There are people who never lose anything, and then there’s me. If you’re like me, I’m sorry to tell you that it may just be a part of who we are. But if we consciously make an effort, we can hopefully mitigate our naturally forgetful tendencies. Here are some things I typically lose, and the tactics I’ve learned over the years to keep track of them. Good luck, and godspeed.
If you lose your wallet, it can feel like you’ve lost your whole life. So this was my first puzzle to solve. The solution may sound simple, but it takes a surprising amount of discipline: I decided to just make a spot on one bookshelf “The Wallet Zone.” Now, the second I get home, I put my wallet there, and I know where it is. Crucial point: This has to be the very first thing you do when you set foot in your place. If you wait, you’ll forget, and your wallet will end up in the fridge. (True story.)
I’m a gamer, but one game I hate playing is, “Where The Hell Are My Keys?” Are they in the pants I wore yesterday? On the floor next to my desk? Still in the lock? So I quit that game and geared up with Tile Sport, Tile’s most powerful Bluetooth tracker. With the Tile app installed on my phone, I can “ring” my keys, so they make a loud noise if they’re within 200 feet. If they’re farther away, no problem — the app remembers the last place and time I had them. In a pinch, the app can even connect me to other Tile users — the world’s largest lost-and-found community — to help track down those crucial jingly metal things. Plus, Tiles aren’t just great for keys. You can slide Tile into your backpack, attach it to your bike or put one in your passport holder.
If you lose stuff a lot and you don’t have Find My iPhone set up on your iPhone or an equivalent app on Android, what are you even doing with your life? Losing your phone a lot, that’s for sure. Change your ways and never lose those things again! Or — another point for Tile — press your Tile and your phone will ring, wherever it is, as long as the Tile app is running in the background.
I lost my Social Security card last year. Getting a new one was surprisingly easy. But still, even 30 seconds spent sitting in a fluorescent-lit room waiting for a number to be called is too many seconds doing that. So I incorporated the most basic storage mechanism imaginable into my life. My new SS card goes in a dang shoebox, along with everything else that I rarely need but never want to lose. New passport? Into the shoebox. Proof of completing jury duty? Shoebox. W2? Shoebox, until approximately April 10th, when I frantically do my taxes in a last-minute burst of chaos and confusion. But that’s a part of my life I can fix another time.
Are you constantly losing stuff like I used to (and still sometimes do)? What are some of your tips and tricks to overcoming your propensity to misplace stuff? Let me know in the comments!
Tony Carnevale is a senior writer for Studio@Gizmodo.