Forgetting something at home before you go to work is a common frustration for many. You might forget your wallet, an important document, or even your phone.
Instead of trying to remember all that you need as you’re rushing out the door, it’s best to keep all the essentials in a work bag. This could be a briefcase, a leather backpack like this one, or a purse. Choose a bag that fits your personal style and wardrobe.
Here are some ideas for what to keep in your work bag:
House and car keys are indispensable to your day. You can’t get to work or get back into your home without them.
So putting keys in your work bag can be a good idea. Try to keep them in an easily accessible location within your bag so you don’t have to go digging for them. Some bags even have built-in key holders for this purpose.
Unless it’s small enough to fit in your pocket, your wallet should also have a home in your work bag. You could put it in an inner slip pocket or an outer zipper pocket. Either way, it should have a dedicated place so you know where to find it.
While you’re organizing your work bag, it’s a good idea to organize your wallet as well. Go through it to get rid of expired cards, old receipts, and depleted gift cards. There’s probably no sense in carrying these around.
3. Electronics (with chargers)
These days, it’s hard to do without electronic devices. Between your phone, laptop, and headphones, there’s a lot you use on a day-to-day basis.
To ensure you always have what you need, keep electronics, chargers, portable batteries, and USB drives in your work bag. Give each device its space. That way, you won’t accidentally find yourself without the equipment you need at work.
4. Mini emergency kit
You never know when you’ll be on the road and have an emergency. It could be an injury, wardrobe malfunction, or a vehicle breakdown.
As a result, you should keep at least a mini emergency kit in your work bag. This could include a first aid kit, sewing kit, and mini toolset. It’s better to be prepared than sorry.
5. Water bottle and snacks
Have you ever been hungry or thirsty at work? Or on the way to or from work? Then you may want to pack a water bottle and some snacks in your work bag.
Good snacks could include nuts, granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit, or protein bars. Aim for nutritionally dense food to get the most out of your bag’s limited space. But don’t leave food in it for too long. Otherwise, the food may go bad and make a mess.
6. Hygiene and cosmetic products
For some, it may be hard to go without certain hygiene products for very long. So it’s a good idea to pack them in your work bag. Some examples include tissues, painkillers, deodorant, breath mints, hand sanitizer, nail trimmers, wet wipes, eye drops, and spare contacts or glasses (if you wear them).
The same goes for cosmetic products. You may want to carry some make-up so you can touch up your face on the go. Some common go-to items include lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, hair ties, bobby pins, and a hair brush.
7. Notepad and pens
Sometimes it’s nice to have basic pen and paper on hand. You can use them to take notes, doodle, and take a break from screens. Plus, you never know when you may lose your internet connection and can’t use your phone.
So stick a hard-cover notepad and some capped pens in your work bag. They may come in handy.
8. Weather wear
Weather can be unpredictable. Sudden rain or wind could get you wet or make you uncomfortable in your current outfit. So it’s smart to pack a poncho, windbreaker, or parka in your work bag. A compact umbrella is also nice.
9. Non-electronic entertainment
Non-electronic entertainment such as a Rubik’s cube, crossword puzzles, crafts, or a simple deck of cards can be great when you’re out of internet reach. Keep one in your work bag to keep yourself entertained during downtime.
10. Business cards
Lastly, keep some business cards in your work bag. That way, you can quickly share your contact information with anyone you meet. You never know when you’ll strike up a conversation with a potential client or business partner. So it’s best to always be prepared.
That’s it! The ten must-haves for your work bag. If you’re missing some, start gathering them today.