The essential desk kit; 11 brilliantly versatile items that make for a happier and healthier work space

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Like us, you probably face a daily battle with the sheer amount of stuff on your desk. Not because you're messy but rather you're keeping certain things on your desk 'just in case' you might need them. You're the Mary Poppins of your office, if you will.

Well, we're here to tell you that you don't need those unopened scent sticks or that growing stash of bubble wrap - it can, in fact, all be chucked out. 

And in their place should go these 11 essentials that will guarantee you are ready for any desk based emergency, always look and feel put together and get more done in less time.

The beauty first-aid kit

You know what it’s like, you’ve spent ages doing your make-up before work only to have the day’s commute and stresses take its toll. By the time you've got your big meeting or after work drinks, your complexion’s more grey than Christian’s tie. Step in the 2-in-1 foundation and concealer from Clinique that works as absolute dream to give you cover where you need it.

The same goes for Dior’s cheek and lip stain, just dab a smidgen on your cheeks and lips and you're ready for the night. Also, make sure you have a pair of tweezers and a nail file to sort rogue eyebrows, splinters and problematic nails. Place it all in a small bag, such as this one from MAC (below) and you'll never have to lug your whole make-up bag into work ever again.


A lemon

This humble citrus fruit can be used for a number of different purposes. Whether it's improving your boring leftovers with a spritz of the stuff or simply making a delicious and healthy salad dressing, a lemon is ideal for any food-related items. It can even be used in tea and hot water for when you want a cleanse. But that's not where its uses end; it gives you vitamin C and helps fights against infection with its medicinal and antiseptic qualities. Other than helping your body, it's also brilliant for removing stains and can get rid of horrible smells. 

More tips with a lemon right this way.

A herbal plant

Studies show that plants in the office make you feel like you’re in a nicer and happier environment. In one particular report titled Plants in the Workplace "participants reported higher levels of mood, perceived office attractiveness, and (in some cases) perceived comfort when plants were present". So clearly, plants can make you a better worker as you're much happier to be in the office.

But not only that, other studies show that you’ll also be more creative when you’re looking at the colour green.  We say, get a mint, basil or rosemary plant (or all three) on your desk. Not only will you get the productivity and creativity boost, you’ll also have yourself a great source for herbal tea (thanks to the mint) and some herbs to add a bit of fun to your boring salad with the basil and rosemary. 

Moisturising spray

In the winter the heating in the office tends to suck all the moisture from your skin so that when you get home your skin could be used as a sander (we strongly advise you not to actually try this). Then, in the summer, the opposite effect occurs and you can't get cool, even when you're standing under the air con. 

Thankfully, there is such a marvelous invention at the moisturising spray. Not only will this help battle the dry-face situation, leaving you will supple skin it's also ideal for cooling yourself down in the heat. 

A couple of our favourites are Eau Thermal Avene Water and This Works In Transit Spray-On Moisture. Avene's provides a great distribution of product with delicate drops and is ideal for irritated skin. This Works is a bit more heavy duty but contains Aloe Vera, and has a calming scent. 

An additional tip; if you've had a heavy night and feeling slight worse for wear, a few spritzes of this will pick your face up and provide it will some much needed moisture so you don't look as bad as you feel. 

Something creative

According to the laws of Feng Shui, you need something creative in the right and centre of your desk. But why is this important? Expert Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan says "your surroundings have a deep and profound impact on your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.” So don't feel bad for wanting something pretty on your desk.

For example, writers might want a notebook, we especially love this pad from the Darkroom (below), and artists might like a sketch book. Items with rounded edges are also thought to promote creativity as "they represent the natural curves of the human body creating a subconscious feeling of inner alignment".


A personal item

Having photos on your desk, such as a picture of a family member, is a good idea, as it boosts productivity through positive thoughts. However, it's important to limit it as too many can actually reduce your productivity. 

Lisa Zaslow, a professional organizer in New York City offers the following advice: "maintaining work-life balance is hard, especially on your desk. Family pictures, vacation souvenirs and other trinkets can provide positive feelings during the work day, but too many mementos can be a distraction."

"Our eyes pull every single thing in front of us and our brain processes it -- even if we don't realize it," explained Zaslow. A desk full of stuff means "that is a lot of work and editing for you."

Micro Office Tool kit

As anyone who works in an office can attest, you will at some point need staplers, highlighters, scissors, post-its and sellotape. This tiny office tool kit from John Lewis provides all those essential items and because it's small it won't clutter up your desk. Hurrah!

(Image: Think Stock)

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Stylist Team