Monster Inside- the Hoarding Dilemma

Too many pens

I have a Monster inside me. This Monster likes to hoard things- stationery, papers, notebooks, pens, even food.

I was born with it- the Monster and I are one, but I fed it over the years and now it is a bloated, ugly thing.

Notebooks Hoard 1

These took just a year or so to collect.

Even as a kid, the Monster festered inside. As a kid, every Sunday my parents would take me to Gift Gate in Greenhills. At the time it was the only retailer of Sanrio goods like Hello Kitty pencil cases, pencils, and pads. I would buy one with my weekly allowance, where I would carefully store them. I never used them. The piles of pink pencils and plastic grew and accumulated dust in storage bins.

Twenty years later they still lay in my cabinets until I gave them to my sister, who promptly sharpened them. That’s the difference between Bea and me- Bea’s not afraid to use her things, while I fear running out, so I use them as sparingly as possible.

Brushpen hoard

Can’t have enough brushpens! Right?

I have an inkling of how the Monster started taking over my life.  Growing up in Indonesia in the 1990’s, my family could only travel to the Philippines once a year. At that time, Indonesia had very little in terms of books or imported and Filipino foods. During our annual visits, I would stock up on as many books as possible, while my mother would fill her cupboard with cans of Filipino sausages, hams, and ingredients. That was the beginning of the hoarding habit.

When I lived in the US, I would hoard art supplies and comics that I couldn’t find in the Philippines. When I came home, I carried about $300 worth of extra luggage in Bristol boards, brushes, and inks that I haven’t used yet- and this was ten years ago!

Bristol Boards

These Bristol board pads have been with me ten years- barely touched.

Even now the Monster demands to be fed. I continue to collect notebooks, papers, and pens- more than I can use.  Like a dragon guarding its treasure, I sit atop a mound of baubles that, honestly, I’ve probably lost interest in.

I am trying to rein the Monster in; I try limiting myself to a certain purchase a month, or occasionally destashing my hoard. It doesn’t always work. I keep obsessing over things I want to buy but can’t afford, or can’t justify.

pen refills

Even refills have to be stored by the bod.

I have to change my priorities. I’d like to travel, for instance. I’d like to gain new experiences. I’d like to be able to draw and paint without worrying where the next sheet of watercolor paper is coming from, or where I can get a new bottle of ink when the old one runs out.  I can’t do that if I continue to buy small, inconsequential things that just take up space in my cabinets, anchoring me to them, wasting money on small trickles that turn into rivers.

Sure, I’ll still buy things I like, but in smaller quantities. I’ll think doubly hard about whether I can use something. I’ll spend on quality things. I refuse to buy something for the sake of buying it or satisfying the Monster’s urge.

Most importantly, I’ll use everything I have at the moment. The hoarding must stop.

The New Year is a fresh start, and the Monster inside needs to change along with me.

Notebook hoard again

How will I even write enough to fill these notebooks?

4 Comments

  1. Liz Lanuzo

    Heeeyyyy will you sell me your Bristol pads? I’ve been looking for them!

    • tintinpantoja

      How about two? I’m still in hoarder mode! haha. Seriously though, Prestige Papers has them too! But yeah, sure.

  2. I can relate so much to this haha! In not even a year I went from zero TNs to .. um.. twenty (!!!), not counting the incoming ones or the ones I made. I don’t even want to think about washi tape, stickers, or clear stamps! I’ve made it one of my goals this year to consume and not buy further in the case of the washi and stickers. I need to really reconsider my TNs and clear stamps. The Monster is real!

  3. I did mention that my 2016 resolution is to not buy new pens? :)) I’m sticking to refills and paper! If you want to let go of some nibs and paper, let me know!

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