Last week I wrote about making to-go kits for your car to avoid clutter and save time. But what about work? Learn how checklists and restocking cues can keep your supplies organized! Now I’d like to expand that idea to include hot-desking. If you have to pack up your desk at the end of every day, you need to use similar principles:

  • limit clutter,
  • have a home for each item, and
  • make sure it’s easy to put things away when you’re done.

There are all kinds of bags that can help, with designated laptop sleeves, expandable sides, and lots of compartments to contain everything a mobile office might need. This one is pretty neat!

Before you buy a bag, take stock of the things you need every day at work (and keep a critical eye, because when it comes to hotdesking, traveling light is key!). Buy a bag that has room for these items with some extra space for flexibility, but don’t go way bigger than you need. If your essentials only fill up a third of your bag, you might be using the wrong one.


Make a go-to-work checklist

I love a checklist! Not only is it satisfying to check items off, they’re a great way to make sure you’re remembering everything. If you have a to-go kit that contains all your surfing gear, consider having a checklist on the lid for the contents of the bin. That way, if you left your booties out to dry and forgot about them, you’ll pick them up when you go through your checklist before you’re out at the beach.

Make a go-to-work checklist so you know you’ve got everything BEFORE you drive to the office or your co-working space. Not much is worse than getting to work and realizing you left your laptop at home!

Restocking Cues

Just like your car’s fuel gauge or your printer’s ink levels show you how close you are to empty, use a visual cue to remember to restock when supplies in your to-go kits run low. Visual cues are often more attention-getting than text, so use that to your advantage. Hand sanitizer is a simple one: a clear bottle literally shows you how much you have left.

But knowing that you’re running low is only the first half of the equation! For items that you need to restock, it’s also important to know when you need to reorder. If you only order things when you fully run out, you have to wait for more to arrive.

The Kanban system for reordering that Toyota developed, uses “cue cards” to keep track of when to order items. A physical card is placed in inventory that marks when it’s time to order more.

With my hand sanitizer example, if you know it takes two days to get hand sanitizer, make a mark on the bottle when it has two or three days’ worth left, and when it reaches that point, it’s time to place your order. That way you don’t have to keep track mentally of when it’s time to order, and you don’t go without!

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