The Two-Step Hack You Need to Stop Misplacing Stuff

Listen to blog post on the Little Tips podcast

One of the easiest things to do is misplace a personal item.

The loss of items like keys, pen, phone, socks, remote etc. is a common experience. An experience which always happens with a price, even when the lost or misplaced item is recovered. People have missed appointments or flights, arrived late for work or meetings, and suffered stress or anxiety. In every instance at least time is lost, irrecoverable minutes.

The number one time-waster is looking for things that are lost, says John C. Maxwell.

I agree.

He made this statement on his podcast when he talked about the rewarding habit of noting or capturing information one finds in a book while reading. His argument is, a lot of time can be wasted looking for information previously found in a book, like an insightful quote or statement. So to save time, note or capture the information for easy reference in the future.

This is also true about losing personal stuff. Time is wasted looking for them.

My life abounds with instances where time scheduled for something else was spent seeking misplaced items. One fateful day in February, I misplaced my car keys. After my unsuccessful frantic search, I took mine and my colleague’s kids to school using commercial transport. The kids were late. I arrived work late, stressed and drained at 9:18AM!

I daresay, one of the easiest things to do is waste time. Since it doesn’t take much to misplace stuff, and time will be spent seeking the lost items.

How does one keep from misplacing items?

How does one keep from spending at least thirty hours annually doing avoidable search?

Yes, that’s the average time an individual spends seeking misplaced stuff. According to Pixie’s ‘Lost & Found’ survey, ‘the average search for a misplaced item takes about five minutes and twenty seconds of our time.’ The study also said people ‘spend an average total of 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced stuff.’ That’s sixty hours every year!

Though the study cited Americans, I believe every human can relate since misplacing stuff is a universal experience.

After paying the price one time too many I learned to use a simple two-step strategy to keep me from losing my stuff. I literally created a place for everything, and intentionally kept everything in its place.

The two-step hack you need to avoid misplacing your stuff is:

  • Create/ find a place for everything.
  • Keep everything in it’s place.
Create A Place for Everything:

If you don’t have a place for your stuff you will definitely misplace them. You will end up keeping your things anywhere, which actually is nowhere. Because anywhere can mean one hundred possible places. All you need may be hook(s) for keys, a holder for pens or remotes, a space in your wardrobe for socks or boxers, ties or cuff links etc. The idea is to create a place for your things.

It is not enough to have a place for your stuff. Take the next step, always place your stuff where they are meant to be.

That’s the second step for the hack

If you don’t have a place for your stuff you will definitely misplace them. You will end up keeping your things anywhere, which actually is nowhere.

KEEP Everything IN ITS PLACE:

Once you have a place for your stuff you must learn to keep them in the places you designated. Else, they will end up anywhere nowhere. Resist the tendency to keep things anywhere because it is convenient. Actually, it is not convenient. It only seems so. Later, when you waste time looking for a misplaced item, it will be clear placing things anywhere is not convenient, in the long run.

There you have it.

To keep from misplacing your stuff, and to avoid wasting time looking for them, the tip is to employ this two-step hack I just shared:

Find a place for everything, and consistently keep everything in its place.

I am finding this hack very helpful. The incidences when I misplace items have significantly reduced. So is the time I waste doing avoidable search. Not to mention the immeasurable stress and anxiety I save myself.

Remember, if you don’t have a place for your stuff you will definitely misplace them. You will end up keeping your things anywhere, which actually is nowhere.

Also, it unwise to spend an average of 60 hours of your life every year doing something you don’t have to do.

Any ideas on how to prevent the misplacement of personal stuff?

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