Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Office Supplies

My love of shopping for office supplies is second only to a serious drug-store cruising addiction. My addiction to coloured Sharpies is, I believe, well-documented. I like to cruise the aisles and find myself spending no less than $50 on things I didn't know we needed.

In my defence, a single new pen has, in the past, catapulted me to an entire season of reorganizing my life by virtue of my needing to use the new pen for something and what better than a whole set of new To Do lists!

Fortunately for our bank balance, I rarely have time to shop for either office supplies or drug store items. In fact I had not been to either in quite a while.

However, my office is one block from Staples, a veritable utopia of paper and pens. Today I made a trip for 1) card stock 2) page protectors (both of which I need for my homework assignments for my evening class) and 3) lined paper for J to use for his homework. His handwriting is about as illegible as mine and the printing he does on unlined printer paper meanders and vastly varies in size - we thought some lined paper was in order.

I found items 1) and 2) within the first minute of my arrival. I then went to the paper pads aisle to find some lined paper. I compared different brands, colours, sizes, single packs, multi packs, loose leaf, scribblers. Why don't I come her more often? I settle on a scribbler for no particular reason (though it was cheap).

My list is now complete.

But I think I'll just check the pen aisle. I like those fancy pens with a highlighter on one end and a ballpoint on the other. On my way I see the coloured stickies. Wow, I LOVE those turquoise ones. Some of them are even lined, which would make great phone message pads. I imagine how cute our phone messages would be to each other "Call your Mom" in beautiful calligraphy-like cursive writing. Then I remembered that even if we did write notes to each other they would likely get swooped up into recycling, get covered in mac n cheese or just end up under a really big pile of paper. I imagine Husband discovering a note and asking me "am I supposed to call my Mom?" And I'd say "I think that was last Easter. Or maybe the one before that". I also remember the J Boy's penchant for making signs and could see turquoise squares labelling everything not nailed down. Scratch the stickies.

Then I saw some adorable paper clips. They were multi-coloured in bright rainbow or camo or pastels. Then I saw cute ones with flowers or shapes of old-fashioned type writer symbols that were very tempting. But I didn't think I would get to use them at home and I knew if I used them at work they'd get buried in my files and never see the light of day.

I eventually made it to the pen/highlighter section. The combo pen I lusted for was not to be found, but I did remember that we needed new dry erase markers for our grocery list/ meal planning board. Just imagine how much better our food will taste using this markers to make our lists and meal plans!

I looked longingly at the Sharpies, but I have plenty of Sharpies at home (but those little ones are very cute AND they make Sharpie highlighters now!).

I meandered to the pen aisle and remembered our distinct lack of pens at home. Husband and I are forever scribbling notes of unimportant things like internet banking passwords in Crayola markers.

I decided we really do need pens. When it comes to pens, I require two things:

1. Fine point. My writing is 80% neater when I'm writing with a fine point (something to do with being left-handed?).

2. A retractable point. I cannot stand the pen caps that litter my home and office landscape and then the pens dry out without my making sufficient number of TO DO lists.

It was here that I realized the gross prejudice against users of fine point pens. 90% of the pens are medium point. I want a 0.5 mm fine point. The few that I find, have caps. Up and down I cruise seeing some very stylish pens.

Just before I found the mini-pen three pack that was destined for my basket, I saw what has to be a new low in marketing of office products the "anti-bacterial pen". I know, just in case anyone needs an emergency tracheotomy, the anti-bacterial pen could really come in handy.

1 comment:

American Folder Company said...

Nice Article, But truly another way to save on office supplies is to seek out what your looking for and buy that item from a manufacture direct. This will save you big since you will not going have to then pay a retailers markup.

Case in point-I was shopping for file folders and came across a company named AmericanFolder.Com They are an great source since unlike other that sell everything else AmericanFolder.Com just sell folders and the prices I found were very low, plus no matter the size of the order they will ship it for free.

So Yes I agree that a superstore can save you time, but the money savings is seeking out manufactures that sell their items direct.