Why You Keep Losing Your Stuff and How to Find It

Why You Keep Losing Your Stuff and How to Find It at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

People lose things all the time but is anyone really surprised when they lose something? Think about it, if every time you walk in the door you set your keys down somewhere different it is no wonder you can’t find them the next time you need them. Your mind will immediately take you back to all the places you may have put them previously and not necessarily in the order that makes it easy either. You search all those places and wouldn’t you know it, there they are in the last place you look….20 minutes later! If every day you spend 20 minutes looking for lost items, do you have any idea how much of your life you are wasting in one year?


Let me tell you.

121 HOURS!!

That is FIVE whole days my friends!!

Stats like that always blow my mind and I’ll be honest one of the reasons I’m so crazy for organization is because I AM WAY TOO LAZY TO LOOK FOR THINGS!

I am one of those people who is completely and utterly perplexed when I DO lose something because I am meticulous about always putting things back in the exact same place. And not because I’m some kind of superstar either that has to have everything super tidy neat (far from it!). I HAVE to do this to save my sanity and to avoid wasting time on things I don’t enjoy. Listen if I’m going to waste time I can think of many better ways to do it 🙂 I do not enjoy aimlessly walking around the house searching and searching, and searching for something (which by the way usually only goes missing because someone in my family has moved it on me…grrrr).

Although, as some of you might remember, last week I lost something that didn’t belong to me.  A friend had lent me the key to the church and I misplaced it.  I spent way too long looking for it too and it kept me up at night just thinking about where it could be.  Turns out it was in a purse I returned to Walmart.  Luckily three days later it showed up at Walmart back on the shelf, still in the purse I returned.  Whew!  It was just a good reminder to me that things that don’t have a “home” end up in the most random of places.

I try very hard never to set myself up for failure. Sometimes it would be easier for sure to just throw whatever it is wherever it may land, especially after a long day. But I can, without a smidgeon of a doubt, tell you that it is so worth the extra bit of time to always put something back in the exact same place time after time.

And I’m not just talking keys here either. Think about all the other things that have gone missing on you. Library cards, bank cards, coupons, receipts, cash (!), cheques, credit cards, permission slips, etc. If you don’t take the extra few seconds needed to PUT IT BACK, it will “disappear”.

This disappearing act is not a magic trick, it’s something that can be soooo easily avoided.

So I challenge you today to identify one item that you seem to be constantly looking for. I’m curious to know what it is.

Identify a “home” for it that makes the most sense for you. Try this tactic…ask yourself “if this item was lost, where would be the first place I’d look for it?” Maybe that’s a good place to create a permanent home? Pay attention to how you think.

Consistently put said item back when done with it. Ahh that’s the kicker but so worth it!

Don’t forget to commit to giving yourself at least 20 days to build this new habit.

Now go enjoy all the time you just saved yourself by doing something you love.  Read a magazine, take a bath, coffee with a friend, take a nap, play UNO or sit on your deck and sip a nice refreshing drink.  Doesn’t that sound so much better than walking aimlessly around your house for hours on end in frustration?  I thought so 🙂


Filed under: Organizing Basics


3 Responses to Why You Keep Losing Your Stuff and How to Find It

  1. 1
    Elsa says

    Ugh I lose stuff ALL the time! Thanks for the advice.

  2. 2
    Morgan says

    I had the exact same thing happen to me (returned a purse to Walmart with something still in it), except in my case, the something was $314 in cash. Luckily, the money was still in the zippered pocket of the purse when I went back to look for it!


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