DIY Desk Emergency Kit

It’s August, which means pretty much one thing to me… it’s officially time to go back to work. In 12 days to be exact, I will be kissing my summer vacation goodbye and heading back to teaching high school special education full-time.

planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-2Don’t get me wrong, I’m OBSESSED with my summer vacations but I honestly don’t mind going back to work. I’m someone who loves routine and still gets excited about a new school year. I see it as the perfect chance to start fresh and get organized. I mean, who doesn’t love new school supplies?!

planner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-4Around this time every year I’m magically motivated to organize, organize, organize. Labeling, color-coding, filing, anything I can do to create new organization systems that will help the busy school year run more smoothly is welcomed (actually encouraged). So when our friend Amber from Restless Arrow invited us to be part of a Back-to-School blog hop, of course I was in! Yesterday Krista shared a DIY desk in a closet — so cool!

Today, we’re diving into a some back-to-school organization.

DIY Desk Emergency Kit

As I discussed what project I wanted to tackle for this blog hop with Casey, I told her that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to stock my desk with the “emergency” essentials that I always seem to need throughout the year and never actually have. She replied, “oh like a desk emergency kit?! Yea… I have one of those in my desk at work. It’s a LIFE SAVER!” <— of course she does, why am I not surprised?!

So that’s what I set out to do – create a DIY desk emergency kit in order to make those unexpected situations a little less stressful. And for those non-teachers tuning in, this DIY emergency kit can still work for you too! Casey says she keeps hers tucked in her desk at work, but we also agreed that a kit like this could work really well in our cars too.

I bought a plastic box + lid from Target and used an old makeup bag to collect my “essentials”. The following is a list of what I added to my DIY Desk Emergency Kit, but if you’re tackling this idea, be sure to add items that are personal to your routine and lifestyle.


  • Band-aids
  • Tums
  • Eye Drops
  • Advil
  • Tampons
  • Extra pair of Glasses

diy_desk_emergency_kit-6Rookie Tip: I bought a mini bottle of Advil for my kit but if you’re looking to save some money, you can easily put a few Advil from your large bottle into a small container (old pill bottle) or baggie. You can do that with almost everything in this kit in order to skip having to buy new.  diy_desk_emergency_kit-8

Another rookie tip: Maybe I’m a little crazy, but I love using containers to stay extra organized… even if that means using a container within a bigger container. Any time I can separate into mini boxes/containers, I’m all about it and this secret tampon storage is no different. Usually I save random “containers” around the house and then when a project like this comes up, I have a stock to choose from. This container came from the grocery store and originally held Crystal Light drink packets. I ripped off the label, put it through the dishwasher and now it’s the perfect (read: FREE) container to keep the DIY desk emergency kit even more organized.

Beauty diy_desk_emergency_kit

  • Brush/Teaser
  • Mini Hairspray (okay…I admit it, I’m addicted to hairspray)
  • Extra Bobby Pins
  • Extra Hair Ties
  • Body/Spray or in this case, free sample of perfume
  • Extra lipstick/lip gloss (for when you have to go straight out after work & you forgot…)

diy_desk_emergency_kit-4To keep my hair ties organized, I usually connect them using my bobby pins. It’s usually easy to find both the bobby pins and the hair ties then. diy_desk_emergency_kit-2Then sometimes, I’ll even wrap the hair tie/bobby pin combo around the base of my lipstick or brush…. so I always know where to find them. Less clutter in the box = winning!

Odds & Ends

  • Extra Phone Charger
  • Snack (because hangry isn’t a good look on anyone!)
  • Mints
  • Fork (usually I pack a fork in my lunch, but there’s been times I forget and then I’m really in a jam… especially since I only have 22 minutes to eat in between classes and 1/2 of that time is usually used to check my email, stop at the bathroom, check my mailbox, etc.)
  • Cash
  • Lint Roller
  • Static Spray (not pictured)


To keep this phone charger organized in the box, I did what I do with almost all of my cords. I wrapped the cord around the charger and then used a binder clip to clip it in place. There are not many things that annoy me more than a hot mess of tangled cords.

