It’s that time of year: They need school supplies, your home office needs a kick and these twinkling white lights aren’t going to hang themselves.

Yet eyeing the coming fall, with remote learning, remote working and election rhetoric that’s more dumpster fiery by the day, Bag Lady will be completely honest: It’s hard to be unflinchingly perky and shop-rific in the face of so much 2020ness.

So let’s soldier on together. Loose leaf paper, pencils and gold staplers (heck, yes, gold staplers!) still need to be bought. Gel pens need to be bought, lost, rebought, loaned to Tiffany and rebought again. Golden Girls Trapper Keepers need to be . . . OK, now I’m just dating myself.

Come, sip this phantom Frappucino with Bag Lady, acknowledge that even brightly burning dumpster fires will eventually go out, relax our shoulders — ahhh — and let’s e-shop.

We can do this.

Screen cleaning wipes, 15-pack, Staples, $3.69


Start September with a clean, blank e-slate. Rewipe as spattered milk and screen-inhibiting dust demands.

CraZart super washable markers, Walmart, 50 cents

Not washable — super washable. And 75% off! Yes, please.

• Pen+Gear one-subject note, Walmart, 25 cents

Chose between wide-ruled or college-ruled. Start that math homework or that great steampunk novel on your lunch break today!

Nontoxic glue sticks, 15-pack, Big Lots, $3.75


Give half to your middle schooler for projects, keep half with the intention of handcrafting all of your Christmas cards, run out of time, give that half to your middle schooler next year. Win-win.

ACCO gold tone paper clips, box of 100, Staples, $1.49

I melt for a fancy paper clip, just that little extra zhuzh* in an unexpected place.

* Yes, zhuzh is an actual word! It’s pronounced jooj. Shopping and learning, always shopping and learning.

Photo clip LED string light, Big Lots, $6

Absolutely adorable with thin silver wire, 25 mini white lights and 12 tiny shaped clips (choose between avocado, peach and cactus. But, I mean, is there really a choice? Hello, cactus.) String this above your desk and hang photos, sure, but why not hang homework? Love letters? Bills? It’s instant flair.


Pen+Gear mermaid tail and black video game pencil pouches, Walmart, $2.97-$3.97

One is covered in sequins and described as “fin-tastic,” which, sold, and the other is tricked out to look like an old school video game controller. Both cute and organizational as heck.

Cynthia Rowley gold stapler on sale at Staples. (Online photo)

Best find: Cynthia Rowley gold stapler, Staples, $6.62

Ten-sheet capacity, no skid bottom and so lux — those TPS reports and home school logs won’t know what prettiness hit them. On sale with free overnight delivery!

Think twice: About thinking you’re not allowed a grrrr!, UGH and &*^%!#! It’s so 2020. Get it out, shake it off and go Google that Golden Girls Trapper Keeper, which was actually a thing! Ahh, the ’80s.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are happily oblivious to whatever year it is) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at

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