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The Office Survival Kit

We are moving offices (it feels like only yesterday that I last did an office move – from beautiful Avenue Matignon to crummy La Défense), so I decided to clear out my desk drawers before the crates arrive. There is a whole lot of stuff in there that should be sent for archiving or just binned, but it made me realise that I have a little mini ‘home’ in there, with everything a girl could need to fend off appearance disasters. Those drawers house my own personal office survival kit, and the items are definitely coming with me. So here are some things I don’t think any self-respecting project manager should be without:

  • Lip gloss*. Much easier to apply in a hurry than lipstick.
  • Sewing kit for caught hems. Also useful when the slit in your skirt gets caught on a revolving gate and tears higher than is decent (of course, this has NEVER happened to me). Safety pins are also good as an emergency quick-fix – I have the small ones.
  • Spare pair of tights.
  • Shoe cleaner: one of those little sponges from hotels will do.
  • Sore throat sweets: nothing worse than having meetings scheduled all day but not being able to speak!
  • , for those windswept days. Extra hair accessories too, if you have long hair.
  • Face blotting sheets. Good for taking the shine off before meetings.
  • Cleaning cloth/fluid for your glasses. I favour spray and cloth over lens wipes.
  • Spare bag: for when you go out and buy stuff at lunch times or have to take work home with you.

Hope I have enough space in my new desk for all this!

If you have read this far, you’ll have realised this list isn’t very appropriate for male project managers. Sorry guys! Keep some painkillers in your drawer and when the women around you complain about headaches then you’ll be the office hero…

* This article contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you any more to click.

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About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin FAPM is a professional project manager and award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She's passionate about demystifying project management and making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including the PMI bestseller, Collaboration Tools for Project Managers.
Elizabeth lives in the UK with her family. She uses her organisation and project management skills at home, and also to help other bloggers at Totally Organised Blogging.


  1. Bree says

    21 August, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Nice! I also have almost all the things that you shared here. I believe that we all need these things so that we are always prepared to whatever it may happen, like for example when something happened to a skirt, a sewing kit is very important and be very helpful. Thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Louise says

    29 August, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I have absolutly NOTHING work related in my drawers i have any paperwork saved to network drives and any paperwork (worth keeping) in a file on my desk. I dont class the 4 packets of post it notes and dozen pens as work related 🙂

    My drawer (only in this contract a couple on months) contains

    -hand bag 🙂
    – Moisturiser – Palmers cocoa butter
    – Cotton Bag for taking laptop home at weekends with the extra power cable and laptop case.
    – Drinks (diet pepsi)
    – Food (snack bars alpen light, chewing gum, emergincy chocolate chip cookies for bribary)
    – Signed Timesheets
    – Books to read at lunch (lucky enough to have a canteen but office 2 far from shops to leave building)
    – Audio books to listen to when i am in need of insperation.
    – at least 2 packets of Paracetamol
    – Nail Kit (emery board, orange stick)
    – Sanatry Towels (just in case)
    – Headphones for phone (phone has 8gb card with loads of music ideal for typing long docs and radio for traffic reports before leaving for day)

    On my desk is

    – Working file
    – Mug 🙂 (cant drink tea out of those plastic things)
    – Bottle of water
    – Moisturiser (yes more)

    In my car is my hairbrush, spare top etc


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