An Idiot's Guide to Finding Things You've Lost

11 July 2015

One of my absolutely top pet peeves is losing something. I mean losing something out in the big wide world is absolutely devastating it's gone forever. How could you have been so stupid? How on earth did you lose that?? But losing something at home is a different feeling altogether. Pure confusion. Annoyance. Where on earth did you put it? You're sure you've checked everywhere, but you still don't have it. 

I want to be the best at finding things. I want my kids and partner to shout from upstairs that they can't find their "insert specific item" and I can holler back the exact location because I just know. Of course, I know! I'm the queen of finding things. 

Being a good finder is not just about luck, or having one of those beeps clicker things that beep until you find the item. No no no. That's almost cheating. Probably. So here are a few of my trade secrets to finding things that I've lost around the house. Including things that aren't really that lost in the first place.

Losing Something in the Bookshelf/Fridge/Pantry

Sometimes you just know something is there. You're staring into the pantry like a maniac, squinting and staring and waiting for the peanut butter jar to just jump out and hit you in the face. 

You know it's in there. Where the heck else would it be. It's not on the counter, and god knows no one is crazy enough to put it in the fridge. (not in this house buddy). But try as you might, you just can not see it! 

I know there's some sciencey explanation for this phenomena but that's not what this post is about. It's about finding the peanut butter that's in sitting right in front of you the whole time. So here are some tips. 

Take a step back, breathe in, breathe out. Look away from the shelf, turn around if you must or stare at the floor. Now visualise what it is you're looking for. This might seem dumb but you're at your wits end here. You need that peanutty goodness. You see it in your mind. That yellow lid, peanutty coloured jar and those smug bears on the label. 

I know they're watching me, judging. 

Now look back into the space where you know you left your spread. See the item in your mind. Oh shit it was literally eye level straight in front of you the whole time, but somehow your mind basically forgot that was what you were actually looking for. You can thank me after you make a delicious sandwich. 

Losing an Item Somewhere in Your House

This is the big kahuna. The ultimate misplacement. Popular items include your car keys, wallet, hairbrush, phone, remote or unicorn night light. This is the action that is so incredibly annoying and makes you feel like an idiot once you do finally find said item. I'm (not) ashamed to say that I once sat on the floor and had a little cry after I was unable to find my hairbrush for 4 days. 

The majority of our most used items tend to have a particular zone that we keep them in. The zone could be an entire room, or a spot in many rooms, or just one place in one room. When said item leaves that zone, and can not be found in any other potential zones this is a moment for panic. 

Retracing Steps
It doesn't matter what the item is, but if you've lost it before the first thing you want to do is retrace your steps.  For example, if I lost my phone, and I had just been sitting at the computer firstly I would look there. Often it's next to my keyboard, but I have been known to sit it on the bookshelf as I walk past. So I'd want to check these typical spots. As soon as I can rule out the study I can move on to where I was before that. Typically this will eventually lead you to your lost belonging.

Dumb Places I've Found it Before
This is an important one. Sometimes items are just notoriously bad at getting lost. You sit them down absentmindedly and not just occasionally, all the time. In this case, you want to retrace your steps to all the dumb places you've ever found it before. 

For example, I've left my house/car keys in the front door. I couldn't find them anywhere and was actually reversing my car with the spare keys when I spotted them hanging from the lock. Low and behold I have now done this twice. So if my keys aren't on the bench or in my handbag, it's likely that I've done that again. 

I also often place my iPhone on my dresser in my bedroom as I walk past, but I can't see on top of it at first glance. So if I've left it there, I usually need to kind of stretch up in order to check if that is indeed where I've left it. Just the other day, I put my phone on a shelf in the closet and shut the door, and oh man I would have been searching for that one for a while, but luckily I received a phone call before I even realised I had lost it. 

Remember Your Train of Thought
I know one time I pulled apart my closet and the laundry looking for one pair of track pants because where could they be and why aren't they in one of those places. 

Only to give up and find them later accidentally when I opened my pyjama drawer, remembering I had now dubbed them PJ pants as I folded and put them in that drawer. If you can remember what you were thinking last time you had that item, it's a sure way to find it again. I just pulled my elf makeup brushes out of my study drawer because I had put them there for future blog reasons. But amazingly I had remembered!

Most importantly, know your own logic. Cause I mean that doesn't make sense as a place to put makeup brushes but it sure as hell sounds like something I would do. 

