2017: the year of shopping the stash

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2017 is around the corner, and I’ve decided on my new year’s resolution. This year, I’m going to shop my stash.

This morning I put my “Fly to the World from JAPAN // TRAVELER’S FACTORY” medallion on my Traveler’s Notebook. But first I had to find it, which meant mounting a search since I’d forgotten where I put it for safekeeping.

As I rooted through my drawers of paper goods and pens and stickers and stamps, I realized that I have a whole lot of beautiful stationery that I’ve somehow become blind to – I just keep buying everything that catches my eye, forgetting about the things that caught it in the past, on which I lovingly saved or splurged and that despite being so close often go unused, sitting prettily in their dark, lonely drawers.

Well, enough of that. In 2017 (and starting now, because why not), I’m going to limit what I spend on stationery items and use the gorgeous things I’ve amassed all around me. I’m going to stop chasing trends and jumping on every new thing. I know who I am, in a stationery sense: I love clean lines and classic, neutral colors that have a vintage feel without that sense of vintage-clutter you sometimes get, but I also love bright stickers and fun characters.

I’ve got a drawer stuffed to bursting with stickers I bought online or in Tokyo, and a small chest of drawers filled with beautiful envelopes, papers, tickets and tags, not to mention boxes of stamps and rolls of washi tape and bottles of ink and a bookshelf literally full of stationery sets and just ungodly amounts of writing utensils.

And this is just a fraction of what I’ve got squirreled away.

The time has come to love them all – and show my wallet some love in the process. I’ve just wiped out all my personal credit card balances, and I’m going to focus on loving the stuff I’ve already got instead of lusting after new stuff that will just go, adored and unused, into drawers to be kept safe and ultimately forgotten.

I’ve always had a huge problem with “saving things until the perfect moment” – which so often ends up in me growing out of something or forgetting it’s there. I even do it with food, and then the food goes bad and no one gets to eat it at all.

It stops now, and I’m committing myself to shopping the stash in 2017. Do I have all the stationery I lust after? God no, and I never will. There will always be something that catches my fancy. But I’ve got all I need, at least for right now, and there’s no time like the present to see that it all gets used and mailed and shared, the way it’s supposed to be.

Because the whole point of having beautiful stationery isn’t just to keep it in a drawer and know it’s there – it’s to brighten other people’s days and lives by sharing it.

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Every letter or card or present a stationery-lover sends is a synthesis of their tastes, and the pieces put together give a glimpse into who the sender is, what they love, what they think is beautiful.

That’s one of the wonderful things about analogue sharing – you get a tactile, unique window into someone’s thought processes, what they chose to include, the pieces they picked with you in mind. And tastes change over time, so the longer you know and correspond with someone, the more you learn about them – as much from what they put on the outside of the letter as the words they write.

It’s totally special, whether you’re a lifelong collector with a pile of stuff or you’re just starting out on your stationery adventure.

Time to open up those drawers.

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