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.

August means one thing for Bridget- back to school and back to work. Don’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?!

Heading back to work means you need tools to stay organized. Around 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.

HealthFor the DIY Desk Essentials, health items are a must. Medicines, band aids, eye drops and more.

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

You can buy this small bottle of Advil, or simply fill a plastic baggie.Rookie 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.  An empty Crystal Light drink mix container is perfect to stash and store things like tampons to keep them organized in your desk.

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 More desk emergency kit essentials- beauty products

  • 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…)

To keep my hair ties together, and bobby pin easier to locate, I like to attach them like this.To 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. More beauty essentials- lip stick, a small perfume and a hair brush. You never know what you'll need!Then 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
Desk emergency kit miscellaneous items- snacks, phone charger, mints, etc.

  • 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 the phone charger organized in the basket, I clip the cord with this binder clip.

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 rarely keep cash on me at school, so I keep an extra little bit in my desk just in case.

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 for the desk emergency kit

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. I opted to put the smaller, loose items in this make up bag to keep things easier to find in the box. I 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!



The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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