We all know that January is Resolution Month, and this time we are refusing to put “lose weight” at the top of our list. Let’s strike the word “lose” from this year’s vocabulary. Let 2015 be the Year of Found Things. May you find whatever you are looking for, whether it is your sanity, time, health, or your spare keys.
Here are a few tips that can help.
Mind the missing: How to find lost things.
- Think back. Before you do anything, try to remember the last time you had it. Close your eyes and open your mind. Think about the last time you had it, what you were doing and where you were. The keener your memory, the better off you’ll be; conversely, the more you panic, the less you’ll be able to focus or be methodical in your search.
- Retrace your steps. Once you have a map in your mind about where you were the last time you had it, grab a friend or two and revisit all the places where you could have lost it. Work backwards.
- Don’t dismiss the obvious. Most objects are within 18 inches of where you would normally keep them. Empty purses carefully, search through clothes and pockets, and look through things that may be stacked or layered on top.
- Don’t give up. If the above tips come up empty, it’s time to turn things inside out. Common nooks and crannies include couch cushions, under car seats, under beds, near baseboards, behind furniture. An added bonus of this step: you may turn up other lost things. If you clean as you go, you’ll be even further ahead of the game.
- Give up. For a while, anyway. Sometimes a break is all you need to start the search again with a new perspective and fresh eyes.
Loss Prevention: How to Not Lose Stuff
- Get organized. Place your keys, phone, wallet, purse, and any other frequently lost item in the same place every day. Every. Day. Be specific about where you place it and it will become a habit that will save you time and sanity.
- Give yourself time. The more time you give yourself to get places, the more in control you’ll be of your belongings and surroundings.
- Have a back-up plan. Keep a spare set of keys, emergency credit cards, and a friend that can be easily reached handy in case you lose your house key, your wallet, or your phone. If you tend to misplace your phone often, avoid using silent or vibrate modes to make it easier to find.
- Avoid clutter. Having clutter doesn’t make you lose things, but it sure makes it a whole lot easier to forget what you have and where you have it. Do yourself a favor and free up your space so you always have the things you need and use regularly. At any rate, designate a clutter free zone for important items like your purse, wallet, phone, and keys.
- Be mindful. Practice staying focused, especially as you transition from one space or activity to another. Do you have everything you came with? Do you always know where your important things are?
If you tend to be a loser–that is, one who loses stuff—strive to make 2015 your best year yet by applying these simple, yet highly effective techniques. You may be surprised how finding one lost thing can improve your sense of control and self-worth. Keep that ball rolling. Here’s to being found!