I have always been a traveler.
My first time on an airplane was when I was about four years old and we went to Neosho, Missouri. It seems I’ve been on the go, ever since.
When I moved out of state to go to law school, it was a 3 ½ hour drive, not long enough that you couldn’t run home for the weekend, but too long to make it a quick day trip. I figured out early on, for a variety of reasons, I should keep a bag with basics in my car. Thus started my long time habit of carrying some type of tote or duffel bag in the trunk of my car at all times.
The inclination has transferred to other areas of my life. Regardless of if I’m at work, school, or on the road, I’ve always got some bag, box, or container, complete within itself, for anything that may come up.
I’ve already done a post on a small tech bag that I keep in my purse or backpack. You can find it here. Several people have asked me about doing more of these “to-go-kit” posts, so I thought I would make it into a series. Plans are to do them for:
- clothing care
- coffee, tea & snacks
- toiletries & skincare
- first aid
- car console (daily)
- car (road trip restroom breaks)
Some will be geared toward traveling, and some will be more useful for everyday situations.
I’ll provide a few links for purchasing, but to start you off, here are some general tips:
- Walmart, Target, and even the grocery store are good places to check for smaller sizes in their travel sections.
- If you don’t already belong to the rewards programs at Sephora and Ulta, you should. They’re free to join and they’ve usually got gifts with purchase, bonus items, and free samples. These items are almost always smaller sized products, perfect to put in a to-go-kit. Additionally, both stores also have travel/sample sized sections in store.
- When you do find products packaged in smaller sizes, if possible, wash and refill the container when the product runs out. I try to save any containers I can because I never know when I’ll need one that particular size.
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a smaller size, you can always make your own contents. I’ll include short tutorials with appropriate posts where I had to make an item because I couldn’t find what I needed in a store or online.
Lately, my lifestyle has me needing office supplies that are compact and portable. I’ve taken some things I had and added to them, until I came up with the perfect ‘office-to-go’ for me.
The contents are ever changing, I’ll come across something I forgot, or something that fits better in the container. I’m currently on the hunt for a pencil sharpener that sharpens better than the one I have. I’m hoping what I find will also be smaller, as I don’t necessarily need one that catches the shavings.
For this particular to-go-kit, in addition to dollar stores (Dollar Tree), and large discount stores (Walmart, Target), you’re going to want to scour office supply stores (Office Depot, Staples), and drug stores (Walgreens, CVS), particularly in late summer when school is getting ready to start.
I found a decent sized box (3.5″ tall x 6.5″ long x 4.75″ wide) that fits nicely everywhere I’ve needed to store it. It holds everything with room to spare.
(After some items I’ve noted the store where I found that particular thing.)
- plastic box or container – This is very similar to mine. You can find the brand Sterilite at these retail locations.
- smaller box – You can buy one here or at your local office supply.
- jaw clips
- paper clips
- page tabs
- post it page markers
- tape runner – Dollar Tree
- erasers – The smaller gray erasers came from an art supply store.
- rubber bands
- highlighters – Walmart
- staple remover
- cleaning cloth – Dollar Tree
- sharpie marker – Office Depot
- cable velcro
- keyboard brush/screen squeegee – This and the screen spray (although it was in a larger spray bottle) came packaged together in a little kit. It had an extra chamois for the one side, and they’re washable, as well.
- hole punch – I was carrying a regular sized single hole punch in this kit and it fit just fine, but then I saw this one in the Walmart back-to-school supplies for .98¢. Surprisingly, it works better than the larger one.
- heart clips
- jump drive – They always have tiny 32G pocket drives at Walmart in their back-to-school section in August for $5.
- ear buds – These came with my iPhone.
- zip tie
- screen spray (cleaning) – See number 17, above.
- pencil sharpener – Walgreens
- tape measure – Walmart
- post-it notes – You can always find cute post-it notes in Target’s dollar section.
- pen – A classic style ballpoint pen. mini pen, $15.
- pencil – This is a sketching pencil from Michaels that I can use to write or draw.
- colored pens – Dollar Tree (from a 6 pen multi-pack)
Note: The scissors, small green tape dispenser, staples, and two heart clips came together with a few other items in a small zippered pouch. I think I found it in the dollar section at Target. The stapler and staple remover were part of a similar set, as well.
When you’re putting together one of these kits, play around for a while until you’re happy with the way everything fits. It can be a little bit like Tetris and you may need to do some tweaking before you’re satisfied. I found I had more than enough room in this box.
As I said earlier, my to-go-kits are constantly changing as what I’m doing changes, and I find contents that work better. I should mention, my office-to-go suits the needs for my blogging, managing several large Facebook groups, and assisting a local non-profit organization to secure funding.
That wraps up the first post of the series. Stay tuned for the next installment.
Let me know in comments about other things you would include in your office on-the-go.