WORKPLACE / NOV. 17, 2015
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15 Items You Should Always Have on Your Desk

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Whether you work in a cubicle or in your own home office, chances are you spend the majority of your day at your desk. In fact, for people who work Monday to Friday, 9-5, that’s one-third of your life! And that doesn’t even include overtime on evenings and weekends!

See Also: 3 Awesome Standing Desk Solutions

When you spend that much time in one place, you might as well keep a few essentials nearby to help you get through the day. Not to mention, if you actually want to leave the office at quitting time, it’s best to buckle down and get to work. In a perfect world your time at work would be spent working hard, staying productive and knocking items off of your to-do lists. However, too often, people find themselves getting up to find things they need, distracting them from their work, interrupting their flow and making it near impossible to finish their work on time.

It only makes sense that you should have certain items neatly organized at your work space, to make your life easier and your work day run smoother.

1. Refillable Water Bottle

Water is vital to our health because we need it to survive. Getting up every few minutes to get a drink from the fountain or water cooler is a great way to keep up with the office gossip, but it’s not good for your productivity. To save time, keep a refillable water bottle on your desk for whenever you get thirsty. This will save you from having to keep getting up to get a drink, but don’t worry, you’ll still get to gossip on your way to the washroom.

2. Snacks

Stay away from vending machines and takeout by keeping a stash of healthy snacks at your desk. And I mean healthy. Don’t stock pile chips and candy bars in your desk drawer. Instead, keep fresh fruit on hand, a container of trail mix, a few energy bars and oatmeal packets, and whole wheat crackers for the next time your tummy gets rumbly.

3. First-Aid Kit

Even a cushy desk job can be a dangerous place. Paper cuts, broken nails, blisters, headaches – injury can happen at any moment! To save yourself a trip to the office’s first-aid kit, keep a mini kit of your own at your desk. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of supplies or getting up to tend your wound. Keep it filled with band-aids, ointments, eye drops, pain killers and tweezers for those minor accidents.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Do you want to work with 20 other employees close to you, and still be the only person there who won’t catch the common cold that spreads around the office relentlessly in the winter? Your solution is to keep a hand sanitizer at your desk. Remember to use it before you eat or even touch your face.

5. Tissue

If you do get sick though, it’s best to keep a box of tissues nearby. You don’t want to have to sneeze onto your elbow when you’re stuffed up, trust me.

6. Mirror

Appearance isn’t everything, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to want to look good. Keep a mirror at your desk to make sure your makeup hasn’t run, your hair hasn’t gone out of control and your food didn’t get stuck in your teeth. This will save you from an awkward moment the next time you have to meet with a client or your boss.

7. Beauty Supplies

Speaking of appearances, you might want to keep a few beauty supplies on hand. You never know when you’re going to get called into a meeting, have to grab lunch with a client or run an errand. That’s why you should keep a little bag filled with a comb and hair elastics, lip balm and makeup, a nail file and whatever else you require to keep looking good.

8. Dental Care

You should also have a few oral hygiene items nearby. I’m talking about a toothpaste, a toothbrush, dental floss and picks, and of course, mouthwash. We also recommend keeping gum and mints at your desk, too, for that minty fresh smell!

9. Lotion

Dry hands are not very nice for exchanging handshakes. They’re all itchy and annoying. Keep lotion at your desk, especially in the winter, to combat flaky skin, itchy elbows and cracked knuckles. This can be kept out on your desk, or tucked away in your beauty supply bag.

10. Post-its

Everyone should have a pad of Post-it notes on their desk. You don’t to let your ideas escape you, or bother trying to remember someone’s name and number. Instead of relying on your memory, write it down!

They’re also handy for those moments when inspiration strikes. Whenever a great idea pops into your head, write it on a Post-it note, so you can get back to the task at hand and stay focused.

11. Notepad

Sometimes a Post-it note isn’t big enough. For lengthier memos, it’s a good idea to have a notepad at your desk. Notepads are great for writing down your big ideas, taking long messages or even doodling when you’re bored. Ideally, your notepad should be out on your desk so you don’t have to go searching for it. Sometimes the time it takes to pull it out of a drawer; that great idea might just slip your mind.

12. Pens and Pencils

Of course, you won’t be doing any note taking or doodling without a pen or pencil. Every desk should have a few of these tucked away and out on display, preferably in many different colors! Keep a few out on your desk and a few in your drawer for back-up. You can keep them in a cup or a fancy pencil holder, whatever your office decor calls for.

13. Chargers

Due to society’s ever-growing technology addiction, having your smart phone die on you, would be like the end of the world! Not to mention, making a call on a phone that’s on the brink of death is impossible. Save yourself the stress and grief by keeping the necessary chargers at your desk. We recommend having a spare charger to keep at work, and another one at home. You don’t want to have to remember to bring it to and from work, every day.

14. Ear buds


If you’re one of those people who feel inspired to work harder by listening to a podcast, or like to get their groove on while working, ear buds are a must to have at your desk! Don’t distract your cubicle neighbors or office buddies with your music; just because you like to dance at work, doesn’t mean everyone does.

15. Lint Roller

We all love our furry friends, but going to work covered in pet hair is not very professional. In fact, you shouldn’t go anywhere covered in hair or lint. Save yourself the embarrassment of being known as the crazy cat-lady and keep a lint roller at your desk. Even if you don’t have pets, stray hairs, fuzz, and, well, lint, will somehow find its way to your clothes. Don’t let it stay there.

See Also: 5 Cutest Things to Keep on Your Desk

So much of our time is spent working, glued to our desks in order to get the job done. While it may seem silly to keep so many items close by, in the end it will help you work faster whilst staying healthy, clean and looking your best. Just remember to keep your items at your desk organized!

Can you think of any other supplies that an employee must have on their desk, in order to survive a hectic day? Let us know in the comments section below.

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