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?