Finding lost things

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Finding lost things
Finding lost things

Losing your belongings can cause a lot of frustration, discomfort or even despair. Whether you've lost your debit card or your grandmother's necklace, there are some tricks that can help you locate the lost item quickly and easily. If you want to know how to find your lost items, follow the steps below.


Method 1 of 3: Thinking about the loss

Find Things You Lost Step 1
Find Things You Lost Step 1

Step 1. Try to remember the last time you held the object

Before you start searching, think about the last time you had the item, whether it's your cell phone, your glasses, or one of your precious earrings. Close your eyes and think about the last time you saw the object, or what you were doing when you still had the object. Here are some tricks to help you remember:

  • Think logically. When it comes to a practical item like a cell phone or glasses, think about the last time you called someone or the last time you wore your glasses.
  • Ask your friends. If you lost one of your jewelry or your favorite scarf and you were with your friends earlier that day, ask them if they remember you wearing those items.
  • If you're lucky enough to have lost something while you were shooting somewhere, review all your photos to find out when you lost the item.
  • If you really can't remember the last time you held the item that day or even that month, it will be a lot harder to find. However, it will not be impossible to find your stuff in such a case.
Find Things You Lost Step 2
Find Things You Lost Step 2

Step 2. Think about the places you went after you lost the item

When you have an approximate idea of when you lost the item, you can make a list of all the places you've been after that. Of course it's easy if you were just at home. If you've been shopping and been to multiple places, it's a lot more difficult. Wherever you've been, make a list of all the locations.

Find Things You Lost Step 3
Find Things You Lost Step 3

Step 3. Get the right mental attitude

Before you start searching, it is important that you have the right mental attitude to find the object. There are two important things you can do mentally to increase your chances of finding the item.

  • Try to get into the same mood you were in when you lost your stuff. Maybe you lost your graphing calculator right after an important test. Try to remember what went through your mind during the test. Perhaps this way of associating will help you remember that you put your calculator in your locker or lent it to a friend.
  • Stay calm and optimistic. If you drive yourself crazy because you can't find the object, then you can't concentrate and take your time with your search.

Method 2 of 3: Finding the item

Find Things You Lost Step 4
Find Things You Lost Step 4

Step 1. Search your clothes and your personal items

The most obvious spots are often overlooked. You may think that the object you lost can't be that close. However, it is important that you first search your clothes, your pockets and your wallet to make sure that the item is not in there. When you've done that, search your backpack, your purse, your purse, or any other purse or bag you might have carried with you.

  • Don't just search your bag --- toss the contents on the floor and sort through your stuff.
  • Your car is also a great place to lose stuff. Search your car and especially look under the seats.
  • If you are still at school, check your locker.
  • If you have lost a small piece of jewelry, find a toilet, bathroom or other private space and undress. Maybe your earring or ring is still attached to your clothing somewhere. If you have long hair, keep your head down and shake your hair out.
Find Things You Lost Step 5
Find Things You Lost Step 5

Step 2. Go through all your steps

Think back to all the things you did after you lost the item. If you lost the item the previous night, go back to all the cafes and restaurants you've been to. You can of course call them and ask if they have found your things, but it is important that you also go there to see if you can find the item.

Walk down every street and path you've been on before you lost the item. This will take a lot of time, but it is worth it

Find Things You Lost Step 6
Find Things You Lost Step 6

Step 3. Ask for help

Your quest will be much easier if you don't have to do it all by yourself. Not only does the help of your friends make the search more fun, but your friends may also have new ideas where you could have lost your stuff. You can ask for help in the following ways:

  • Call up a close friend and ask him or her to help you with your search. To save time, your friend may want to retrace another part of your steps when it's roughly clear where to go.
  • Email your friends and colleagues and ask if they've seen the lost item. Also ask them when they last saw you with the object.
  • If it is a precious item, put a note in several places with a photo of the item and offer a reward.
Find Things You Lost Step 7
Find Things You Lost Step 7

Step 4. Search everywhere

When you've retraced your steps and haven't found anything, it's time to search every imaginable place. Turn your car, your room and your wardrobe upside down if necessary. Start looking in the most obvious places, such as under your bed, under your couch, and in your jacket pockets. If this doesn't help, look for places that are less obvious.

