Losing it over losing things

by Ruth Griffiths

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you lose things?

I bought some colourful Band-Aids and fruit-flavoured toothpaste for my granddaughter. She was so happy, she hugged them to her chest and danced around the kitchen. The next day, they had disappeared. She denies hiding them and I have looked everywhere, including the freezer. (Grandma does strange things sometimes.)

When I did my grandson’s laundry, the dryer returned just one grey sock. Where do those little socks go? Humorist Peg Bracken had a suggestion in her book “I Hate Housework.” She thinks the rotations of the clothes dryer spin socks into a parallel universe.
Sounds about as good as anything else I can think up.

Of course the surest way to find something is to go out and find a replacement. Then you have two!

Sometimes I do find things, but in the strangest places! When I brought out the grandchildren’s bubble wands and beach toys for the first time this spring, I discovered my favourite funnel. I had struggled all winter with filling the salt shaker. Somehow the orange plastic funnel had morphed into a sand toy and was hiding out with the shovels and pails.

Of course this proves the maxim: A place for everything and everything in its place.

You’ve seen those organized workshops where the tool is outlined in paint on the peg board. All you have to do is train everyone to put it back where they found it. (But training a puppy might be easier.)

How much time to we spend looking for our keys and wallet? To create a place for your most important things, take a test run. Walk into the house carrying your things, and look for a place you’ll be able to put them every single time you get home. And then do it.

Another trick that works for me, is to tell someone else or even myself where I am going to store something. “I’m putting Nana’s birthday card on top of the refrigerator,” I announce to an empty room. But the foolishness of it really seems to help me remember where to look.

Getting out the door in the morning can be a nightmare if you have to remember four or five things to take with you. If I think I might forget something, I put the item in the car the night before. That doesn’t prevent me from running around the house looking for it, but it sometimes prevents me from having to make a special trip back home to pick it up.

I notice that I lose things more often if I am tired, distracted or stressed. We have to be intentional about putting things away so they can be found later. Hunting for Easter eggs might be fun, but searching for the remote gets old fast.