Kim over at Tiny Ray of Sunshine has this article about The 8 Stages of Bullet Journal Addiction that goes over some pretty common phases people go thru when they dive into Bullet Journaling. I was thinking about that tonight when I considered how much crap I tote with me to and from work, or to my parents' house on the weekends I spend there with my kids. But it's not strictly the bullet journaling habit that is causing me to practically pack a suitcase. It's the fact that this hobby has led me into the washi tape and hand lettering arenas as well. I have a 12x18" case of washi tape I've been dragging around with me this week. I've collected Tombow and Artist Loft brush pens. I have sketch pads and marker pads. I have my bullet journal, my regular journal, and my morning pages notebook. I signed up for the Crayligraphy class, so I've got a ton of those Pipsqueak markers everywhere I might need a 2" crayola marker.
I got the case from Create 365 at Michaels, which is full of pens, markers, washi tape, stickers, rulers, and my planner. Then I put my big washi tape case, plus the 2 additional tubes of tape that I got this week that won't fit in the case, and my new marker pad in my backpack. And at home I have more washi tape, more markers and pens and triangles, stampers and ink pads. And lots more notebooks and sketch pads.
But I was already a stationery addict way before bullet journaling. Earlier this year and last year it was a coloring book addiction. I was collecting any coloring book I could find, along with every brand of colored pencils, markers, and felt tip pens. I've been collecting washi tape for the past 3 years or so, even though I rarely used it. Before that was the Duct Tape collecting, the Rainbow Loom rubber bands, yarn and knitting and crocheting materials, quilting and sewing materials. I jump in with both feet whenever I find a new interest.
I feel like I'm finally at a point in this hobby/habit where I've pretty much reached the point where I have everything worth having. I have my fountain pens, gel pens, felt pens, brush pens, every color of sharpie in fine & ultrafine, regular and bright Crayola markers and the huge pack of Pipsqueak markers that comes in a tower rack. LOTS of paper and notebooks to practice in. Almost every big tube pack of washi tape that Michaels sells. I can't imagine anything else I could possibly need, except to replace things as they wear/run out.
This moment is an exceptional feeling. I can say "Enough." I am a hoarder, so it's hard to come to that decision, but once I hit it with the coloring books, I did a pretty good job of saying "I really don't need any more." It's something I took years and years to get past with knitting. And notebooks might still sneak in. But I can say with certainty that I have no need to stop into a Michaels or AC Moore every time I see one (We have 4 Michaels, 3 Joanns, an AC Moore and a Hobby Lobby near me, so that's like twice a day!)
The next step will be holding back when the school supply sales start up. It's like a crack addict trying to resist a drug buffet when I walk thru Walmart or Target from July-September. Since I've changed my perspective on pens in the past couple years, hopefully resisting those will be easier. And I have a stockpile of spiral notebooks from years past. I know that kids colored pencils are crap, so that problem is solved. But cheap composition books and markers will be the real struggle this year. My good Clairefontaine paper notebooks are irreplaceable, but composition books are a staple for me. They bring me back to my very first black & white marble composition book in the 1st grade, where I had my list of words for the week and I sat and struggled every night to write the 2-3 sentences in that notebook while my mom washed the dinner dishes. I just wished they maintained the same quality they had back then. Of course, they were probably $3 back in 1983, where they are only $0.50 now, 33 years later, so you get what you pay for.