  • Look under the cushions of your couch to see if the object is there.
  • Look in important folders or papers that you use every day.
  • See if the object has fallen behind your bed, desk or closet.
  • Also search your friends' cars and houses if you think you've lost your stuff there. Make sure you get their permission in advance.
Find Things You Lost Step 8
Find Things You Lost Step 8

Step 5. Clean everywhere

If you are sure that the object is somewhere in your house, but you have searched everywhere in vain, stop looking for a while and clean your own place. Dispose of all rubbish, clean the surfaces of all furniture and put all items back in their proper place. You can also clean out your locker or your car if you think the item might be there.

You will be amazed how often you can find something just by cleaning

Find Things You Lost Step 9
Find Things You Lost Step 9

Step 6. Take a break

If you get frustrated and can almost pull out your own hair because you haven't found the item after a long search, take a break. Stop looking for a few hours or a day and you may suddenly realize where the object is or suddenly come across it when you don't expect it.

If you really need the item and a few days have passed, it might be time to just buy a new one

Method 3 of 3: Avoid losing your stuff

Find Things You Lost Step 10
Find Things You Lost Step 10

Step 1. Work in an orderly manner

The easiest way to avoid losing your stuff is to be an orderly and tidy person rather than one who always has to rush to get everything done at the last minute. Someone who is orderly always knows where he has left his things. Here's how you can become more orderly:

  • Organize every aspect of your life, whether it's where you store your documents on your computer or how you store your clothes in your wardrobe.
  • At the end of each day, take five minutes to put your things back in place. The time you spend on this will automatically pay off and ensure that you become more orderly.
  • Throw out all the junk and clutter you don't need. Make sure you only keep the things you can clean up and need.
Find Things You Lost Step 11
Find Things You Lost Step 11

Step 2. Check regularly if you still have all your stuff

Whether you're spending time with your friends or heading to the airport, make a list of the top five things you have with you and check your belongings a few times each day to see if you still have everything on the list. Also do this at important times, such as before you get on a plane or train, or before you go to school.

Don't do this in an obsessive way. By simply checking your belongings a few times a day, you can avoid losing anything

Find Things You Lost Step 12
Find Things You Lost Step 12

Step 3. Don't rush

You are less likely to lose your things if you are not always late, have to rush and struggle to find an item of clothing to wear that day. Give yourself more than enough time to go somewhere so that you arrive on time. Before you leave, check to make sure you have all your belongings with you, rather than doing this when you are in a hurry or busy.

When you don't rush, you feel more relaxed and have more control over yourself and your belongings. The chance that you will lose something is much smaller

Find Things You Lost Step 13
Find Things You Lost Step 13

Step 4. If you are sitting somewhere and you get up to leave, look back and make sure you didn't accidentally leave anything behind

This is very useful if you have a lot of stuff with you and put it down when you had the chance.


  • Use a flashlight to search for your belongings in a targeted manner. Your eyes naturally scan the environment for patterns, making it very easy to overlook something that's right in front of you. Search your room from top to bottom in a methodical way and use the beam of the flashlight to search in a focused way. Look only at the things that are within the beam of the flashlight.

    Note: Detectives don't use a flashlight to see better, but to better focus on all the details.

  • Always check spots multiple times to make sure you haven't overlooked anything.
  • Don't get angry or frustrated. This will only make you lose concentration and certainly won't help you find what you're looking for.
  • Try not to give up right away if you can't find an item in the first five minutes. Hang in there, keep looking and you might find a lost item you weren't even looking for!
  • Sometimes you can't find lost items in the most obvious places. So also look for places that are less logical: in a kitchen cupboard, in the freezer or under packaging.
  • Track your steps and always take breaks in between so you don't get too stressed!
  • Ask your friends, family and even co-workers if they saw the item you lost.
  • Check the spots where you think you have lost the item several times.

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