There are three main aspects to my cubicle survival kit: personal care, gifts and cards, and food (hunger is definitely a matter of survival).
- Lint roller
- Bobby pins
- Hairspray (for both taming flyaways and as a makeshift static guard)
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss (I like to just bring whatever little packet my dentist gives me at each visit)
- Nail file
- Tide-to-go pen
- Extra makeup brush (haven't used this ever but have it anyway)
- More mints
- Ibuprofen (or your preferred headache-healer)
- Comb (somehow this didn't make it into the pic, but I rarely use brushes on my hair)
The majority of these items started out in my wedding day brides survival kit that one of my bridesmaids made me. Luckily I didn't need anything from it that day, but I ended up bringing nearly the whole kit to the office. Some other items that I don't have in my kit (but probably should): safety pins, clear nail polish (the possibilities are endless!), mouthwash (I ran out), travel sewing kit, and extra earrings (I often forget to put any on in the morning).
- Assorted blank cards (use them for any occasion--birthday, Christmas, thank-you)
- Gift wrap (I have a generic Christmas-y print here, but you could have a more all-seasons one)
- Tissue paper (a few layers of this can sub as wrapping paper, too)
- Tea/drinks (I also have hot chocolate, honey, and some Nature Made Immuni-C packets)
- Breakfast (I like cereal and instant oatmeal packets)
- Extra cups and utensils (I generally use my reusable mug and bowl, but these come in handy for ultra messy food, since I don't always get to the sink that often since it's on the other side of the building. Caked on oatmeal = not fun to be scrubbing while in work clothes)
- Healthy snacks (trail mix, nuts, soy crisps)
- Backup lunch (organic instant soups, Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, things that don't have to be refrigerated or frozen)
- Candy (What can I say? I need my sweets)
Stay away from anything smelly or overly messy. One-handed snacks are best.
Your cubicle survival kit should be hidden away in drawers or cabinets if possible. If not, get a cute desktop box (Ikea has cheap ones) to keep things out of sight. All of these items can be purchased on the cheap and in multiples, so when you're shopping to restock your home, pick up an extra for the office. You never know when you (or someone else!) will need it. Others' survival kits have saved me plenty of times.
What tools and trinkets do you keep at work in case of emergency?