Stop Losing Your Stuff With These 6 Simple Tricks

People who constantly lose stuff live in a cycle of frustration, lost time, and wasted money. Time that could be otherwise productive is dedicated to frantically seeking misplaced items. Money that could be saved or invested is instead used to replace missing items. It's frustrating and often embarrassing.

However, not all is lost. Absentmindedness is not an inescapable curse. You can decrease the frequency of losing things and increase the chances of finding them. Alleviate item loss with some simple tricks.

1. Increase Organization

The simplest, cheapest way to decrease the chances of losing items is to get more organized. Don't simply throw your keys, wallet, cards, or phones onto the nearest flat surface. Try to nail down an area to store each item. Always place the items there when you return home every day.

2. Don't Silence Your Cell Phone

Vibrate or silence should not be the default setting on your phone. Yes, you might need to silence your phone occasionally, but you should change the device to a setting that makes noise as often as you can. If you lose it, you can have a family member or friend call the phone.

If you live alone and you own a smartphone, you should download Skype or FaceTime. Both are free communication apps you can use to call the smartphone from your computer or tablet. Just make sure you set the communication app to notify you when it receives a call.

3. "Freeze It" Credit Card

Losing a credit card can be a huge hassle. You need to cancel the card and then wait about a week for a replacement card or pay a small fee for rush shipping.

It's a pain — especially if you're 75% sure you misplaced it somewhere around the house. You might find it if you spend a few hours looking, but every second you spend searching, someone might be gleefully embarking on a shopping spree. The end result is canceling cards that might not be lost.

If you switch to a credit card that has the ability to temporarily freeze, you could decrease the chance of fraud and prevent the need to prematurely cancel cards. That can be a huge boon for people who lose track of their cards constantly.

Right now the only company that offers that feature is Discover, but I anticipate in the next few years, more credit card and debit cards will begin to offer it as well. (See also: 10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer)

4. iPod or Smartphone Wallet Case

If you can't (or won't) carry a wallet or purse around, you should look into purchasing an iPod or smartphone card storage device. The storage devices are either covers or attachments that stick to your phone.

This is a great option for people who can't always carry a wallet or purse, especially if they have a history of losing track of their credit or debit cards. The fact that the devices only cost around $5–$25 dollars makes it a fairly cheap solution.

5. Add Device Trackers

There are a variety of key, wallet, or phone finder devices. The devices typically offer the following functions:

  • An audio alarm to help individuals locate the item;
  • GPS tracker to find objects that are potentially out of audio range;
  • The ability to ring the phone, even if it's on silent;
  • Alerts when you are separated from an item;

The devices hook onto keyrings, slip into wallet pockets, or are adhesively attached to an object. It's definitely an investment, but it could prevent the loss of an expensive item.

See also: Best Trackers for Easily Lost Items

6. Wear Clothing With Secure Pockets

Most women's pants either have ridiculously small pockets or no pockets at all. That can make carrying important objects from place to place difficult. And if you prefer not to carry a purse, it could mean that you need to either squash all of your objects into teeny, tiny pockets, or carry them. That can increase the chances of objects falling out of your pockets or placing objects down and forgetting to pick them up. (I've done both multiple times.)

Consider adding clothing into your wardrobe that includes larger and secure pockets (ones that zip, for example). This could be a jacket, cargo pants, or utility shirts with hidden pockets. And then there's always the fanny back. 

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Stop Losing Your Stuff With These 6 Simple Tricks

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