I’ve been researching the whole “capsule wardrobe” phenomena recently. Ladies will probably know what I’m talking about but if you haven’t heard about this, the idea is to pare down your wardrobe quarterly to 33 items. By doing this, the goal is to have only pieces you love to wear, that make you look and feel good and pare down on items you may be holding onto for sentimental or “but I paid so much for that” reasons.

That got me thinking about my desk. I have so many pens, inks, pencils, erasers, notebooks and various office supplies that its time to Project 333 my desk. So, in the spirit of Project 333, I thought I’d pull together what I think would be the perfect “capsule office”. Our desks, like our closets, deserve to be filled with things we love to use, that inspire and that are functional. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I squirrel away pens and pencils in every pocket, bag, cup and bucket so there’s a lot of clean-up that happened in my work office already to accomplish this.


Pictured here are the 33 things I want in my office. I pulled this together from items I actually own and use (colors and styles may be modified based on what is currently available in the market).

  1. LWA Member Pouch (available to members only) (via Letter Writers Alliance)


  1. Karas Kustoms Render K (G2 Model)
  2. Fisher Space Pen $23 (via Jet Pens)
  3. Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 Ice with medium italic nib $149.50 (via Franklin-Christoph)
  4. Kaweco Dia II $124 (via Goldspot Pens)
  5. Lamy Safari in Neonlime with 1.1mm nib $21.99 (via Fontplumo)
  6. Pilot Frixion Light Soft Color Erasable Highlighter in yellow $1.65 (via Jet Pens)
  7. Sharbo-X Multi-pen $49.50 (via Jet Pens)
  8. Kaweco Sport in Mint $20.25 (via Fontoplumo)
  9. Pilot V5 Hi-Techpoint refillable rollerball $3.20 (via Jet Pens)
  10. Marvy Le Pens Set $20.07 or other colored pen/marker set (can I count this as ONE THING?) (via Jet Pens)

Other tools:

  1. Faber-Castell Grip 2001 pencils $2 (via CW Pencil Enterprise)
  2. Oops! Eraser $3.50 (via European Paper)
  3. Dux Varibel Brass Pencil Sharpener in leather case (not currently available)
  4. Scissors
  5. Bone Folder
  6. Tombow Mono Adhesive Dispenser
  7. X-Acto blade
  8. Straight Edge Ruler
  9. Letter Opener


  1. Midori Traveler’s Notebook $57 (via Jet Pens)
  2. Rhodia pad No. 18 Blank $13.75 Ice pad shown (via Jet Pens)
  3. Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook (for work notes) $19.35 (via European Paper)
  4. Stack of 3×5 index cards (via office supply cabinet)

Not Shown:

  1. Stapler
  2. Tape Dispenser
  3. Small Memo Book (i.e. Field Notes, Calepino, Word or Nock Co.)
  4. Clairefontaine Triomphe Blank Stationery $5 (via Goulet Pens)
  5. Esterbook Nib Holder $75 (via Newton Pens)

To be added in the next couple weeks:

  1. Paperblanks Silver Filigree Esmerelda Midi Lined Notebook $22.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  2. Rhodiarama Blank Notebook, color TBD $18 (via Goldspot Pens)
  3. Enough ink to sink the Titanic

I keep a lot of pens and pencils around for review comparison purposes but I think these items can be packed into a box I access just for reviews. For day-to-day purposes, I don’t need to have to wade through every gel pen ever made to find something to write with. I don’t need four multi-pens. I don’t need to have every fountain pen inked up all the time.

I did not count the brush pens, dip pens and other tools I use specifically to do my job nor the drawing pads stored there. Most of this inventory came from the contents of my daily carry bag. I did not count my bag or my technology tools in this list.

And finally, I could not bring myself to include inks in the pare down. I tried but I just couldn’t do it. If I limit myself to a few favorite pens, I’ll need lots of color options of ink to keep myself inspired. That’s not to say I won’t pare down my massive collection of sample bottles and clear out some colors that I don’t completely love. But limiting my ink colors was more than I could take!

Everything else, I’m going to pack or sell or give away. Things with sentimental value will be stored for three months and if, at the end of that time, I miss them, I will keep them. If not, they will be sold or donated.

Does this inspire you to pare down your office and stationery goods?


7 Comments on Fashionable Friday: Project 333

  1. I just did something like this, selling the pens that I haven’t inked in a long time…. And used the proceeds to buy a pocket 66. I went for the gold needlepoint. I have been very pleased with this decision.

  2. I did something similar with my fountain pens not long ago but I think it’s time to pare down my inks along the same lines you describe, and maybe clear out some of the lingering paper ephemera clogging my desk. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I’m beginning to panic a bit. Please tell me this is just the one quarter of the year, and you have other things for the rest of it.

    I know I have too much, and that I am actively de-hoarding and this has included a number of stationary items. I’m just not ready for this. Not yet. In fact, I’m rather salivating over those pens at the top and that Paperblank notebook. In the spirit of things, I’ll try to NOT go out and look for similar items. šŸ˜‰

  4. So far I don’t have “too many” pens. I don’t keep all inked up either. Rotating through is like swapping seasonal wardrobes- you rediscover an old favorite. Of course, I do keep a ridiculous number in my daily carry. Add to the desk a couple of Sharpies and Frixion erasables (my favorite calendar pen).

  5. Luckily I don’t have a problem with this, yet. I’ve always lived in a small home, but we’re planning to upgrade into a larger home. That will undoubtedly feed the collection of inks, pens and paper..& all my other hobbies like sewing/yarn work. Since I will have more room to store it!

    It is my nightmare though to have “too much stuff” I’ve just never wanted that kind of life for myself and then fast forward to 3 years ago. Children enter the picture. . That changed! I dream of the day I can toss/giveaway 99% of their toys and clothing!! Lol.
    I like the Japanese living esthetic…

  6. I have been tossing a lot of stuff, cd’s and dvd’s, clothes. However the pen, paper, drafting and desk accessories are a lot harder. This has prompted me to at least review all the items and get rid of things not used. Soooo hard. Now on the other hand I really liked the pad with the Well Appointed Desk Logo on it. Would you consider selling those in your shop?

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