Do you know someone that loses their stuff all the time? For those that know me, you’ve probably noticed that I might be one of those people. I used to be REALLY bad at keeping track of things: car keys, phones, shoes, you name it! If I could have the time back that I’ve spent looking for lost things in my life, I’d have roughly three weeks to do whatever I want! (No joke- I just did the math). Each mind works in it’s own beautiful way and mine just doesn’t place a high priority on keeping my possessions in a very safe spot sometimes! I try to not let it define me- I am capable of keeping track of my things and actually, as time goes on, I am getting much better at it! Here are the top five tips that have helped me on my journey to find… my stuff!
Tip #1: Phone and wallet in one.
I was losing my credit card on a weekly basis before I switched to this new method. I’d toss the card in my purse or in my back pocket after making a purchase at the store and then… it’s pretty hard to retrieve things from the abyss of motherhood items.
Here is the solution— and I LOVE this thang.
The phone wallet seriously makes the transaction so seamless! I grab my phone from the top of my purse or pocket, slip out my card, purchase, slip it back, DONE! I just keep my main credit card, my ID, and a business card in the phone wallet– that’s it.
The grocery check out used to look like this: 1) Look through my purse, 2) find my wallet (Or NOT! I’ve seriously got to the checkout at Walmart twice and halfway through the scanning process, realize my wallet isn’t in there..! No joke- both times a neighbor happened to be behind me in line to save the day!) continuing on… 3) open wallet 4) hopefully find the card I want among lots- 5) swipe to make the purchase, AND 6) put it back in a spot so find it again for next time. Yay for a better solution for my mommy-brain!
This whole article was actually inspired by my love for how handy I found this case to be- especially during a cruise I recently took. On previous cruises, I used to panic every time I’d get on or off the ship, or approach my cabin door. This was me like five times a day: “Do I have my card?! …Oh yes I do!” The phone wallet was so helpful for traveling!
The one downside to this phone/wallet method, is that if you happen to really lose it, it really sucks. But even though I happened to be one of those people that actually went through that (AH!) I still think the phone wallet is the way to go because it simplifies the things I need to keep track of.
Tip #2: Get a Case for All the “Other Stuff”.
I get a tiny bit giddy when I think of how nice this planner cover is on my brain. This case is for the other essentials I might need while I’m out running errands. This doesn’t get mangled thru for everyday shopping, but when I need some cash, my insurance card, a gift card, a coupon, or I need backup credit card ‘cause I can’t find my phone at that exact moment 😉 etc. I’ve got sections for each of those things so I can easily find it, and it looks so nice that I’m naturally prompted to keep it nicely organized. I also have my planner in there which I have really enjoyed having all in one spot! It is really great quality- Franklin Covey– and I love that feeling that I’ll be able to keep using this for years to come. Click here if you’d like to see more pics and to purchase.
Tip # 3. An Intuitive Spot for the Commonly Misplaced Items
When I’m out and about, it’s CRUCIAL for me to have EASY-access pockets in my purse for my phone and keys to sit, right at the top of my purse. I rarely have to search for my phone or keys when I’m out. (for those of you that are already good at this, great for you! But yeah, I tell ya #thestruggleisreal for me to get to a good spot like this!)
But, at home…This is where I still have my weakest link. My intuitive spot for my keys is to just leave them in the ignition when I get home, but… my Sienna’s battery was dying prematurely because apparently that’s not a good idea for the van somehow. Lame! So I will have to train myself to keep them in the cup-holder, for 21 days: sticky-note reminders everywhere, and a nightly reminder on my phone to check all my goals (including checking that my keys are in the cup-holder!)
Since my phone goes with me all over the house, it’s something that’s bound to get lost. My favorite trick to finding it is the “android device manager” (just google it!)- it can ring your device at full volume for 5 minutes (even if it’s on silent!), you can lock the phone remotely, or even track its exact spot (if your GPS is enabled). For Iphone, I hear great things about find my Iphone, right?
Tip # 4: Keeping PAPER Easy-to-Find and Maintain Order.
There are a dozens of ways to feel in control of all the paper that comes into your home. There are also a billion ways to feel like you can’t ever find the document you need! This system happens to work really well for me and my stage of life. I have 3 spots that paper can go:
- A “junk” drawer in the kitchen. This is where everything lands, and it gets cleaned out on Tuesdays. There is a popular “one-touch” rule that says: “when paper enters your home, just handle it all right then so you only touch it once.” Ummm- I think these people don’t have children. There are papers that come into our life and just they need a safe spot that is tucked away until I have a few consecutive moments to attend to the bills, the permission slips, and all that crap. Then, when I do have the kids occupied, I handle it all just once a week, and take care of what needs my attention when I’m “in the zone”. I’ve got my computer up and ready, my filing cabinet ready to go, and it’s just so efficient to handle all in a batch. There’s no need to keep something on the counter to have it stare at you for a few days until that free moment comes your way. Papers like that send out a bad vibe, and that vibe is totally unnecessary! Tuck it away, and just set up a weekly system to take care of the paper in your life.
- Our filing cabinet. When I clean out the junk drawer, I move the long-term papers here!
- Binders. Sometimes you need a mobile “spot” for your documents and these are the ones that I really enjoy using: 1) Emergency binder- This is where I keep anything that I could possibly need to take with us in an emergency situation. It has birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. 2) Recipe binder that is covered in seven year old baking stains. 3) Church binder for all the church stuff, ya know?
Between these three places, all the papers have a “place”, and it’s pretty easy to maintain!
Tip # 5: If worst comes to worst and I just can’t find what I’m looking for, here’s a letter to myself to help me recover the physical item, and my sanity!
So it sounds like you’ve lost something important. You’ve been through this before and this is what you’ve learned:
It’s okay- everyone has hard things. You got this.
The very first thing you should do is ask your kids if they’ve seen the item. Their eyes are at a different level than your own- remember that one time they knew your phone was under the bed? If the kids can’t help, then act quickly and find a quiet moment and say a patient prayer. Be sure it has these elements:
b) Faith and confidence in His power to do what is best for you.
c) Ask specifically for what you are seeking, and visualize it happening
d) LISTEN. Take time to really listen to what his response is.
Obey any prompting you have to look in a certain spot. …If you still haven’t found it yet, continue on:
Try to remember the exact last moment you had the item. THIS IS THE GOLD. Don’t move on from that area until you’ve really searched it deep. Talk to someone else about it- you’re usually pretty embarrassed that you’ve lost something, but verbally talking it out sometimes jogs your memory for that last moment you had the item.
Now you can either say a prayer of gratitude that you found it; or take a break and try again later.
I hope these tips help you to feel more in control of. amd keep track of, your stuff! I know they work well for me! -Jennica