I never have cash on me at work and sometimes a student is selling something for a good cause or a co-worker is collecting money for another coworker’s upcoming wedding/baby/retirement/etc. Having cash available just in case is helpful!! It also comes in handy when I accidentally forget to grab my lunch in the morning #oops

Putting it all together

Once I collected all of my emergency kit essentials, I put all of the “mini” items in this make-up bag I had around the house. This way I know where I can find those loose items and I don’t have to be frantically digging through the entire container. Plus, boxes full of clutter stress me out. diy_desk_emergency_kit-16I put the make-up bag of goodies into the Target tupperware bin, and then put the bigger items in the bin next to the bag. The less little items I can have floating around in the bin, the better.

Rookie Tip: This tupperware bin was $5 at Target, but using an old shoe box could do the trick and save you a few bucks!

Now that I’m all set, all I have to do is bring this box to work on the first day and store it in my desk. I’ll have to keep you posted on how many times I end up having to use my DIY Desk Emergency Kit throughout the year. Hopefully not a lot, but I’m ready just in case!

Now before you head off to check out Summer’s back-to-school fashion inspiration (I need some!), I’d LOVE to hear what you would add to your DIY Desk Emergency Kit. Am I missing anything? OR, are any of you like Casey with a fully stocked DIY Desk Emergency Kit already? If so… any tips or tricks you have for me? I’d love to hear!diy_desk_emergency_kit

Bridget Signature

  • shawnna griffin

    hey girl great tips!

  • Emily Dunham

    Love this – I think I need to make one for my cube! A must for me is contact solution and a contact case. Perfect on those days when I need to switch to my glasses, but it isn’t time for me to get rid of my lenses.

    • Oh good call Emily! Eye drops are another good one. Especially after staring at a screen all day!

  • Patty Reynolds

    My emergency kit is very similar to yours. I also have lotion, floss, Tide To Go and a nail file!

  • Peggy

    What a great idea! I would add a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss as well. Love Emily’s contact solution and case since those types of emergencies have happened to me. Perhaps if you can spare a set, an extra pair of contacts. One other thing would be an extra pair of tights (saying nylons would show my age) should you get a snag.

    • hahah too funny Peggy! Great ideas all around.

  • lisa

    I have one too! It rely on it daily…don’t forget a small mirror (for lipstick application and various other reasons a mirror comes in handy). Also, nail clippers and file- a must for me…and hand lotion is essential. I LOVE you two girls and your blog! Thanks for validating the need for a little survival kit at work. love from Arizona!!!

    • Lisa you are so sweet! Thanks for the kind words. And great additions to the emergency kit…genius!

  • Kara D

    A spare pair of earrings, and an extra day or two supply of vitamins and/or medicine to keep on hand for those mornings that I don’t have my act together! The challenge though… is remembering to return the earrings back!

    • Love the idea to add accessories! Genius. You can then transition from day to night fairly easily!

  • Summer Hogan

    OMG this is on my to-do list for the fall!!! Great minds! Love it and I’m sure it’s so helpful! I promise I’m not copying lol!!! Have a great day!

    • hahaha! Happy to hear we’re not the only ones thinking this is a lifesaver! Will we be seeing you this weekend Summer? Haven?! We hope so…

    • Summer Hogan

      Ugh no 🙁 I SO wish I was going!

    • We will miss you 🙁

  • Love this blog post and love this idea! I am all about being organized. Mother of 2 so I always have my purse stocked with a snack bag, band aids, hand wipes, crayons (always good in a restaurant), and hand sanitizer. I am also a Realtor so my office is basically in my car. I keep a plastic container in my console with bobby pins, rubber bands, paper clips, stapler, pens, swiss army knife, flash light (always good for basements with not good lighting), dental floss, mouth wash, clorox wipes (sometimes you have to wipe down client’s counters, especially if the properties are vacant), mini first aid kit, tape measure, and my go to make up necessity mascara! I always like to be prepared for the unexpected!!

    • Wow you are so prepared, Colleen! Love the idea for the plastic container in the console. So smart!

  • Krista

    I definitely need to make one of these this year!! I’m a teacher too- so the end of summer is bittersweet – I love the long holiday but also look forward to the routine again:)

    • Bittersweet is the perfect word!! Good luck going back…. we got this! =)