17 Things to Keep in Your Desk at Work

Step 1: Cultivate ‘mom drawer.’ Step 2: Gain reputation at work for being responsible and prepared. Step 3: ???. Step 4: Profit.

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17 things to keep in your desk at work

Adulting in the workplace is hard enough without having to field the little catastrophes that can befall us on an everyday basis, like boo-boos, broken heels, and bad hair days. 

Enter the ‘mom drawer;’ your workplace toolkit of the bits and bobs that will help you tackle those everyday annoyances. Not only will you have the tools to face your own minor emergencies, but you’ll have the resources to help your coworkers as well. 

Here are 17 things to stash in your drawer at work. Enjoy your newfound reputation as a responsible and reliable baby-adult! 

1. Band Aids

Between new-heel blisters, papercuts, and coffee spills, office boo-boos are more common than you think. Keep a couple of sizes stocked up so you’re ready for anything. A teeny tube of triple antibiotic ointment won’t hurt either. 

2. Painkillers

Headaches, cramps, you name it….nothing sucks away your productivity like throbbing pain. Ibuprofen is a solid, versatile choice that can be used for just about anything, but if you have a preference for something else, do you bb. 

3. A Lint Roller

You need one of these. ESPECIALLY if you have a cat. 

4. Deodorant

Trust me on this…sometimes you work on the twentieth floor and there’s a fire drill, or the AC is down at the peak of summer, or you just get anxious and sweat a little. Having a back-up deodorant at work has saved my sweaty butt so. many. times. 

5. Non-perishable snacks

Hanger is a thing! Once 3 pm rolls around, if I haven’t had my afternoon snack, I am a cranky, sassy, unproductive mess. Try to pick healthy choices that aren’t loaded with sugar so you won’t crash later in the day. My faves are packets of instant miso soup, single-serve hummus packs, and just a little bit of dark chocolate. 

Products: Almond butter, granola bars, hummus, miso soup, popcorn, almonds, chocolate, seaweed

6. Mints or gum

Tell me more about how you want to have Shawarma for lunch. On that note…

7. Travel-Sized Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Sometimes mints won’t cut it. 

8. Feminine products of your choice

Yep, you’ve probably got these stashed in your purse, your bag, your car, and your bra just in case of emergencies, but it can’t hurt to have a couple extra stashed in your desk too. YOU NEVER KNOW. 

9. Baby Wipes and/or Disinfectant Wipes

I have a habit of doing my makeup at my desk while I’m answering emails in the morning, which inevitably leaves me with tan fingerprints all over my white desk. Baby wipes make for easy clean up of everything from your desk surface to your keyboard to the lipstick ring on your favorite mug. Up the ante with disinfectant wipes during cold and flu season to ensure you’re not spreading or hoarding germs. On that note…

10. Hand Sanitizer

Again, during cold and flu season, your office is a literal incubator for germs and bugs. Protect yo’self. 

11. A Black Blazer

I’ve talked a little about this before, but having a black blazer stashed in your desk ensures you’ll look jazzy and professional even if a surprise meeting arises or you have an unexpected guest pop on your floor. I’d suggest a tailored fit, since they look sharp when paired with either work dresses or pants, but a boyfriend fit blazer would work too for a trendier, more youthful look. 

Top Row: 1, 2, 3, 4 | Bottom Row: 1, 2, 3, 4

12. A Pair of Black Heels

Another fashion fixer that will save the day when you want to look super stylish in a pinch (or just want to take your look from work to night). Pick a low-ish heel without straps that you’ve already broken in for easy, quick, and painless transitions. 

13. A Pair of Nude Flats

Heels break, new heels get blisters, shoes get wet, and nothing is worse than shuffling around for 8 hours straight in uncomfortable shoes. Like your black heels, these should be already broken in, but feel free to go crazy with t-straps or trendy touches. 

Top Row: 1, 2, 3 | Middle Row: 1, 2, 3 | Bottom Row: 1, 2, 3

14. Something Warm

Offices are cold – even offices on the 30th floor. Avoid shivering at your cube this winter by stashing a cute pullover, cardigan or flannel in your desk. Bonus: This may also help prevent you from catching the office bug we talked about earlier. 

15. A Hairbrush

Sometimes it’s windy! Sometimes you’re running late! Sometimes that one little part of your hair just won’t behave! You already probably have 19374290384 of these hanging out in your room, so you don’t really have any excuse not to have one at work. 

16. Bobby pins and hair ties

IF your hair is long enough to pull back. This way, you’ll never have to rummage through your bag for a dirt-covered hairpin again when that one little piece in the back won’t behave. 

17. Tea

Because it’s always a good time for tea. Switching to a slightly caffeinated green tea after my latte in the morning prevents me from getting the jitters, and then switching to herbal blends in the afternoon prevents me from being awake until midnight. If you tend to get anxious, bloated, or stressed at work, try stocking up on lavendar, ginger, or chamomile tea for an aromatic pick-me-up. 

Products: Harney & Sons, Ito En, Republic of Tea, Tazo, Yogi, Celestial Seasonings, Twinings

What do you think? 

What do you keep in your desk at work? What are your fashion fixers do you turn to again and again? What do you snack on to keep from getting hangry? Let me know in the comments below! 

8 thoughts on “17 Things to Keep in Your Desk at Work”

  1. Deodorant, dry shampoo, non perishable snack, moisturizer, chapstick, tide to go, extra phone charger, hairbrush, clean socks, extra pair of underwear, hair clips, hair ties, feminine hygiene products, cleansing wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, perfume, bus tickets, Lint roller, and eye drops are what I have in my desk. I also have the extra pair of shoes, hand sanitizer, sweater, bandaids and a reusable water bottle. I keep coffee creamer in the communal fridge and some frozen meals kept in the communal freezer on top of the fridge. I take public transit to work and I am not a morning person. There are times in the morning when I have to throw a hat on and rush to work. I get in the office and get ready in the morning because I’m usually 20 minutes early. Lucky for me, I have a sink with some cupboards right by my desk so no one really knows about this and it doesnt clutter up my desk.

  2. Love these! I also always keep a Tide to Go pen just in case! Can you do one for things to keep in your purse, car, gym bag, etc?

  3. I love the idea of a ‘mom drawer’ at work. I basically have a ‘mom drawer’ in my purse! I always end up using a much need emergency item or someone.


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