As more offices move to “hot desk” arrangements without assigned seating, more people are living without the trappings we’ve come to consider essential for our work environs: photos of our dogs, notebooks with just the right amount of space between the lines, our lucky highlighters, and (crucially) snacks. Instead, offices like these offer lockers—like high school, but usually not covered in anarchy symbols or anatomical drawings—for storing our work lives. If you work at one such facility (or have a desire to spruce up any narrow cabinet in your life), here’s a list of things that could make your locker better than those on teen TV shows.
Smart security. Amazon
If you get to use your own lock, get a Tapplock One+. The weatherproof smart padlock holds a charge for a year and features a built-in fingerprint scanner, which means you won’t have to remember any combination. Register your fingerprint through the smartphone app and the lock will open in 0.8 seconds. You can also store up to 500 separate fingerprints or share Bluetooth access from far away. This is helpful if you need to let a coworker into your locker on a day you’re working from home. If the fingerprint scanner isn’t working, you can use the app on your phone to unlock it or input a programmed morse code using the power button. A red LED blinks on the front of the lock when the battery is low. The shackle is made of 7mm reinforced stainless-steel. $99.
Honey-Can-Do locker shelf
Double your square footage. Amazon
If you’ve only got 1 square foot to work with, a shelf becomes mandatory for ensuring you can store enough snacks. Make sure you measure your locker before purchasing. This Honey-Can-Do shelf, for example, measures 11 x 9.25 x 12.75 inches and fits perfectly into the lockers we use at PopSci HQ. This option is tall enough to fit books and binders beneath it, and you could stack another unit on top if you’ve got the headroom. $9.
Soundcore Space NC wireless headphones
Do not attempt an open-office without sufficient noise cancellation. Amazon
If you aren’t a person that likes to travel to and from work with their not-cheap headphones, keep a pair at the office. The best <$100 pair for the office is Anker's Soundcore Space NC wireless headphones, which I featured in my favorite office headphones story. The sound is balanced and wide, plus they’ve got extra comfortable memory foam ear pads. You can listen wirelessly for up to 20 hours with noise-cancellation or 50 hours when wired. Use the tap and swipe controls on the right ear to adjust volume, pause the song, or switch tracks. $99.
Simple Modern Summit bottles
Keep your hot drinks tongue-burnable and your cold drinks icy. Amazon
A vacuum-insulated water bottle with a handle lid is a great locker addition. If you buy an adhesive hook for the side of your locker—or if your locker comes with one already—the vessel won’t take up any precious, ground-level real estate. These Simple Modern Summit boast excellent insulation to keep your cold beverages refreshing. They come in 40- and 64-ounce sizes. $20-$43.
Vker rust-resistant utensil set
Disposable cutlery is a waste. Amazon
Keep a set of reusable eating utensils and straws in your locker. This stainless steel set from Vker is rust-resistant and comes with seven pieces: a fork, knife, spoon, straw, straw cleaner, and chopsticks. They come in a carrying case and you can choose between rose gold, rainbow, black, or silver. $13.
Command locker hooks
Hang your umbrella and your tiny Luke Perry calendar. Amazon
With removable hooks, you can hang keys, an umbrella, or a mirror. This set comes with three hooks and adhesive strips that can hold up to five pounds. They require no tools to install and leave no smudges or residue. $7.
Pen and cord organizer
Keep your tools tidy. Amazon
This water-resistant organizer is 17 x 9-inches when opened, but only 4.5 x 9-inches when rolled up. It has two open pockets for larger items like portable batteries or mice, three mesh compartments, and six elastic loops for cables and writing utensils. It’s got an elastic strap to keep it closed. $11.
Magnetic pencil holder
A wall-mountable holder for pens, hand cream, ketchup packets, whatever. Amazon
This InterDesign magnetic pen and pencil holder keeps your pencils, binder clips, and other small tools off the ground and accessible. This one can fit about 10 pens or pencils. $9.
PopSci Podcast swag
The greatest coffee mugs to go with the greatest podcasts. Threadless
Don’t be wasteful. Instead of tossing the plastic, styrofoam, or paper cups every day, bring your own coffee mug. You might as well the coolest coffee mug in the office and get one from our podcasts The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week or Techathalon. The 11-ounce cups are $14 and the 15-ounce cups are $15.
A tiny umbrella
So compact! Amazon
A super compact umbrella is great for the unexpected downpour. This one weighs just 8.4-ounces and is only 7.2-inch long when closed, though expands to be 38 inches wide when unfurled. It comes in 16 colors. $17.
Herschel Chapter Travel Kit Bag
A place to keep your floss, extra deodorant, and stain-remover pen. Amazon
Herschel’s travel bags are well-constructed and the perfect size. Beyond the waterproof, zippered main compartment it’s got a zippered front compartment for smaller items like Q-tips or tweezers. $25.
Smell great, waste less. Helmm
Helmm deodorant is a little bulkier than a normal stick, but has an eco-friendly edge. The deodorant or antiperspirant comes in recyclable pods that screw into the reusable, leather-and-non-corrosive-alloy containers. They come in four scents. Try it out as a one time purchase—one container and one refill—for $40 or choose the subscription option, which costs $28. Each 2.5-ounce refill after that costs $12 and lasts six to eight weeks of daily use.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
A travel electric toothbrush. Amazon
There’s no reason why your office toothbrush needs to be dinky. One of my favorite teeth cleaners is the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100, which holds a charge for two weeks and provides 31,000 brush strokes per minute. If you brush too hard, the toothbrush warns you by vibrating. It also tells you when it’s time to replace the brush head. It’s great for the office locker since it comes in a carrying case and is small enough to fit in a toiletry bag. $70.
Small reusable bags
For when you have to bring home groceries, paperwork, or your laptop. Amazon
If you do your grocery shopping on the way home, have some extra reusable grocery bags in your locker. If you get these ChicoBags, they are super compact—3 x 4 inches—have a carabiner that can fit on your backpack or a hook in your locker, and can hold up to 25 pounds each. When expanded, the bags reach 14 x 17 inches. This pack comes with four bags. $24.
An office sweater with personality
For the corporate tundra. Amazon
Always have a sweatshirt in your locker for colder days in the office. $30.
Make your locker feel a little more like home, if your home was a TV commercial on 1990s Nickelodeon. Amazon
This tiny shag carpet is made of an electric blue microfiber chenille. You might not need this, but part of you sorta wants it. Plus it grips to books to keep them from falling over. $9.
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