Do a Systematic Search

The thought of losing something like your pink diamonds can be inconvenient and annoying- totally nerve-wracking! Retracing your steps might not even help, but stay calm.

Of course, it will be freaking that you've lost something important. However, you'll have a more challenging time if you're stressed out. Finding it hard to calm down? Calm down and take a few slow, deep breaths.

Then start looking at it where it should be. If you always keep your wallet in the basket at the door, that should be the first place to look. Do a slow, careful search. Throwing things around frantically and in panic will create a bigger mess.

If you miss the item on the usual spot, you can widen the search area. Check it a few inches from the spot and the surrounding area. Keep widening the search area systematically until you find your lost item.

If All Else Fails

You can always try tying all of the items you most commonly lose, to a piece or string attached to a belt that you wear. Sure you will look ridiculous, but at least you know where everything is! Just try not to lose the belt. 
Cya! xx

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  1. Haha yes! - I know this feeling so well. My ultimate tip if you lose your phone is to call it with the house phone or someone else's phone. Your tips are spot on though! Retracing your steps or looking away, taking a deep breath and looking back again are both bound to work. So's the belt thing though :p

    The Life of Little Me

  2. Oh man I am the worst at finding anything. Sometimes I think I'm the least observant person when it comes to finding lost items. I will most definitely be using these tips in the future and maybe one day I'll be the master of finding things...or mediocre. Anything is really better than the reality right now haha!

  3. Love the post. I often loose my thing at home too, like I put the item on some place and then one minute I forgot where I placed it, I think I'm getting old hahah I keep on forget things so fast, great tips had fun reading it <3

    Capturing Life Memoirs |

  4. Haha this is so me, I'm forever losing things. The smug judgemental bears made me laugh too.

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

  5. Great post. I really lose a lot of things mainly because I forget where I put them. One time, when I was getting water with my phone. I took the container with me and left my phone in the fridge. Now that's a different kind of idiot who loses her things everywhere.

    Dice, '96 Wild Heart

  6. Haha I love this post - that feeling is the worst in the world. Whenever I put the washing on I always get paranoid I accidentally put my phone in there. It gets SO annoying!

  7. I hate losing things, which sucks because I love everything all the time! Right now, I'm searching for my favourite pair of shades. It's either in one of my plethora of bags...or my mom stole it. That's my conclusion. Grrrrrrrr!!

    xx Bash | Bash Says Hey | bloglovin'

  8. Self-proclaimed idiot who loses things 24/7. *raises hand*

    I loved this post immensely! Laughed out loud at the unicorn night light bit but I can so relate to everything here. I've 'lost' my earpiece a number of times, just to 'find' them sitting neatly in my ears. Music playing. I don't even know how that happens. I find retracing my steps the easiest way to find my item, but SOMETIMES, our mind just doesn't cooperate, hahaha. I usually just try my luck at the dumbest places I can think of because that usually works.

    Haha, loved this post!

    May | THE MAYDEN

  9. Oh gosh, this is me all over! A lot of the time I give up so that when I eventually find stuff I lost, it's a nice surprise haha. Thanks for your lovely comment by the way, just followed you back! :)

  10. Just came across your blog and i'm in love! Mind checking mine out, and maybe follow?

    -Michelle xx

    instagram: @pastellights (

  11. This is me to a T. I once thought I lost my phone and went on a crazy panicked rampage only to realise that it was right in front of me.

  12. I loved reading this post because I can totally relate to it. I'm SO bad at remembering where I place things lol! <3

  13. Such great tips! I'm forever losing things - especially in the fridge!

    Wishes & Reality

  14. This is such a hilarious (but needed!) post idea! I alllllllways absentmindedly leave things places. I've gotten into the habit of actually for a second when I put something down to say "okay self, this is where I'm putting my phone".... so far so good.
    xx, Pia

  15. Losing things is me on a constant basis. It's like I'll put something down, and the surface it's on, swallows it up!

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

  16. I don't misplace things very often but when I do, it takes me a few hours to find it :p

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  17. I'm suchhhh an idiot when it comes to losing things. I think I just have terrible memory in general - once I put my earphones on the table next to the stairs and when I was trying to look for it, I thought either left it in my bedroom floor or bed and I spent a good 10 or 15 minutes looking for it. I gave up since I was already late for work... Then lo and behold, I find them sitting on the dumb table when I'm about to go down the stairs haha. For me, I think I just need to organize things better!

    becky | star violet


Thanks so much for commenting everyone! I read and appreciate every single one of your comments! xx