Misplacing stuff is easy – though finding it again is decidedly less so.
The difficulty compounds as we collect more and more trinkets to fill our pockets and hands when out and about.
After all, it wasn’t so long ago that we had to don masks when clambering onto public transport.
We’ve lost count of the times we left the house, only to have to make an early return trip for an essential item forgotten in haste.
So how does one keep track of all that stuff, be it housekeys, wallet, medication or handphone?
Here are four tips to help you remember what needs to be remembered – follow these, and you’ll (hopefully) leave no stuff behind. And if all else fails, a little technological intervention never hurt.
Designate a space for everything
Everything has its place, and your stuff is no exception. Designate a proper space for every item at home and build a habit of returning your items to their allocated spot.
According to psychologists, associating these spaces with certain objects and hammering them home with practice will aid with memory recall. The trick is in having the discipline to deposit items only in their designated spots.
The neat part about this tip is that is applies outside the home as well – you can designate such ‘spots’ in your car or backpack or handbag, too, making it easier to do a sweep of your things.
Have you ever been on your way to complete a task, only to walk through a doorway before completely forgetting what you set off to do in the first place? It’s actually a well-documented psychological event that goes to show how iffy our short-term memory really is.
Therefore, an obvious – but effective – way of making one’s life easier is to reduce clutter. Keep your stuff close to each other and eliminate what isn’t necessary from your everyday carry.
We only have so much mental and physical real estate, so it is important to evaluate what we put into our pockets.
Handwritten notes are king
The more scatter-brained among us might find it useful to jot down things in a notebook or on post-it notes. We say jot down, as writing notes by hand has been shown to trigger more robust brain activity, resulting in better memory retrieval.
While this won’t necessarily help you to track down missing stuff, it might prevent them from being lost in the first place – for example, keeping a handwritten ledger on a storage box for items that are seldom used.
Use technology to help
If all else fails, there is no shame in using technology to help track our stuff.
There are a number of tiny rechargeable tags on the market that you attach onto your key ring, slip into your wallet or even clip onto your pet’s collar. You can even leave them in your car, to remind you where you’ve parked.
The range on these devices depends on the technology being used (and how much you’re willing to spend).
Those which rely on Bluetooth have a limited range of around 20 metres, and will either make a loud sound when triggered with a remote or app on your phone, or when you stray too far from the item.
An example of this is the Orbit Smart Card Tracker, which you can find at Challenger.
Another version you can consider is Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag, both of which work by piggybacking Bluetooth signals off nearby compatible devices to relay that location data to you.
The fancier GPS versions, like those made by homegrown brand Tack GPS, can give you real-time updates of the device’s location, but usually cost far more, as they typically require a subscription fee.
However, this is probably what you’d want for a treasured pet (or a loved one who is prone to getting lost).
The battery life for these items can last between a couple of days and multiple months – which is something else that you’ll need to remember…perhaps with a reminder on your smartphone.
Now, do you remember where you put your phone?
- Lifestyle ·
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