There’s nothing more annoying than putting your phone down when you get home, and forgetting where you placed it five minutes later. Misplacing items happens to everyone at any age (you may not have to worry about cognitive decline just yet), and it simply means your attention was elsewhere when you let go of the object. Yet that fact doesn’t make it any less of a nuisance. Fortunately, you can gradually change your habits so that losing track of your things becomes less common. You can also take several precautionary steps to make sure you have a quick way to find lost items when they go missing. Below, check out three hacks that make it easier to find your stuff.
If You Lost an Item Away From Home: Join a ‘Lost and Found’ Facebook Group
Log in to your Facebook profile and type “Lost And Found Items” in the search bar to join a group of more than 51,000 people looking for lost items. Create a post with information about your item and type “#Lost” to signify that your item has not been found. There’s a chance a group member in your area may have found your item, and posts can also be shared to your profile to spread the word.
If You’re Searching for a Lost Object at Home: Think About Its Non-Visual Traits
An interesting study from Johns Hopkins University found that people were able to find objects much faster if they thought about the item’s non-visual traits (such as hardness or softness) rather than its visual ones (such as color, size, and shape). Why might this work? Cognitive neuroscientist Jason Fischer and his team believe it helps you focus and tune out useless information. For example: If you are searching for a sweater, it would be better to focus on its softness rather than its color. That’s because you’ll spend more time looking through soft items rather than hard ones.
To Keep Track of Your Electronics: Set Up ‘Find My’ on Your Phone
Good news for iPhone and Apple computer users: The app Find My is an excellent way to keep track of all your electronics. Here’s how it works: You can choose to share your phone’s location with a friend or family member. Then, if your phone goes missing, your friend can track it easily. (If you have an Apple computer that is connected to your phone, you can see your phone’s location from your computer as well.) Other devices that you can track on Find My: Any item that contains an Apple AirTag, AirPods, computers, and several non-Apple gadgets, including a key ring tracker (Buy from Chipolo, $25).
And you don’t necessarily have to use Find My — especially if you don’t have an iPhone. Consider getting a pack of inexpensive tracking devices (like Beauty HAO Mini GPS Tracking Device — Buy from Amazon, $5.78). Put in your car, on a key ring, or on your pup’s collar. Then, download the free app iSearching, pair each device, and track items in seconds.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.