I keep losing things

jannieDecember 12, 2005

I am so disorganized. And I keep losing things. I have had three bank cards this year. They get lost, I call up and report it, then I get a new one. But it's a hassel because in between I have no card, can't go to any ATM for money, must pay cash in stores, and then when the new card comes the numbers are different (of course) and I have to re-activate it. My bank will probably start charging me a fee if I keep losing their cards! Well, today I misplaced my car key. I keep it on a separate keyring. I know I had it this morning because I drove the kids to school but now I just can't find it. Yes I have a spare but it's not as handy. The keychain has buttons that unlock the doors and pop open the trunk. I have searched and searched but I can't find it. Yikes ! Does this happen to you? How do you stop from losing things you need everyday?

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The best way to keep track of things is to put them in a specific place, the same exact place, all the time. Bank cards should be in a special place in your wallet or purse and don't put the wallet into the purse till the card is in there, just hold onto the wallet till you get the card back in your hand and replace it in the wallet. Keys should be hung on a hook near the door as soon as you enter the house, etc. After a while, you get used to where important things belong and they will be there.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 4:59PM
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Amen to that.

Cards always back in the same place in the wallet. Keys ALWAYS in the same place in my kitchen near the door. Key racks are the best, a basket is second best.

My mother taught me the latter. She will hang ANYONE'S keys on her key rack. If someone says "where are my keys?" they need only to look there. Don't leave your keys on the counter over there...LOL

And a good motivator beyond the obvious for losing keys that have a remote door lock on them is that they cost about 75 bucks to replace.

But in desperation, I seem to recall that they do make a clapper/buzzer sort of device for key chains. I don't know who makes them or sells them, but I've seen them in passing, surfing on the net.

Btw, I'm not historically perfect with the card thing. But I had to work hard to break the habit of shoving a card in coat or pant's pocket, or down the side of my purse. The hassle of trying to find something got me to be more disciplined about the whole thing. I not only make sure that it's in my wallet, it's in the SAME slot each time.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 10:19PM
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Yep, I agree with the other posters - the best way to stop losing things is to have a home for them, and to make sure to KEEP them in their homes when not in use. I'm still working on this!!!


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 2:19AM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions/ I guess I need to start a new habit. After two hours running around the house looking for the keys, I looked in my pocket for the third time. Under my gloves,there it was! But the agony of looking for them was so awful, I had to lie down and rest. I decided then and there this will never happen to me again. Cards will always go back in the slot in my wallet and keys will be hung on a designated hook in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:51AM
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next time you start to set something down for "just a minute" or stick your card in your pocket instead of the wallet, say to yourself (actually, you can sing it, I think--I do, but I can't remember whose song it is I'm singing--a woman's voice)

"If not now, than when?"

You'll have to put the card in your wallet eventually--why are you putting it off? It's not going to be any easier any OTHER time.

And if you put it in the right place, you'll spend less time overall, bcs you won't hunt for it.

So do it now. Instead of delegating it to "future Jannie," LOL!

This is actually why I got grumpy about the idea that i should hurry up and get out of people's way at the check-out. I put my card away in my wallet, and my wallet in my purse. The heck w/ the rest of you antsy people behind me!

Another thing I do--when I'm searching for something in a pocket or backpack, I empty the ENTIRE thing, and go through it piece by piece. If figure, if I'm going to search, I'm going to search. Open every envelope, remove every items, etc. Bcs I too have missed my keys among the pens, or inside the gloves.

And could this be a wake-up call, that you should put those car keys on the chain w/ the other stuff?

I have found that I do best with one keychain. it has everything. Of course, if I lost it, I'd lose everything. But I find that, since it's so important, and since it's only ONE, I don't lose it. (I do have 3+1 places my keys can be--in my coat pocket, in a little dish on my dresser, or on the DR table. The "+1" is in my purse, which happens seldom. But if it's not in the first three, I go to the auxiliary place.

I had to put that dish on my dresser, bcs DH gets anxious when my keys are on the DR table, so I had to give him a place to put them, or he'd chase me all over the house trying to hand me my keys when my hands were full of OTHER stuff. And, I considered them "where they belong" when they're on the DR table. So, now he can assuage his anxiety by putting them in that dish, and I can find them if he moves them.

It actually works OK--sometimes a little bit of searching, but not that much.

I have lost my magnetic sunglasses that go w/ my eyeglasses. I was always, always careful to put them in the eyeglass case in the pocket in front of my purse.

Then one day, I didn't. I don't know what I *did*, but they're not there. The first time I didn't do it right, and bingo! Lord knows how much they cost. And they're gone, and I cannot find them anywhere I have looked.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:17AM
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Talley Sue, I thought about our discussion of the people behind me in a line too. This is exactly why I take the time to put the card away before I move: it has to always be in the same place, and it's one of the few habits I've been really good about. I also try to remember to lock my car door with the key (that way I know I have it); and I make sure my exterior house door locks can only be locked from outside with a key so I can't lock myself out.

