The pens are taking over the asylum

I’ve decided that there are too many pens in my house.

I don’t have a big house, and I’ve started to feel like pens are taking up more than their fair share of the space. I don’t know exactly what proportion of a typical family home should be given over to pens, but something feels wrong about the current situation.

There are pens everywhere – in cups on top of the fridge and in mugs on my desk. In every wicker storage basket and biscuit tin in the house there will be at least one pen. Under my desk there is an entire cardboard box full of them.

What’s the deal though when you have too many pens? What are you supposed to do with them? A charity shop doesn’t want a box of half used biros, but you can’t exactly throw them in the bin can you? That’s way too decadent. ‘Oh these? They’re just a few pens I don’t want’. It would be wrong.

In the shower this morning, thinking over the pen situation, (which is ironic given that the shower is one of the few places in the house without pens in it), I concluded that I will probably never have to buy another pen in my whole life. That’s quite a sobering thought – I am so old and the pens are so powerful that they may well outlive me. In fact, such is the speed with which these pens seem to appear, they may end up forming small gangs, pen communities if you will, and taking over the house.

It’s not like I can even do anything to stem the flow as I have no idea where they come from. I have a pen in my bag for instance, a blue barreled biro, that just says ‘raccoon’ on it in big red letters. What does that even mean? I have never bought a pen with ‘raccoon’ written on it and yet there it is, bold as brass, casually lying around in my bag. I can almost hear it chuckling at me, sniggering with its sneaky pen friends behind my back.

So what can I do to take back control? Do you have something similar that takes over your house? How do you deal with it? Give me some pointers and I’ll make a list.

Just let me find a pen…



  1. 6 January, 2013 / 4:44 pm

    Send some my way and pencils too. I’m getting tired of signing checks with dry erase markers!

  2. FourGoMad
    6 January, 2013 / 4:56 pm

    We also have a pen problem & I’m forever tidying pens away muttering to myself “how many bloody pens do we need” yet you can guarantee when I actually need a pen – usually at 08:40am when an important form for school needs signing – they are nowhere to be seen. I go to the trusty pot by the bread bin & find 4 Starbucks straws, a maglight pencil torch, half a dozen rubber bands (the ones you get off spring onions) a pair of scissors, a permanent chisel-tip marker (not working) & a large piece if yellow pavement chalk. Only yesterday evening I put 5 pens in there yet 12 hours later and they’re all gone. Inevitably the only “pen ” I can find without turning the house upside down is a green frayed felt-tip pen.

  3. 6 January, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    Oh yes, pens here are the same, apart from when we need one, then they disappear!

  4. 6 January, 2013 / 6:26 pm

    and you can guarantee when there is an important phone call and you need to scribble something down the one you pick up “doesnt bloody work!!!”

  5. 6 January, 2013 / 6:36 pm

    I recently decided to address a similar situation in my house by dumping all the pens onto the table and proceeding to test them all, one by one. Any that didn’t work got chucked into the bin, no hesitations … no matter how sentimental their origin or impressive their exterior. (I’ve found that the innards of pens are not designed to be interchangeable; you can’t just swap the ink tube from one working pen into another, but have to go take the thing to a stationery store and hunt for the right refill, if they even exist anymore … and I haven’t done this in so many decades that I suspect nobody even carries them anymore. Heck, I can’t even get the battery replaced in my iPod!) Anyway, I should point that I managed to reduce the number of cups and mugs of pens in my house from four to three … which might be insignificant or significant, depending on how you look at it.

  6. rinsimpson
    8 January, 2013 / 12:26 am

    Hahahaha! My house is a pen vacuum, they just disappear. But then, when I do find a pen, it’s a random one that I KNOW I didn’t buy (I know, because I only buy one brand of pen). Having said that, my house is being taken over by magazines. I think I have an addiction…

  7. 9 January, 2013 / 5:28 pm


    I went to meet a new client today. He gave me four pens! THIS is how it happens – people clearly just want to give me pens.

  8. Linda Irvine
    14 April, 2013 / 5:10 am

    Wicker storage baskets are an ideal choice for the bathroom. They are lightweight, easy to maintain and blend with any bathroom decor easily. You can choose small wicker baskets to store your toiletries and cosmetics. Select a large wicker basket to store soiled clothes, bath towels and other bath linen. Opt for a strong basket, preferably with a lid and handles for support. Another excellent option is a bamboo basket. Small bamboo baskets are ideal to store day-to-day essentials like cosmetics, shaving cream, gels and lotions.,

    Look out for our own internet page as well

  9. 7 May, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    I have mentioned you in my latest blog, see above! Love this post!

    Lara x

    • Jo Middleton
      7 May, 2015 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks Lara! I just shared the post on Twitter :-)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.