Sometimes our bags can feel like behemoths: There's always so much to fit in and it's so easy to forget something. But once you've compiled all your daily essentials—laptop, phone, wallet, house keys—it's important to chuck a few extra go-to's in alongside your daily planner. The following list has gotten us out of more than a few jams during the day. So, we figured it was high time we paid it forward and passed our essential day-bag contents along to you! Don't miss these six work or handbag essentials you shouldn't leave home without:
1. Shoe Back-Up and Protectionimage courtesy of JCrew factory
We know you've picked the most adorable and professional shoes for your work outfit - and we're sure you're absolutely rocking them. But hear us out: it's important to have a pair of spare shoes with you. And we're not talking flip-flops, but a professional pair that you can wear into a meeting. For the ladies, having "emergency ballet flats" can quickly fix afternoon mishaps when we're getting a blister or our heel snaps in the concrete and we have to head into the CEO's office for that big meeting. Bonus - we love this cute and comfortable pair from JCrew Factory! For guys, we recommend keeping some overshoes in your briefcase for rainier days. Check out these cheap and easy rubber overshoes from Walmart to protect you and your dress shoes from water damage!
2. An Emergency $20 Billimage courtesy of pexels
While it does seem we're moving towards a much more "plastic" world--using our credit and debit cards for almost everything--we still think it's wise to stash an emergency $20 bill in an interior pocket of your work bag or briefcase. You'll never know when you'll need it: Stuck at a gas station that doesn't accept cards, in a cash-only coffee shop, or even when you need that afternoon pick-me-up from the office vending machine. Just remember, if you use it, don't forget to replace it!
3. Blister Block for the Toughest of Daysimage courtesy of Amazon
Even the coziest of shoes manage to find a way to give you a blister on the worst day possible i.e. a day chock full of meetings and running around. We've all been there...wincing at the state of our beat-up feet at the end of the day. Avoid end-of-the-day sore spots by picking up some of Band-Aid's Blister Block and stashing it in your work bag to use whenever you feel one coming on. Your feet will thank you!
4. A Flash Drive for Backup...in a Flashimage courtesy of wish.com
Dropbox and Google Drive are great, but maybe you're in (or heading to) a place without Internet...like a plane! Or perhaps you're transporting an important document to a conference and don't want it to get lost. This is where having a portable drive in your bag will come in handy. It's an easy way to save and store your projects and information without worrying about your internet connection. Plus, it's a lifesaver when you're going a million miles a minute and need a one-source solution for all the projects on your plate. You'll thank us for this one!
5. Business Card Holder for an Organized & Professional Lookimage courtesy of Bloomingdales
Yeah, it might seem a little old-fashioned, but searching frantically through all the pockets of your jacket, wallet, or bag is not a good look when you're trying to make a good business impression. Avoid sloppily pulling out crumpled cards with the help of a sleek business card holder: Trust us, it's much more effective and impressive to whip out a smart business card holder. Just make sure it's always easily accessible in your bag or briefcase--we like to include ours in the very first pocket. From here on out, networking will be smooth sailing!
6. I Got Hot Sauce in My Bag: Behold the Sriracha Keychainimage courtesy of Sriracha2go
OK, if you're not a hot sauce fan like us, you can feel free to skip this one. But we have a crazy sriracha addiction and countless times we've been eating at work, or on the go, and wished we could add just a little something extra to our meal. Lately, we've been scooping up plastic packets of hot sauce and keeping them hidden strategically in our bag. But with Sriracha 2 Go's new line of Sriracha keychains, we think our lunch game has just been totally upgraded. Warning: Colleagues may stare with envious eyes...and bellies.