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Things to Keep in Your Desk at the Office Because YOU JUST NEVER KNOW

by Maribel Lopez
October 31, 2016 | Work

Recently, I was caught attempting to sneakily put on deodorant at the office. I keep a stick of it at my desk because YOU NEVER KNOW when you might need a little freshening up. Amiright?

This got me thinking about other things I keep on hand at my desk not just in case of emergencies, (I couldn't remember whether I'd applied any deo for the B.O. that morning) but also to just be a prepared, good human being.


Big presentation? A/C breaks down? Colleague chooses a "brisk" walk-'n-talk over a sit-down meeting? It happens. Protect yo'self.


You can use selfie mode on your phone these days which is handy if you are on the run but it certainly doesn't hurt to keep a small mirror at your desk as you dash from the depths of your salad to your next meeting where you have to open your mouth and speak. CHECK YOUR TEETH.

Unscented lotion or hand-cream

This is particularly helpful in the depths of winter when everyone and their mom is coming down with something so you're constantly washing your hands, drying them out. Unless you are certain your surrounding colleagues don't mind a little fragrance, go the unscented route and earn #respect.

stain remover

Stain remover

Because sometimes you think your coffee mug is nearly empty and enthusiastically throw it back to take a big swig and there's more than you thought resulting in a little spillage/splash action—on your white shirt. Oh, and it's only 8 a.m. and you have a very important meeting later in the day. This will save you.

Toothbrush and paste

Seeing a colleague brush their teeth used to weird me out but now I'm a believer. If you eat garlic for lunch, it's likely a mint won't do the job alone. And if you somehow forgot to brush that morning at home: SAVED.


A stash of these will make you a popular colleague.

Glassware and utensils

Stop hauling these back and forth from home/stop grabbing a plastic fork from the break room every single day. Leave a microwave safe plate and bowl along with a glass or water bottle and some silverware at your desk to make your life easier. BONUS: Being friendly to the environment!



Hopefully your office isn't a place of too many tears so you'd only be using these to keep germs to yourself.

Paper towels

Because you spill things and aren't always close to the nearest paper towel dispenser. Just grab a few from the restroom or break room and keep them in a drawer. Also helpful for wiping down your desk surface to keep it fresh and clean. Optional: a bottle of all-purpose surface cleaner. (Yes, I have one at my desk.)

Phone charger

You'll never be dead when you have post-work activities.

Feminine products

Oh you used the last one in your purse and didn't restock? Good thing you have a supply at your desk! Some workplaces have a supply of these in the ladies room but gals, if you've got preferences, keep your fave fem products close by.



It's likely your office has a first-aid kit but WHERE IS IT? And are the bandages fresh or from 1975? I.e. will they adhere to your skin? Keep a couple stashed in your desk for those dreaded paper cuts or for that day you wear the shoes you knew you shouldn't have worn and now: blisters.

Safety pins

Because straps break, buttons pop off and rips and tears happen. Don't let these snags bring you down. (See what I did there?)

Contact solution/eyedrops

Long days/late nights/there's something in my...HALP. A little eyeball refresh can feel nice.


Because we want to encourage good habits, healthy snacks are the better option. These snacks will save you if you forgot your lunch/don't have time to go get lunch and will prevent you from an impulse vending machine purchase (like a candy bar or potato chips). Nuts and trail mix are a great long lasting snack for a quick protein boost. I keep a jar of peanut butter at my desk and a spoon because some days call for spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Headshot of Maribel Lopez Director of
Maribel Lopez is a lifelong public media fan and as director of Rewire, oversees the site’s strategy and operations. When she isn’t catching up on the latest digital publishing trends, she enjoys traveling, flamenco dancing and going on adventures with her doggos.
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