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Tools of the Trade: Pen Containers


In addition to acquiring and test driving pens, I also enjoy fondling my collection. Fortunately, I have moved beyond simply tossing the collection on my bed and then lustily rolling around in the pile; feeling the caps and clips sadistically poke any exposed flesh.

I have lost entire afternoons listening to podcasts of “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and organizing my pens. By organizing, I mean moving groups of pens from one container to another while scrawling Does This Pen Write on quad rule index cards and basking in the glow of having all these delicious pens in my possession.

It usually starts with a new purchase – like 52 piece set no-name Gel Stick Pens I purchased on Friday – followed by a quick descent into madness.

One thing I struggle to find while perusing all the happening pen blogs are pr0ny pictures of well organized collections. I know they are out there. Send me LINKS, people!

I tend to organize by color rather than ink type or pen style or functionality. Considering, I rarely venture outside black gel ink, I’m not at all sure this is useful.

At first I opted for highball glasses, but quickly discovered I didn’t much care for the visual clutter of having eleventy billion booze glasses stretching across my desk sans booze.

Then there was the unsatisfying flirtation with various rotating caddies. These never had enough slots for the pens and they tended to look junky on my otherwise empty desk. Then there was the matter of the caddy falling off the desk, sending my well organized stashed crashing to the floor while I shrieked, “Oh lord, not the pens! Anything, but my pens. Take me instead.”

I was fairly convinced The PaperMate Hotel was my pen organization solution. Only to discover most pens DID NOT FIT and the Crayola broadline markers in the top drawers are perpetually enshrined in clear coffins. While not being particularly useful for most pens, The PaperMate Hotel – oddly enough devoid of any actual PaperMate products – is perfect for storing other items such as glue sticks, binder clips and my collection of gumball machine cocktail rings.

Currently, I use Sterilite Large Flip Top Storage Containers scored for $1.74 each at Wally World and an old black, quilted cosmetic bag for my portable pen storage needs.

Still, I am forever searching for fun, attractive pen storage solutions. What types of storage do you use for your pens?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlie permalink
    12/07/2009 12:46 pm

    “…Fortunately, I have moved beyond simply tossing the collection on my bed and then lustily rolling around in the pile; feeling the caps and clips sadistically poke any exposed flesh.”

    This has got to be the finest piece of erotic writing I have clamped my reading glasses on in years. Seriously, I love this blog.

    I just use small ‘really useful boxes’.
    They generally make their boxes fit a particular thing (paper, pens, CDs, shoes etc).

  2. Mike permalink
    12/07/2009 1:33 pm

    That is quite a collection of pens. Where do you do most of your office supply shopping? Great blog, btw.

  3. Shoshi permalink
    12/07/2009 1:34 pm

    Hey – found your site via The Pen Addict. Nice pictures.

  4. Coda permalink
    12/07/2009 1:36 pm

    “The PaperMate Hotel” is hilarious. I like your writing style. Very funny. I don’t collect pens but found your site while looking for post-it products.

  5. Gluestick Goddess permalink
    12/07/2009 1:40 pm

    Whoa, that’s quite a pen collection. Found you through pen addict. I like how you arrange your collection according to barrel color. Do you have trouble selecting a pen to use each day?

  6. 12/07/2009 1:54 pm

    Mike – I hit all the usual big box stores and office supply retailers. I am starting to dabble in online retailers.

    Shoshi – Thanks for stopping by!

    Coda – Thank for the kind words.

    Gluestick Goddess – Actually, I tend to use a pen until it the ink runs dry. I get particularly attached to specific pens so I don’t have a lot of trouble picking out pens to use.

  7. 12/07/2009 1:58 pm

    Charlie – Thank you! I am going to check out that site. I’m glad I could paint a picture for you. 🙂

  8. redlami permalink
    12/07/2009 3:43 pm

    I’m impressed that you’ve managed to keep such an extensive collection so organized. At least pens don’t take up a lot of room compared to, say, books or stacks of newspapers.

  9. Adrian permalink
    12/09/2009 12:56 am

    You have an impressive pen collection. How many containers do you use?

  10. 12/09/2009 1:05 am

    Adrian – I have about three of the Sterilite Large Flip Tops filled with pens. I tend to reassess my collection on a regular basis and happened to take snaps while I was organizing them.

  11. Ryan permalink
    12/09/2009 6:07 pm

    Do you use fountain pens? And if so, which brand(s) would you recommend? Found your blog through Inkophile. Nice looking site!

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