My Ink 100: Part 2 – Color Inventory is Hard

My phase two of my Ink 100 destash project is not going AT ALL according to plan.

I needed to pull swatches for every color ink I own from my numerous Col-o-rings and sort them by color in an effort to streamline the sorting process.

So many Col-o-ring swatch books

This was a slow process which required pulling ink out of the drawers so that I could see all of them and align a swatch with each bottle. This lead to the discovery of two things: the first was that I have many bottles that have not been swatched. AND… I found over 25 more bottles of ink I had hidden in a closet like an ink hoarding gremlin. Oh, the shame!!!

Swatch sorting by color and bottles that have not been swatched.

I have spent HOURS culling through the collection and still have at least two drawers left to pull swatch cards and verfiy if the color has been swatched.

The final box of inks needing swatching after a full day of sorting. I am guessing its well over 30 bottles I’ll need to swatch.

Of the inks I did have swatches for, I was able to start paring some down. Below is the keepers at this point after going through three drawers of inks.

With two drawers left and a book shelf, I have already collected about 60 bottles I think are “keepers”. I’m in big trouble if I think I’m going to hit my goal!
The various bottles of “keeper” inks.


So, this week, my plan is to finish going through the drawers and sorting and then doing the necessary swatching to have swatches of every bottle of ink I own. I have my fingers crossed that I can complete this process in a week but I have my doubts.While I know it will feel good to have my stash down to a more manageable number of inks, the process right now is chaotic and messy and feels like an uphill battle. Are you trying to destash inks? How’s it going for you?

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10 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I mostly have samples but I mostly have storage. I’m holding on for now.

    I think your process will become easier until you discover the hidden wheelbarrow 🙂

  2. I’ve only recently gotten into fountain pens, so I have a limited collection at the moment. I’m hoping to learn from those more experienced and organize my collection as it grows 🙂 ( but if my hoard of nail polish and yarn are any indication, that’s unlikely)

    What is the ink in the silver pouches? i haven’t seen ink in containers like that before.

    1. Those silver pouches are from Callifolio, a French ink maker. I love the pouches as they are less expensive to buy and a great opportunity to decant into other containers that might be pretty or sentimental. I have some old Sheaffer and Parker bottles I plan to clean thoroughly and decant the keepers into.

  3. I am DEFINITELY not laughing at your plight, but reading your discovery of ink gremlin-cy with the bottles in the closet definitely had me laughing out loud. I had to share that part with my husband, because I was so tickled.

    1. My yarn gremlins are just as bad. And I wouldn’t post it online if I didn’t expect to be a cautionary tale. 🙂

  4. Just curious: what are you doing with the ink you’re getting rid of? No, thanks, I don’t want it. Really just curious.

    I have some drawers in my kitchen where I keep all my ink. They’re full, so I can’t buy any more until/unless I get rid of some. And that just seems like too much trouble, after reading about the hassle you’re going through. Makes me tired just reading about it. Good luck with the rest of your efforts! And good for you for doing it. We could all do with less STUFF.

    1. My plan is to sell off the excess in my shop at discounted prices. I haven’t worked out the most efficient way to do that part yet as I’m still just struggling through my cataloging process.

  5. My process has been: Swatch all new inks on the Col-o-ring (one ring for samples, and the one ring for bottles just split into two!). That I’ve been doing for many years, so they are all swatched. Last year I also listed them on Fountain Pen Companion. At the same time, I made an “ink map”, which is basically a list of which inks are in my Ikea Raskog and which are clinging to the edges of which bookshelf, so that I can find them when I want to use them. And that’s where I stopped, apart from giving away a few inks I didn’t like and a few extra samples. If it were easy to sell inks, I might, but it isn’t easy enough. I do find that I’ve slowed down my ink purchasing a lot, now that I really know how many blue-greens I have, e.g. A next step I want to do is to explicitly label some (probably on FPC) as favorites or as ones I want to try soon. I think that will also reduce the temptation to buy more and might lead to my giving some more away. I’ve very interested in reading about your process!

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