Adulting 101: from your keys to your English essay - here's how to stop losing your things

Adulting 101: from your keys to your English essay - here's how to stop losing your things

We’ve all had the suspicion that we lose our hairpins, keys or umbrellas because they grow legs and hide away from us, when most of the time we’re the ones to blame. These six tips will help you stop losing your things once and for all.

A place for everything

Spend five minutes to write a list of the things you lose most often. Then give each of the items on your list a home and make sure you always return them to their home after you’ve finished using them. That way you know exactly where to look when you need them.

You can keep multiple items together, but remember, the more items you add to one place, the harder it will be to find them again.

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Trick your brain

Keeping your things in the right place takes a lot of self-discipline and is easier said than done. It takes about three weeks to form a habit but you can speed up the process by repeatedly visualising yourself placing each item where they belong.

This self-deceiving trick will fool your brain into thinking you’ve practised the habit longer than you actually have.

Minimise losses when you change your routine

We usually lose our personal belongings when we experience a change in our daily routine, like when we wake up late or go somewhere new. That said, it is important to stay extra aware of your things during these times but you are often too distracted to do so. For this reason, you should try to gather and prepare your things the day before when your head is in a better place.


A useful tip for those of you who change your bag often is to keep all your important things in a smaller bag that you can easily move from one bag to another in one go.

Set reminders

Make a checklist of things you tend to forget at the end of the day and set an alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to pick them up before you leave. For example, if you always leave your umbrella at school, set an alarm around the time school ends so you can be reminded to grab it before you go home.

There might be times when your alarm won’t work so it’s good to make a habit of always checking an area before you leave it to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.

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Reduce your clutter

Clutter is one of the main reasons why we lose our things or have a hard time finding them. Try to build a routine of tidying your room or work desk so that they can be clear of any unnecessary items. Not only will this help to reduce losses, but will also help to clear your mind.

For those who like working in organised chaos, you might want to at least help the items most prone to getting lost stand out by adding a big neon key chain to your keys, for example.

Better safe than sorry

In this digital day and age, the things most precious to us are usually not physical objects. I’m talking about that 8,000-word thesis you’ve been working on for the past few months or that album of photos you took on your last trip. Remember to always save your work and make a backup (and backup your backups).

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Stop losing your things


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