As to indoor keys, I used to have Jannie's problem, so I established a home right inside the door for them. I do think it's important that it be convenient and logical (for the user, not necessarily for anyone else!)- that way it's more likely to be used.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 12:41PM
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Now if I could only stop doing that with my GLASSES! LOL

That's the only thing that I do the 'where is it dance' over. I find myself whipping them off of my face, anywhere and just setting them down.

Part of what will fix this is getting a new prescription (one of the reasons why I take them off). But I need to get into key mode with those things. Nothing like being late only because I couldn't find the darn things, and since I need them to drive, I'm stuck until I find them.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 1:51PM
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I can definitely relate. Rarely are mine such important things as keys or credit cards, but things like scissors, tape, etc. I have actually come up with storage places for all of these, but the kids take them all over the place and I too am bad about leaving them where I was working on whatever project. I guess this, as with most things is simply a matter of discipline. If I faithfully put things back EVERY time I use them, they would always be there when I need them!


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 2:34PM
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smom, try sticking the ear piece into your necklike, instead of setting them down. Then they'll always be with you.

Brenda, I have exactly the same problem as you w/ the tape & scissors!

the kids take them all over the place and I too am bad about leaving them

I even got the kids their OWN scissors and their OWN tape. But they do out of their room, and into the living room, to get the big dispenser.

That said, every time lately I've wanted the scissors and cldn't find them, it was me.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 3:55PM
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I hardly ever lose things, but I keep everything in a specific place.

P.S. Although it may look like I'm just randomly shoving my credit card in my purse to hurry out of the checkout line, I'm shoving it in the SAME place everytime. It might not be the "right" place when I'm done, but while I'm shopping it's the same place.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 5:31PM
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My biggest problem is putting something in an awkward place such as an important piece of paper in a kitchen cabinet. It's only when I move it (even though the new location makes so much more sense) that I will never find it again.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:00PM
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I'm working very hard on having a home for everything. In fact, that was my mission over the summer and I did pretty well...until September when I returned to teaching. But I *will* get back to it soon.

Putting things away really is a habit, and like all habits it takes awhile before it becomes "automatic". We have key hooks in the laundry room just as we enter the house. I hang my keys on the hook before I do anything else. My frustration is that DH does NOT do this. I keep telling him what if there is an emergency and I need those keys?

Well, this really happened to us. DH had a heart attack in May and they transported him to the hospital via ambulance and I was to follow behind in our car. Well, I could NOT find the car keys. Somehow I realized to check in the car, and sure enough the keys were still in the ignition. (DH started having warning signs as he was getting out of the car, so he was disoriented and had left the keys in there.) Anyways, this was always my fear, that I wouldn't be able to find my keys during an emergency, and it almost happened! (We do have a spare, but I have this thing about wanting my entire key ring.)

Unfortunately, DH didn't learn from that experience and still sets his keys anywhere he pleases. It drives me absolutely crazy.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 1:00AM
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My husband and I have duplicate keys to everything (except mine also includes keys to my office) and our own key rings. We never use each other's keys and never have a problem.

If your husband is borrowing YOUR keys because he can't find his own, you need to do something to stop him. Maybe get a "girlie" key ring with something big and pink and fuzzy hanging from it? Men hate big pink fuzzy things. LOL

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:47AM
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to hurry out of the checkout line

this is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't dawdle, true--but don't hurry. This from a NYer, for whom lines are EVERY day, every place.

I think this is going to be my new crusade--to get all those impatient people to just chill a minute while the rest of the world lives their life.

(the thing is, when you gripe about people taking too long, the folks who are the work offenders ignore you. The ones who only occasionally get distracted, or who are just ordinary, end up feeling that they're not entitled to an orderly measured life)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 10:49AM
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Jannie - I can relate to you and I am working on the same problem. I am always putting my cards, keys or cash in my pocket or leaving in the car or in a purse. Then I use another purse. Everything gets to be such a mess. I have several purses, each one full of junk and cannot find anything. I have seen myself grab a grocery bag and take what I need for the day to work when I have several purses at home. I also have stashed junk from my purses in grocery bags to sort out later. A few months ago I lost my airmiles card. I never found it and lost several airmiles because I didnt have my card when I was shopping. So last month my husband gave me his card. Within a week I lost it and also my visa card. I found both of them in different places. So I had to take control of this problem.
(1) I bought a new wallet with lots of places for cards.
(2) I bought a new purse - it has a deep outside pocket where I put my keys and cigarettes and lighter. It has another outside zippered pocket where I keep my daily calendar. Then inside it has three divisions - one for my wallet, phone, etc. One for papers. One for my lipstick, brush, etc. Then the whole thing closes with a zipper. It sounds large but not really.
(3) I still sometimes slip cards, cash or receipts in a pocket if I dont take my purse when I go out but every time I come home I empty all my pockets in a basket by the door. Then everything goes into my purse or wallet in the proper place.
(4) I also took each of those grocery bags (six I think) and each evening for six nights I emptied one and put the things away in their proper place (most in the trash).
(5) I have been doing this now every day for about three weeks and I think I am developing a habit, at least in this regard.
Just start small and try to keep it simple.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 10:21PM
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LOL, Julie! That might work! He only uses my key chain when he drives my car - we should just put the spare on his key chain, I suppose.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:32AM
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I keep my keys on the strap of my purse. I keep my phone in my purse and phone myself when I misplace my purse lol. So I seldom misplace my keys. I also always stop and put my money and cards back in my purse in their designated spots. I can't stand to search for things so I take the time to put them away where they belong, so I don't waste time later. Those weren't easily won habits. Whenever I misplaced something and didn't find it I remembered for a loooonnnng time afterwards and it irks me even today. I don't lose things well, especially money. I still wonder what happened to that $10 fifteen years ago.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 4:16AM
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we should just put the spare on his key chain, I suppose.

