One of the primary reasons people want to get organized is because they feel they waste time looking for things they’ve lost. In fact, the average person spends 10 minutes per day looking for misplaced items. (You do the math … that’s a whole lot of hours per year!) And lost items have been known to cost us an average of $5,500 over a lifetime. Add to that the stress, frustration and other inconveniences that come with lost things, and I don’t know about you, but I can think of many better things to do with my time and money than wandering around my home or office looking for my misplaced stuff!
Here are a few ideas for how to avoid losing things:
Give it a home … and by it, I mean everything – keys, cellphone (and charger), wallet, jewelry while washing dishes, retainers for kids, frequently used tools, etc. Anything you use daily should always have a home. If not, it will always be out of place (or lost!). This is the primary rule of organization.
Create reminders. Sometimes we don’t have a logical place for everything, and we have to store things further away than where they are used. If this is the case, create a reminder for yourself of where that item is stored. Your mobile phone is a great tool for reminding yourself of out of the way storage spots. Can’t keep track of the platter you use on Thanksgiving each year? Set a reminder of where it’s stored that will alert you next November so you can find it when you need it.
Create a “leaving the house” spot. I love using up the ridiculous number of tote bags we seem to accumulate for this purpose. I keep them stashed in our mudroom as a convenient spot to toss dry cleaning, library books or things I need to return to others. That way I don’t misplace these items and they’re in easy view so I will complete the task of returning them to their rightful spot.
Duplicates (in moderation) are OK! Certain items like scissors, screwdrivers, keys and reading glasses kept in a couple of places around the house can save you in a pinch if you misplace the original.
Use reminder tools like a Tile if you’re constantly losing keys, your wallet or other super important items. As someone who admittedly loses my keys occasionally (because I didn’t put them in their home!), the Tile is the perfect tool that helps me find them quickly. Other helpful tools include Find my iPhone or Where’s my Droid for finding a phone.