Two Second Task – Test the Pen

Two Second Task: Check the Pen!! at

I’ve written before about my resolve to not keep pens that don’t work.

And about how that is strangely difficult for me.

But I’m adding another Personal Life Law.

I shall henceforth and forevermore test every pen discovered during a decluttering project immediately, BEFORE placing it in the Pen Drawer.

Really. I’m not sure why this wasn’t obvious to me. When I discovered the pen in the picture above (at the bottom of an obviously dusty pile), I started to take it where it goes. Right then.

Because that’s what I do.

And then I thought . . . . “Ummmm, what if it doesn’t even work?”

And then I thought . . . “Well, if it doesn’t, I’ll throw it away like a good girl would.”

And then I thought . . . “HELLO?? What is wrong with you?? Why not test it right this very second and save that moment of frustration down the road??”

And then I thought . . . “Wow. She’s mean. But she’s also right.”

So I tested it. And it worked!

Really, my natural put-it-off-if-it’s-at-all-putoffable tendencies get on my nerves.

(As does that rude girl in my head!)




  1. 1

    That is a great rule! I think I need to work on letting go of pencils without any eraser left. I never want to use those. Yes, there is life left, but they become clutter when I’m digging through looking for the one with an eraser. I don’t seem to have as much trouble with pens, and at least twice a year I find myself checking all of them to make sure they work.

  2. 2

    If it doesn’t work at first I do the swirl and stab test, if it still doesn’t work THEN I throw it away. If it works after the swirl and stab then I keep it, unless I find myself going to use it again the very next time and having to do the swirl and stab AGAIN, then I decide it can go.

  3. 3
    Tracie H says:

    Love it! I would have done the exact same thing…. 🙂
    Now I will remember to do this because you make me smile!

  4. 4

    I have no problem throwing out pens that don’t work. I do, however, have a whole pile of mechanical pencils that are either broken or just need lead. I haven’t taken the time to figure that out- I just move them to the drawer to be dealt with “later”. Hmmmm. maybe today!

  5. 5

    and a hoarder of pens, I am 100% in agreement with you. A few years ago, in a major clear & clutter I found …well, too many pens… But I carefully gathered them together, and began the testing phase. I threw away 50 pens that did not write or once they did, they sputtered and were not smooth writing. Then of the ones that worked, I took all those that wrote purple or were colored purple and gave them to my daughter-in-law who loves purple. That was about 25 pens. To my son, I gave about 20 more pens.
    I found a shocking number of Sharpie markers also – so those were dispersed to varied people.
    When I retired from my job, I gave multiple pens away.
    I struggle with this pen ‘addiction’ constantly.
    I have come to the ability to throw most of them away if they don’t write or don’t write smoothly.
    Sometimes I do comparisons – one against the other and let the ‘best man win’…

  6. 6
    Theresa in Texas says:

    Thank you–I feel so much better knowing I am not alone! I also have a habit of just gathering up all the pens and dumping them into a basket without checking to see if they are dead or alive! Since I never seem to go back and check them, it is a law of nature that when I need one in a hurry, the first ones I pick up will either be dry or will skip. Now if I can just remember to keep a piece of paper with me at all times, LOL!

  7. 8

    I find a pen on the counter or desk, try to use it and find it doesn’t work, so I just lay it back down to search for another one that does work. Guess I *should* toss ’em. I did the same thing with white board markers the year I taught. Hmm a see a pattern forming.

  8. 9

    Just wanted to let you know that your post today DID inspire me to get rid of my pencils without erasers. I wrote a blog post about it…with pictures. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  9. 11

    I love when you post about your “Aha! This-should-be-obvious!” Moments. It’s one of those things that make me feel less alone haha.

  10. 12
    Christina Nelson says:

    I took all the pens that weren’t my favorite kind…everything with words or blue ink or too ugly and pitched them. Life is too short to keep 35 pens until they are used up.

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