of tiny objects. (Oh, and LEGO!)
- As someone who grew up pre-PC and pre-Internet, I remember people taking pride in their writing instruments, engraved stationery, bond paper, letter openers, paper weights, and typewriters. I would have felt cheated if I didn’t get to own those things too. Never mind that I also have a laptop, a tablet, and an all-in-one printer/copier/scanner!
- When I got my own office, I felt successful when my cabinets and shelves had every conceivable supply I might need.
- How can you not like Filofaxes, DayTimers, Rolodexes and my all-time favourite, the paper-impaling desk spike!
Now I have to be honest – some of my favourite desktop items have big drawbacks. Any archivist knows to never use paper clips or staples on documents because they crimp the paper, rust, and otherwise cause damage. And producing adorable plastic-coated paper clips must be terrible for the environment. Likewise, using an adhesive-backed Post-It for every note to myself must be worse for the planet than using recycled paper or listing my tasks in an app. On the other hand, refilling a fountain pen is better than buying and discarding ballpoint pens.
So it’s time to say goodbye to some of my stationery items, or to enjoy them while they last, and not replace them. It feels like the end of an era.
But my paper-hogging day planner? That’s staying!