Losing stuff can be painful…
Especially keys, or a wallet, or a phone…
It builds up anxiety…
I just had it!
Where could it be?
Who stole it?
To a point where we blame anyone BUT ourselves…
But here's the truth:
It's usually the owner's fault.
Don't think so? Then why are your keys on the washing machine?
Or what is your wallet doing under the cushions?
Isn't it strange where they end up?
Time for some changes –
Here are 7 ways to NEVER lose your things again…
1. Have A Designated Space For EVERYTHING
Every item should have its own territory. Of course, it’s your job to create it and stick to it.
Keep your everyday essentials – keys, wallet, watches and jewelry – together in one place. Something like a trinket or the top drawer of your nightstand will do.
The important thing is that nothing else goes into the mix – only those items. The more “populated” an area gets, the greater the chances of losing stuff.
This trick is effective – yet not the easiest to follow through with. We come home after a long day at work and tend to dump these items somewhere without thinking. It could even be a different location each time.
But those items deserve more respect! Find the right “home” for each one… and train yourself so it becomes second nature to put them in their proper places.
Here are some questions to help you figure out the best space for each of your things:
- How often do I use it?
- Where do I use it the most?
- Can similar items go together with it?
Be extra careful with storing keys – especially the keys to your front door! The last thing you want is to get locked out of your house or apartment because you forgot to take them with you!
A good idea would be to have a basket or set of key hooks by the entrance so you can always grab your keys before leaving, and put them back once you arrive.
2. Keep Your House Clean
Do you know that feeling when you have to dig through your trash and find this crumpled piece of paper that you shouldn’t have thrown away? Not a fun experience! And it’s happened to many of us.
No one likes to rummage through junk. But if you don’t tidy up often – your own house might be full of it!
And junk doesn’t always have to be a pile of useless things. It could come in the form of clutter – the perfect environment for losing things.
So learn to put stuff away immediately – not later. Re-organize the different areas in the house that are prone to clutter. Make cleaning up a weekly routine.
Never underestimate the importance of clutter-free tables, drawers and shelves. Not only do they help prevent losses – they clear up your mind as well.
3. Have A Backup Plan
Let’s face it: we’re not perfect. Anyone can misplace his keys, drop his wallet by accident, or get his car or bike stolen.
As much as we’d hate to lose something we really need – we can always rely on a Plan B when faced with these curveballs. Like a stolen vehicle, for instance – use the insurance policy that comes with it (and make sure you always have one!).
For the smaller stuff you might lose – there’s really no better solution than to get them back. But in a busy day, it’s hard to even pinpoint exactly where you got separated from something… unless it can be tracked.
That’s what I love about Tile. This amazing company allows thousands and thousands of items to be returned to their owners every day. They design innovative Tiles to attach to your phone, wallet and other valuables. These Tiles are the tracking devices – made possible with Bluetooth and smart technology.
Thanks to Tile, you can now use a ring function with your phone to track your lost item (the Tile attached to it will play a loud tune if it’s within a certain range). And if the phone itself is missing – don’t worry. You can double-press on any of the Tiles you have to make the phone ring – even if it’s on silent mode!
Tile has a great community of people who help each other find lost items through the “Notify When Found” feature, which also maintains user privacy. So the product is quite a lifesaver for many – see for yourself.
4. Prepare Everything Well Beforehand
I know your mornings can be quite chaotic. For most of us – we’re awake but not 100% alert. We’re in a hurry and go on autopilot, getting ready for work. Those are the times we’re most likely to forget something.
So here’s a quick fix: pack everything you need properly the night before. As lazy as you may feel – you have to realize that doing this makes the following day a lot less problematic. You might be rushing… but there’s a lower chance of forgetting something or losing it on the way to work.
So instead of grabbing the essentials before you head out – just pack them in your bag before bed. Make sure all zippers are fully closed.
5. Always “Double Check” At The Last Minute
Whenever you exit a place – whether it’s a subway train, cab, restaurant, etc. – turn your head to check your surroundings one more time.
Another thing you want to do is check/feel your pockets from time to time. Keep in mind all the essentials that you should have with you at the moment – and verify them one by one.
Don’t think that these actions make you look paranoid! You’d rather be extra safe than sorry.
6. File Your Papers Right Away
Documents, bills, letters, postcards, subscriptions… they can all overwhelm your desk!
So you have to make an effort to organize them. You don’t want your monthly electric bill sandwiched between two useless pamphlets!
I recommend you to have a simple filing system. Put all the new papers in your “inbox” at the start of the day. And when the time is right, process that inbox.
With any papers you get, the next step should be A) filing it, B) forwarding it to someone or C) trashing it.
For anything you file – make use of folders that are arranged in alphabetical order (although that’s just one way of doing it). This strategy helps if you need to reference something later on.
Also have blank folders and labels ready so you can make a new file when you need to.
7. Make It A Habit
In the end, being more careful and organized with your stuff does NOT happen overnight. You have to practice and commit to the tips you came up with. You need more awareness of your surroundings, especially when you’re in a rush or stressed out. And that's a habit you've got to build up.
Try out a 1-month challenge in which you’re focused on always looking out for your things. Write down a list of steps you want to take every night and every morning. Make it an exercise routine for your brain.
Eventually, thanks to this habit, you’ll experience a lot less stress… and a greater sense of control in life.