15 Must-Haves To Keep In Your Work Bag At All Times

work bag must-haves

Unsplash/Lee Campbell

From sudden spills to bathroom blunders, you never know what’s going to come your way at work. Hopefully, you’ve got the right bag with more than enough room for anything and everything you might need at a moment’s notice. If you’re looking to fill the space in that beautiful purse of yours, consider adding these 15 items so you can handle any situation at work like a #boss.

1. Pottymints

If you work in an office with a multi-person bathroom, then these are a must-have (though they’re great for individual bathrooms, too). Pottymints are little tablets that you can drop in the toilet to help eliminate any odor that may result from, well, going to the bathroom. So for those days when Taco Tuesday just doesn’t sit well with your stomach, a Pottymint is a must-have.

2. Pen

It might sound obvious, but you never know when you’re going to need to write something down. Plus, if your boss ever asks for a pen, you’ll be able to lend it to her ASAP, which could help you stand out among the crowd. Even better, pens can be used for so many things, including opening a package and holding your hair in a bun.

3. Floss

Flickr/Patricia H. Schuette

That salad you plan to eat for lunch sounds delicious, but getting spinach stuck in your teeth right before that pitch meeting does not. Don’t let that little speck distract from what you have to say at work. Hopefully, your coworkers will be honest with you and let you know that there’s something in your teeth. And when they do, be prepared with dental floss.

4. A Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheets can do so much more than soften your laundry. Keep one in your work bag in case you ever need to remove deodorant marks or pet hair from a dark colored shirt, wipe down your computer or phone screen, repel insects, tame static or just make your bag smell wonderful. Trust us, you’ll be happy you have one with you at the office.

5. Tissues

We’ve all been there: You go to the bathroom only to find that there’s no toilet paper left. Tissues to the rescue! They’re also important for when your allergies act up, you spill something on your outfit or you need to fix your makeup before a big meeting.

6. Hand Sanitizer

Like tissues, hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver when the bathroom’s out of soap. Plus, between your commutes to work and the very public, very germ-coated office water cooler, it’s smart to carry hand sanitizer at all times to help reduce your risk of catching or spreading a cold. Your immune system will thank you.

7. Portable Charger

Whether you use your cell phone for work calls or just need to tackle a few personal things at the office, your battery can die pretty quickly. Don’t risk your phone going dark on you when you need it most — carry a portable charger. If you don’t have one that can be plugged into your computer or an outlet, keep a car charger in your vehicle so you can juice up during that lunch run.

8. Business Cards

While you probably don’t need to hand a coworker a business card at work, you never know whom you might meet on your commute or during a client meeting. You might even want one for happy hour with your work wife in case you cross paths with your future mentor or boss at the bar. (It could happen!) Having a stack of business cards in your purse is a no-brainer.

9. Cash

Reshot/Paige Leigh Smock

If you work in an office with other people, chances are you’re going to need cash at some point or another. Maybe it’s to pay someone back for grabbing you a coffee or to chip in for a retirement gift for your boss. With all of the amazing credit card rewards out there these days, it’s so easy to want to swipe for everything to rack up those miles. Unfortunately, you can’t swipe for those Girl Scout cookies that your coworker is selling. Even if it’s just $20, you’re better off having a little cash on hand than none at all.

10. Breath Mints Or Mint Gum

We love our morning lattes, but the coffee breath that comes with them? Not so much. Breath mints or mint gum are a must for freshening up before that meeting. Plus, mint-flavored candies can help relieve gas and indigestion when lunch just doesn’t go your way.

11. Sewing Kit

One of the worst things that can happen at work? You lose a button on your blouse, find a hole in your skirt or break a zipper on your pants. A sewing kit is a must for fixing each of these situations. Grab a travel-sized kit that can fit in your work bag, but make sure it comes with a needle and thread, buttons and safety pins. Bonus if it has fashion tape, too!

12. Lip Balm

Another seemingly obvious one, lip balm is great for those moments when your lips are chapped. However, lip balm can be used for so many other things. Rub some on your hands if you’re out of lotion, tame unruly eyebrows or flyaway hairs with it, apply a little to a zipper if it gets stuck or prevent blisters from those new pumps by putting a little lip balm on your ankles.

13. Lotion

Pexels/Linda Prebreza

Dry skin is never fun. Whether it’s on your hands, arms or legs, moisturized skin will always look and feel more professional. Keep lotion in your work bag and apply it before shaking someone’s hand (make sure it dries first, though) or use it to freshen up when it seems like your deodorant just isn’t working as well as it should. But be careful with the fragrance — no one wants the entire office to smell like passionfruit and banana flower.

14. Nail File Or Clippers

A good, old-fashioned nail file or pair of nail clippers can come in handy when you accidentally break a nail or need to smooth a rough edge. A quick touch-up can also help your fingers look more professional when shaking hands with someone at the office. Even better, both can be used to cut a loose string from a shirt or skirt. Whatever you use a nail file or clippers for, just be sure to do it in the bathroom so you don’t bother your coworkers with the sound.

15. Stain Removal Wipes

Spilling a little coffee on a white blouse is the worst. But with a stain remover wipe, you’ll look squeaky clean before that morning meeting. Keep a few in your work bag at all times so you never have to worry about one little spot ruining your entire day.

While these items are our must-haves, carry whatever you need to put your best foot forward every day. Just be sure to arm yourself with a work bag that can carry it all and you’ll feel confident no matter what the situation.


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