My Indescribable Love For Stationery

Since early high school, I have had a fascination with stationery. To this day, I cannot explain why I am so obsessed with it, and exactly why it makes me happy. Notebooks, pens, stickers, you name it—I have curated a stationery collection for quite a few years to the point where it may seem excessive to most people. I keep falling into a trap of having a plethora of stationery in my inventory, but nevertheless it still brings me happiness.

I don’t know exactly where my obsession with stationery started, but I remember getting into the stationery rabbit hole in early high school when I started watching “Study With Me” and “Get Productive With Me” videos on YouTube. I felt that if I watched someone else be productive and get tasks done, that would help me become productive when I had low motivation. While watching these videos I kept noticing the stationery the creators had in their videos, and I remember thinking “I want what they have!”

I found myself being inspired to stay motivated to be productive from watching a bunch of productivity/studying vlogs, and with that inspiration for motivation came my curiosity in stationery and collecting pens, stickers, and such for both the aesthetic and the fun of it. I had the mindset that if I had cute and aesthetic school supplies, I would be more productive and more motivated to do work. Thus, my love for collecting stationery began.

During my later high school years, I got very overwhelmed with the workload I had that I started to neglect collecting stationery, and I leaned towards convenience when it came to using school supplies and stationery instead of aesthetic and sophistication. It wasn’t until the global pandemic hit that I rekindled with my love for stationery.

Like many others during quarantine, I found myself finding new hobbies to enjoy and revisiting old ones to pass the time. I soon found YouTube channels that specialize in journaling and all things stationery, such as justinebujo, coffeemlk, and milkcloud. Because I had so much free time on my hands during the summer, I binge-watched a bunch of journaling and penpalling videos, and reconnected with my love for collecting stationery. Before I knew it, I was collecting stationery again, found time out of my day to journal, and started penpalling to friends near and far.

Though I cannot explain exactly why stationery makes me happy, there are a multitude of reasons as to why I find solace in stationery. First, it’s fun to collect! Collecting in general is a fun hobby for anyone, and it can bring a sense of nostalgia over a long period of time. Collecting stationery allows me to have fun with organizing it how I want, and I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside whenever I collect a new piece of stationery.

Not only does it make me feel happy for myself, but also collecting stationery makes me feel happy for independent sellers! I always try to support independent businesses, and there are many stationery shops on Etsy and Instagram that sell the cutest stationery. Whenever I am on a stationery shopping spree, I always try to find shops on social media that are trying to promote their products, as well as Etsy shops that are recommended to me by stationery and journaling YouTubers. Some of my favorite shops include bucketofstickers, moehrenkunstshop, and Jinkymuu.

Stationery isn’t just something for me to collect; I also use stationery to journal and penpal! I use this time to relax and to take time to unwind. I don’t do this on days where I am booked from start to finish, but whenever I have the time I like to journal or write some snail mail to a friend using the stationery I have collected. There is something comforting about jotting every thought down on paper and decorating with cute stickers and washi tape, or even writing about your day on a letter to send to a faraway friend, and giving them washi tape samples and stickers to enjoy for themselves!

There’s also something satisfying about looking at a fully-decorated journal entry, completed with washi tape lining the edges, stickers plastered in every nook and cranny of the page, and your words that mirror every expressive thought in your mind. It’s fun to look back on these decked-out pages later in life, and reflect on the pure joy you had while crafting these entries.

To most people, stationery is just something pretty to admire. To me, it’s a way of expressing who I am, and a way to show my passion for creativity.