Since everyone is gearing up for the new school year to begin and buying supplies is part of the fun of getting ready, I’d like to recommend some of my favorite school and office supplies. Whether you’re buying for a student heading back for a new year of learning or you need some new supplies for your office, these are functional and useful in many ways.

Read to the end for some tips on how to declutter all those markers you probably don’t need anymore!

Erasable Pens

These Pilot brand erasable gel pens come with a fine point in a 7-pack of assorted colors. They are ideal for students who do a lot of note-taking using pen and paper! While not for test taking (can you guess I am a former teacher?), these colorful pens are ideal to use because you can erase your mistakes with the built-in eraser. I love these pens and keep them in several locations throughout my house.

Clear Colored File Folders

I am SO visual that often when things are out of sight, they are out of mind. These cheerful, see-through file folders by Pendaflex enable me to capture and protect documents and still see what’s inside. I don’t use these folders for filing inside a drawer. Instead, I use them for more “active” projects that I’m working on. The translucent folders provide a home for the paperwork associated with a project and the two sides with locking tabs keep the papers safe and secure. I like to use a label maker to make a label for the tab, but when a project is over, I can peel off the label and reuse the folder for something else.

TOPS FocusNotes Note Taking Pad

Yes, I gushed about this note taking notepad just a few emails ago, but it’s something I use all the time so it bears mentioning again. You don’t need to be a student to benefit from this helpful pad. I utilize the date/purpose, cue column, notes and summary sections to keep my notes organized and clear in many situations — when I’m speaking with a potential new client, doing my secretarial duties for the Institute of Challenging Disorganization (ICD) Board meetings, or when listening to a teleclass or podcast that I know has worthwhile information. How would you use it?

Recycle Markers
I love the idea of reducing waste, especially plastic waste. Crayola markers are a standard item on school supply lists across the country. But what happens to last year’s markers that don’t write anymore?

Crayola launched Crayola ColorCycle, a K-12 initiative that encourages schools across the continental United States and parts of Canada to collect and repurpose used Crayola markers. It’s a way to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment, and reuse something that would otherwise go into a landfill.

ColorCycle offers specially developed lesson plans to help kids understand eco-friendly concepts and how they can be part of those efforts. In order to participate, all schools have to do is set up a collection station. Once you have enough markers to send back, print out a shipping label from ColorCycle and call FedEx. They’ll pick up the package and Crayola will pay the shipping charges.

For markers that are not Crayola brand, Dixon Recycle has a program for recycling Prang markers. This is similar to the Crayola program in that you just have to collect enough markers to fill a box or bag. Request a pre-paid shipping label and let UPS handle the rest.

Pen Guy takes repurposing and recycling markers a step further by collecting all ballpoints, dry erase markers, Crayola markers, felt tips, mechanical pencils or any other type of pen. He turns them into recycled art. Repurposing at it’s finest!!! I’m always saying that one person’s junk is someone else’s treasure!

There are so many markers in the world . . . if you’re interested in reading more about marker and pen recycling and how you might be able to get by with fewer markers, we found this interesting article on Recyclebank.

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