For all of us students and teachers, September is the start of a new year. The minute academic planners hit the shelves, I become obsessed with the idea of a new beginning. A new haircut, a new wardrobe, a clean desk and, hopefully, brand new work habits to match. I feel the itch to stock up on pretty notebooks, fun sticky notes and colorful gel pens to help keep my busy schedule organized. It takes a really good planner and quite a few to-do lists to keep track of all my teaching duties, research deadlines, blogging ideas and social outings. For beautiful stationery that is also functional, Japanese retailer MUJI is my first stop.
MUJI has been on my radar for years and now that they have two locations in Toronto, it is by far my favourite spot to shop for all the things I need to keep my life organized. The clear acrylic drawers all the bloggers rave about? That’s from MUJI. The smoothest gel pen ever? That’s from MUJI too, and they sell 80 000 of them a year in Canada alone. I love their minimalistic approach, their clean lines, and the way everything fits perfectly into my space and just looks right.
I recently got to visit the MUJI Canada head office to be introduced to their stationery offerings, just in time for back to school season. The space itself is beautiful – all white walls, light wood and beanbag chairs. After MUJI Canada’s president Toru Akita introduced us to the brand, we got to play around with MUJI stamps and check out all the different back to school essentials you’ll find at MUJI this year. For a stationery hoarder like myself, it was literally heaven. I had a blast stamping my Recycled Paper Notebooks*, and I made one for my blog, one for the course I will be teaching in the fall, and one to scribble research ideas in.
Some of my favourite things include the Monthly Academic Diary*, which has lots of space for taking notes, the genius why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before Transparent Sticky Notes* and the cute Cat Sticky Notes* that make studying a breeze and keep your books in top resellable condition, the tiny Stapler*, the Glue Tape* that will change the way you scrapbook forever, the Acrylic Rack* to keep pens and other desk things from disappearing in the black hole that is the top drawer of any desk, and the Stainless Steel Pen Holder* you can clip on any notebook. MUJI also threw in a Handheld Paper Shredder* and an Aluminum Card Case*, so I finally got rid of the ugly cardboard box I have been using for the past two years to store my blog’s business cards.
I took home what seems like a year’s supply of various pens* (including a couple of the famous Capped Gel-ink Pens* I was already in love with and the 24 Colour Pens Set*!) stored in the super convenient PP Double Pen Case*. The case is so great, in fact, that I couldn’t wait to use it and forgot to photograph it. The 3 Drawers Acrylic Box* I took home is also missing from the photos, because it is now housing all of my lipsticks (well, as many as I could fit in!). No need to even mention how much I love it and how beautiful it looks on my dressing table.
As a language Course Instructor, I’m always trying to find ways to make learning French easier for my students, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about the Recycled Paper Word Cards*. It works in the same way as your usual word cards would, but the keyring ensures that your word cards won’t get lost and makes the material you have to learn super portable in case you fancy an impromptu study sesh.
If you still haven’t found the perfect planner or need to get your life in order, MUJI has a 15% to 20% sale on selected items going on at the moment!
What are your favourite bits and pieces from MUJI?