Moving Minutiae: Sorting My Pens

Moving Minutiae: Sorting My Pens

Tess Wilson
Jun 3, 2013

It took all my willpower not to title this SORTING MY FREAKIN' PENS because, for goodness' sake, I'm trying to get myself and my stuff across the country, as well as finish up my jobs here and spend quality time with friends before I leave, and PENS are the least of my worries. And yet...

That's the thing about moving: you have to look at and evaluate every single little thing in your apartment, and decide what to do with each one. If you have nothing extra or superflous in your home, I salute you, but it has been an exhausting exercise for me. Sorting my embroidery supplies led me to coin such terms as "threadnado" and "embroidery flosspocalypse", while my kitchen drawers are a jumble of vintage cookie cutters, orphaned jar lids (but, someday!), and disposable forks I stockpile for plane trips (I always pack my lunch). 

Early this morning I decided to tackle my art and craft supplies, a generally pleasant task. I like my craft supplies, and am excited to take them with me! And I've already filled a paper grocery bag with items I just won't use, to be donated to Community Thrift, which feels nice because I bought so many of my supplies at thrift stores in the first place. But then I got to the jars of pens..

The pile on the left are pens I'm keeping for now. They work, they're fine, I can use them to write my last rent check and make long to-do lists. But they're not high-quality or interesting enough to move 2,000 miles. The pile in the middle is for keeps. Copic markers, nice pencils, watercolor pencils, and all my treasured Japanese clicky-pens. I've heard that rural Illinois does not have very good Japanese stationery stores. The pile on the right is getting the heave-ho. None of them work! How have I had so many useless pens taking up space in my tiny apartment? It feels so good to get them out of here. 

And that's why I do all this tedious sorting: the last thing I want is to arrive at my new home with boxes full of worn-out pens, embroidery floss in colors I hate, and clothes that neither fit nor suit me. My trash is — I hope — someone else's treasure, but I certainly don't want to pay to ship my trash cross-country! 

(Image: Tess Wilson)

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