Put *A* spare on his keychain--everyone in the family needs their own copy of the key to every vehicle, and the spare should stay in the house somewhere.

I can only have one purse--then, there's no changing purses, etc.

Re: Mirren's getting that wallet: It's not accident that FIRST PARAT of that famous phrase is "a place for everything."

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:06AM
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Personally, I don't like regular wallets with flaps that you have to open to get to the section you want. I tried it and found myself not using it and stuffing my purse again. Now I use a very small credit card holder that is clear on one side so I can show my ID without taking it out. The credit cards, medical cards, etc. are put behind it. The other side also has room for more cards. There is also a zippered section in the middle where I can put my money but I find it's easier for me to use an outside purse pocket for cash.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:06PM
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I have a completely ridiculous problem: sometimes I establish homes for things and then forget where they are. FOr the last 2 months, I could remember taking all the tape, glue and other sticky stuff and putting it all together in a box or basket. Only I was not able to find the container. I (wrongly) assumed that the woman who cleans my house had put it somewhere. The culprit, as usual, was me. I found it in the course of some random activity. Now I have given it a new home but - how on earth do you remember? I don't use tape all that often but of course when I do, I need it NOW! THis is what leads to going out and buying more, and more, of things I already have (you should see how much packing tape there is in there!). Grrrrr.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:02PM
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I keep ALL my "office" supplies in a plastic drawer system in a cupboard. I keep duplicates of items that I use fairly often, such as tape, stapler, scissors, etc. in a kitchen drawer for easy access. But this took place only after a major organizing binge that I went on this year. The reason for the duplicates is that I found multiples of many items during the reorganizing, such as 23 pairs of scissors. So far the system is working out very well for me.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Elisabeth, the "home" has to make sense in context to what the item is and where it is used. Keeping things close makes it a breeze to put them away.

We have a multiple drawer thing next to the fridge in the kitchen. We use the kitchen table for most tasks, so having all of the office type supplies right there makes sense.

I tend to spend most of my time in the kitchen/dining area of my home, so that's where most things are located.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 4:27PM
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Also, don't forget the value of labeling.

Sometimes that label will be the thing that helps you remember where something should go BACK. Or keep you from filling up the scissors' spot with something else.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 6:37PM
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Im in high school and smoke weed almost everyday. It didnt used to be a problem my junior year but this year has been terrible I lose everything I get and have trouble doing concentrating. will my brain eventually repair itself and besides quitting what should i do

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:52PM
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It's me, Jannie, the OP checking back to tell you of my progress. I have NOT lost or misplaced my bank card or keys in a couple of years. I can't remember my last "mad dash" for something lost. I keep my bank card in one spot in my purse/wallet and take the extra few moments to return it there every time I pull it out. And my keys get hung on a hook near the door. They "live" there every second I'm not actually driving around. I never leave them in a pocket or purse or on the table for a minute. Keeping them hung up has become an indelible habit for me. And in case they ever do get lost, I do have a spare set put away in a drawer. I went thru the embarassment of spending around $250 at a car dealer getting two extra sets made. (That was after my daughter borrowed the car and lost the only key.) That's great motivation to be organized about this.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Jannie I can so relate to this. I used to spend ages every day looking for keys it was so stressful but putting up a key holder with hooks in the kitchen and training myself to put the keys there was such a simple thing but it made such a huge difference in my stress levels :)

It's amazing how doing these simple things can make such a big change.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Now if we could just help George with his weed problem . . .

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:06PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana


    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:05PM
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Jannie, that's really great! It's such an encouraging thing, when you can tackle something like this and actually SEE it work!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Jannie, thanks for posting and giving me hope! I've used up my lifetime replacements on bank cards (I now have to pay for them), and my husband is sick of my never-ending search for my keys and phone (everything else, too...sunglasses, water bottle, tv remote...but the important things bug him the most). Habits definitely help, and I am getting better...but there's much progress to be made! I found this cool gadget on an ADD site called Find One Find All based on the idea that people won't lose everything all at once, and my parents gave it to me for Christmas. Now I just need to take time to actually attach it to my keys and phone...

Here is a link that might be useful: Find One Find All

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 5:25PM
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And I still keep losing my reading glasses. Those magnifying "readers" you can sometimes find for $1. Well, I've lost so many I've lost count.I once "found" pairs in my knitting bag , outside by the mailbox and tangled in a tomato plant. All three got lost again. Then I bought a pair of real cute readers with a case for $20 at my local CVS pharmacy. I keep the case and glasses in my purse and so far I haven't lost this pair.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:25AM
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