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Always Forgetting Things Around the House? It Might Be the ‘Doorway Effect’


We’ve all done this before: Walk into a room in our home, forget why we needed to go in there, and leave without doing any specific task. As frustrating as this can be to deal with, the reason behind it may actually be surprisingly simple. According to scientists, doorways can cause forgetfulness.

It sounds farfetched, but studies show that our doors have triggers which affect short-term memory. Keep reading to learn why we forget things because of doorways — plus some easy tips on how to improve our memory.

How can doorways make us forget things?

While it’s easy to pass this off as a brain fart, the reason we tend to lose track why we entered a specific room is much deeper. Research published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that walking through doorways can cause feelings of forgetfulness. Researchers explained that this is because our short-term memory and ability to recall events will shift when there’s a change of environment. Psychologists call this “the doorway effect.” 

A similar study published in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences also supports this claim by explaining that our brains create event boundaries based on each individual situation. For example, it’s harder to remember what you put on your to-do list this morning (if you don’t keep it on hand) because your brain is focused on the present moment.

It’s also no secret that our memory becomes more limited as we get older. However, just because entering doorways can cause forgetfulness doesn’t mean you have to avoid them to remember things. Life can be pretty difficult if you couldn’t go into the laundry room to wash clothes or the bedroom to get some sleep, right? But making some easy tweaks to your lifestyle can keep your memory sharp, especially as you age.

How to Avoid Forgetfulness

Eating more foods that are good for your brain health such as berries, eggs, and nuts will help with this. Also, olive oil isn’t just the holy grail for moisturized hair, skin, and combatting brittle nails — it can also protect your memory and learning ability when you consume it.

Taking supplements can work to boost your memory, too. Fish oil supplements like New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil Supplement (Buy on Amazon, $19.17) are great for your brain health because they’re full of omega-3s. It will also support your heart, joints, and eyes.

Rather than stressing about the doorway effect, take some time to relax and unwind. Activities like sipping on a mug of tea and watching a funny TV show can improve your memory and mood. A little me-time does great things for your brain!

During the day, household tasks don’t have to involve constantly trying to remember what needs to get done. All it takes is a few easy tips to lessen your likelihood of forgetting things and keep your memory sharp for years to come.

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