I’ll never forget the day that I moved into my cube. It was so clean, so new, so…tiny. But despite the Lilliputian accommodations, the cube was mine, all mine. And it’s a good thing too, since my lower drawers are filled to the brim with possessions designed to keep me comfortable and looking professional while at work.
Putting my best foot forward. Drawer number one is full of shoes. And I mean full. At present, there are five pairs of high heels residing inside the drawer. While not ideal, this is far preferable to the haphazard, Everest-sized pile of shoes that I often see shoved under staffer’s desks.
If you must keep your shoes at work (and I like to have a few pairs on hand), then please, put them where people (the Boss) can’t see them. It looks incredibly tacky and unprofessional to carelessly heaped on the floor. So clear a space in a drawer or cupboard and store them there. Out of room?
Tuck them inside a cloth grocery bag or a box under your desk, at least this way, they won’t be visible to passersby.
Stay Comfy, D.C. Capitol Hill offices are notoriously chilly. Sub-arctic, actually. The only way to survive is to keep a heating pad (yes, a heating pad), hot cocoa/tea bags, and a warm scarf/wrap on hand. No one wants to be the shivering staffer who can’t talk through all the teeth chattering.
And to keep my health in tip-top shape, I keep a Costco-sized bottle of Tylenol, a box of Emergen-C and bottle of multi-vitamins on hand at all times. You never know when an unexpected headache or cold will crop up to ruin your day and your productivity.
Be Prepared, that’s the CHS Motto. Lastly, drawer number three is filled with emergency essentials. These include (prepare yourself): A lint roller, a Tide pen, a bottle of Febreeze, a bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser, a can of Static guard, a sewing kit, and a small container filled with Woolite (for the really stubborn stains). These items keep my attire looking professional all day long. There also a great way to ingratiate yourself to your co-workers, particularly if those co-workers often splatter things on their ties or lose buttons from their jackets.
Aside from the emergency essentials, I also keep a makeup bag full of beauty products. Nothing crazy, this isn’t a salon, but if my hair gets ruined on the way to work (which happens often) or I’m unexpectedly invited out after work, I like to be prepared. I keep a small curling iron, a can of hairspray, a hairbrush and two Velcro rollers (to restore volume) in my desk. I also keep a stash of hair ties and bobby pins which I try to replenish regularly.
I don’t keep makeup though because, thanks to a Laura Mercier primer, I almost never need a touch up. I also keep a small bottle of lotion and a bottle of top coat (to stay the inevitable chips), just in case.
Of course, you don’t need to run out and buy all of these items. Most women can get by with far less, but I’m not most women. Does that mean I’m high-maintenance? Sure, why not. But caring about your comfort and appearance at work (since you spend 50+ hours per week there) isn’t a crime.
So while my drawers full of supplies may draw funny looks from some of my co-workers, those looks fade pretty quickly when they need a hair tie, a Tide pen or a button sewn back on. Like I said, it’s good to be prepared.
So, ladies, what do you keep in your drawers?