The right supplies are needed for any office to function smoothly. All offices, from small home-based businesses to large corporations, need forms and stationery, filing supplies, pens and pencils, and basic desk tools. Mailing room supplies, as well as kitchen and restroom supplies, are also needed. Some offices will need specialty supplies related to their line of business, but the basic office supplies will remain the same.
At the Desk
Buy legal pads, note pads, composition books or other writing paper. Get black or blue pens, and red pens. Pencils are handy, too. Highlighters and markers are needed, but specialty writing tools such as a china marker or dry-board markers are optional. Include a calendar, business forms and an appointment book.
File folders, hanging folders, and tabs and inserts are useful. Binders and expanding wallets are optional, but offer alternatives to filing. Get an assortment of sticky notes, including flags and tabs.
Keep a supply of consumables on hand, such as paper clips, staples, tape, rubber bands, binder clips, pushpins, string and glue. Be sure to have a working stapler and a tape dispenser. Keep a three-hole punch next to the filing area, and be sure to have scissors and a ruler. Include photocopier paper, ink-jet paper, laser paper, toner and ink-jet cartridges.
In the Mailroom
Stationery includes business cards, letterhead and envelopes printed with the business name and address. Only the business card and letterhead need telephone number, fax, and e-mail information. Plain letter-sized mailing envelopes, return-mail envelopes, and an assortment of sizes of Kraft envelopes and boxes are needed for the office mailroom. Have bubble wrap, foam peanuts, plastic air-filled bags or tissue for wrapping and protecting shipments.
Postage stamps or mail for a postage meter are necessary for all businesses. Shipping forms for FedEx, UPS, DHL or other courier services are good to keep on hand and can be obtained pre-printed with the business name and account number from the couriers.
The mailroom will also need strapping tape and cutting tools, such as a utility knife or box cutter, and scissors. Don’t forget to buy extra blades for the utility knife. All-purpose glue is also useful to keep on hand.
In the Lunchroom and Restroom
Offices that provide refreshments for employees will need at least drinking cups, napkins and coffee supplies such as sugar, creamer and stirrers. Keep plenty of coffee, tea and hot chocolate on hand.
Cleaning supplies for the break room should include sponges, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap and an antimicrobial cleaner for the sink, countertop and tables.
For the restroom, toilet tissue and toilet seat covers, paper towels and antimicrobial soap are the minimum supplies needed. Cleaning supplies should include a toilet cleaner and sanitizer and glass cleaner. Don’t forget the toilet bowl brush, and always keep a plunger on hand.
For cleaning the entire office, buy a good mop and bucket, and a broom or vacuum cleaner. Buy floor cleaner, glass cleaner, sponges and cleaning cloths and screen wipes. Carpet cleaner and spot-removal chemicals are good to keep on hand.
At the Reference Desk
All offices need some reference materials. Buy a good dictionary and keep telephone books handy. Consider purchasing computer software reference books. For businesses such as electrical contractors and auto parts suppliers, code books, catalogs and parts manuals should also be part of their office library.
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