Losing Keys and Wallets | Ask the easyStorage Experts
I cannot seem to stop losing everything! I lose my keys and wallet a couple times a week and it’s so frustrating. My house is pretty crowded both with my family and all our belongings but I just can’t seem to find a routine that works for me so I won’t lose everything.
Thank you, Jeff
Oh Jeff, this is such a common problem! We empathise.
Losing these things is something that happens to us all, so don’t stress, you are not abnormal or on the verge of being put into a facility for your own safety.
For the purposes of this blog, I’m also assuming that you have a keyring that makes the keys large enough to be easily visible and keeps keys together. And that the wallet is large enough to be visible at a glance. If not, this might be a great place to start.
There are also solutions like Bluetooth trackers, for example, that can help you find where you’ve put things. But these are often addressing the symptom, not the problem.
The science behind losing things like keys and wallets is – apparently - that we can’t store everything in our hippocampus, the part of our brain that keeps track of the important things. However, it’s not very good at keeping track of things that move around a lot.
The answer, therefore, is to always keep these things in the same place.
This requires a bit of self-discipline, and we will always, occasionally, lapse. I have a rack, for example, where I keep all of my keys – but when I rush into the house, put the kettle on, visit the bathroom, and then prepare the dog for a walk, all in the space of what feels like just minutes, I can guarantee that I’ll have left my keys by the kettle, on the side in the bathroom or in the box reserved for the dog walking things!
So giving yourself plenty of time and doing things in an orderly, organised fashion will also help. (Don’t laugh at the idea of a ‘manbag’ to keep things together for transporting around. They’re great for keeping things in one place.)
However, if finding where you’ve put things when you’ve put them down is still a problem, there’s every chance that the problem’s NOT your hippocampus. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a good, old fashioned tidy round and declutter may well be in order.
When surfaces are cluttered, it becomes harder to keep them clean, harder to appreciate individual items, and harder to tidy. Consequently, something as small as a set of keys can easily be lost behind cards, ornaments, things waiting to be filed, repaired or crafted….. deep down, you probably know what causes the clutter in your own space.
And from your email, I’m guessing that so do I: busy families with competing demands on time can often mean that one thing left on a side can quickly become three or four, and what was once a five second job becomes one that takes several hours, on top of an already busy working day.
Factor in sports, friends, social occasions, family visits, all competing for your attention, and it’s easy to see why things sometimes fall behind.
During lockdown, I took the time out to read the declutterer’s ‘Bible’, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Expecting to feel a little patronised (children, pets, house being reformed, all while working full time – these situations are far from ideal for creating zen-like calm, white, candlelit spaces), I was pleasantly surprised, and scoured the web for a few more good tips. You can read the resulting blog here: Ten Top Tips for Decluttering
Even though it was during lockdown, the tips can apply to any busy person for whom just living in a space has become messy.
We were also recently stopped in our tracks to think about collections. If any of your family are collecting something, this blog might be useful: Clutter or Collection?
At easyStorage we also work with several decluttering professionals. They have offered some advice here:
- Declutter Your Life to Destress - But What Happens Next?, by Chloe Jessamy
- A Guide to Using Unused Rooms, by Jane Rice
We hope that referring you to these resources will help you declutter to a point where those keys/that wallet on the side are obvious to the eye.