When was the last time you thought about spring cleaning your journaling supplies? Never? Check out Alice’s tips for decluttering and organizing all those notebooks, markers, and stickers…Oh my!
Spring Cleaning Your Journaling Supplies
Spring is just around the corner and we all know what it means: cleaning and decluttering for the win! But we shouldn’t limit ourselves to our houses or cars. Spring cleaning your journaling supplies ensures they get sorted, purged, and rearranged, especially after the busy mess we’ve probably created during the holidays.
I don’t know about you, but I usually start the school year with tons of good intentions and tidy drawers, only to end up with a complete mess a couple of months into the new year! During the holidays, in fact, I always have tons of paper and analog work to do: make and write Christmas cards for friends and family, recording my December Daily entries, collecting all the cards and notes I receive and, of course, preparing my planner (or Bullet Journal) for the new year.
I’m not a professional organizer and I also tend to be a little bit lazy when it comes to keeping my physical stuff in order (digital belongings are easier to maintain for me!), but I’ve always been a paper lover and, in the past few years, I’ve learned a couple of useful practices. Here are my best tips for spring cleaning your journaling supplies.
Tip #1: Konmari your drawers
If you’ve ever heard of the Konmari method by Mari Kondo, you probably know that one of the most important steps for decluttering your belongings is to take everything out of the storage space and put it on the floor. I always apply this rule to my desk drawers and I can assure you that it improves my whole process. With all your stationery on the floor, you can spot things you’ve forgotten because they were hidden in the drawers or covered by other stuff. Now all you have to do is to go through all your supplies and decide what to keep, discard, or donate (this can even turn in a fun giveaway for your blog readers or social media followers!).
Tip # 2: Sort by categories
Grouping all your supplies by category will help you to decide how to place them later on. I always end up having pens scattered all over the place — like that nice marker you used for one journal header but never put back in the right pen case!
Tip # 3: Make a list
If your collection of journaling supplies looks a bit overwhelming to you (trust me, I’ve been there too), try jotting down a list of all the categories you’d like to declutter. For example: washi tapes, washi tape rolls, colored pencils, gel pens, notepads, sticky notes and flags, paper clips, stickers, and so on.
Tip #4: Use pen cases
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is to stop hoarding empty packaging and store my supplies in pouches or pen cases. I used to keep all the empty boxes just in case. I even dedicated some space inside my desk drawers to them, in case I forget the brand or the size of a certain pen. Sometimes, I kept them because they were cute (like the little plastic box of the Zebra Mildliners). But the truth is they only add more clutter to your space. If you want to remember something for future purchases, take a picture of the packaging and store it in an app (Evernote, Google Keep, or Google Drive would be great for that purpose) or directly add them to your Amazon wishlist. I’ve created one solely to save the products I know I would use it again in the future, like basic Post-it notes or Leuchtturm1917 notebooks and so on, this way I can also keep track of sales.
Tip #5: Recycle cardstock boxes
I like to keep pens, pencils, markers, brush pens and similar in pen cases. For washi tape, stamps, and other miscellanea, I prefer open boxes. For example, my supplements come in a nice cardboard box that (once I remove the lid) are just the right size to store my washi tape rolls! I’m planning to cover it with some scrapbook paper in the near future, just to make it look prettier. Shoe boxes are usually too large for small items, but you could use them to store your journals and compartmentalize your drawers.
Tip # 6: Organize by usage frequency
Finally, one of the things that help me a lot, since I have limited space in my desk drawers, is to arrange things so that my most used supplies are more accessible. Everything else can go at the back of the drawers. For example, in November I usually move my Christmas supplies forward to they can be handy inside my drawers.