Do you keep your pen boxes?

I remember growing up my dad saved the original box for most of the things we bought. Barring major appliances and anything else that would not fit in a single car garage. He was into electronic things and gadgets so we always had a stack of boxes for VCRs, stereos, CB Radios (remember those!), police scanners, etc.  I never really understood the full value of said boxes but I knew that stack was off limits. I was responsible for cleaning our little garage and I would scorn all the space that empty cardboard was taking up and fantasize about how much better I could utilize the space.  I know dad would occasionally sell some of these items wen he lost interest with it so the original box was always a plus for the buyer. Dad took care of things so repackaged he always sold them as used but they could pass for new.

As I grew older my discretionary income grew to the point that I started acquiring things and found myself looking for places to stash the empty boxes. I don’t know why I did it and how I justified it in my mind I just started doing it subconsciously. I guess if dad did it then it must be a good idea.

When my serious pen collecting began a couple of years ago I saved all the pen boxes out of habit. They were small and not a burden to store as my living quarters supported some storage.  I did have a slight justification in that pen people typically like to buy a used pen with the box. Since I’m still learning about this great hobby there was a better than average chance I would be selling some of my collection to finance other purchases. For that I was right.

Below is what I have accumulated thus far. Not a huge collection but enough that I have filled up two closet shelf space sized plastic containers. I may be able to add a couple more pens with some jigsaw puzzle stacking of the boxes but it won’t be long until I need to cull some of these out or add more shelf space.


Zooming in there are a few that I just couldn’t get rid of. My Nakaya and my Pelikan M1000 are really nice and would be great accompaniment to the sale of the pen.


Then there are these oversize boxes, and Conklin seems to be a big offender here. Does the box REALLY need to be this big?  I can appreciate the efficiency of making one box for your whole product line but nobody makes pens that big.


Finally I have boxes for some of my more economical pens. For the price point of the pen I would not expect these boxes to be anything special. But do I throw them away because they are more utilitarian in design and materials? IMG_7441

What is your retention and storage routine for pen boxes?

Remember: Write something nice……



15 thoughts on “Do you keep your pen boxes?

    • Brad – thanks for stopping by. I have sold a few pens where the buyer specifically asked for the box. I don’t know if it was a deal breaker or not but it did make the shipping and packing easier knowing it would ride safe.

  1. I’m a throw it away if there is no use for it person, but I must confess that when it comes to pen boxes, I sin, I’ve got a stash stored in my plastic drawer set, with no intent to get rid of them.

    • Thanks Shirley for stopping by. Yes some of the boxes have been designed with as much thought as the pens and they are just cool. I will always keep those around.

  2. I was keeping all of my pen boxes. I finally threw most of them away this weekend. I feel mildly bad about it, but I live in an apartment with minimal storage options, and they were taking up so much room, and I would likely never use them again. I prefer to keep my pens in a leather wrap or case. I did keep a couple boxes, but now I’m glad I can dedicate my space to my growing collection of ink! I think if, after trying a pen and discovering I don’t like it for some reason or another, I would keep the case in the event I decided to trade or sell it. But otherwise, only really nice cases that aren’t too bulky would remain in my possession.

    • Thanks Anna for stopping by. Storage space can be a real driver to the keep or can decision. I think I will always keep the real nice or cool designed boxes but I was able to throw some away and keep my box collection down to two small plastic storage totes. I’m good for a few more months.

  3. This is a great topic. I keep what I consider to be “nice” boxes. There isn’t really a rhyme or reason to what that means, but if the pen comes in a really basic cardboard box like a Safari or Kaweco Classic Sport I’ll usually pitch them. I’ve kept the boxes for my Vanishing Point, Lamy 2000s, Lamy Swift, and a few others.

    I noticed your vintage rOtring box…that one is definitely a keeper! : )

    • Mike – Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy your instagram images and the hard time Dowdy gives you. I did cull the pile you see and did exactly as you said, dumped the plainer more generic boxes. I’m impressed but not surprised you spotted that Rotring with your passion for the brand. I actually have two. I have a 600 series rollerball, the absolute heaviest pen I have ever held 🙂 and a very slim black pushbutton ballpoint. (Box whereabouts unknown). Since my move to fountain pens I rarely pull them out anymore but I doubt they will ever be in the for sale line. Have a great day

    • Jane, thanks for stopping by. I keep all my ink boxes out of habit of storing the bottle of ink in them. I keep threatening to display some of the beautiful ink bottles themselves. I agree some makers put ALOT of thought time and effort into the box and packaging.

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  5. I thought I was the minority in keeping all the boxes. In fact, because I do not have a good storage for pens, after each flushing, all the pens go back to their respective boxes. Similar to others too, in case I would like to send them to better homes in the future, I will have the shipping box ready, only need to add extra protection.

    • I keep all of them for awhile yes but what prompted the blog post was I had run out of room in my two pen box storage boxes :).. So I had to throw some out to make room for some new pens I got. That got me think about which ones to keep and which ones to throw out. Thanks for stopping by as always

    • Thanks for stopping by. I know the storage can get out of hand quickly. I’m trying to stay down to two big plastic storage tubs but adding pens requires going through and throwing out one. Tough call every time.

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