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Lost and Found for managing commonly misplaced items.

by © StatePoint Media
Photography by monkeybusiness images / iStock via Getty Images Plus

In the haste to break free from your pandemic routine, you may find your new schedule overwhelming and hectic. And with that, comes the inconvenience of misplacing commonly used items. According to a survey conducted by Bluetooth tracking company Pixie, Americans spend an average of 2.5 days out of each calendar year searching for lost items.

The most common reason we keep misplacing our items is absentmindedness. Psychologists have a phrase for this, “If you don’t encode, you can’t retrieve.” This means that if you go through your day without consciously thinking about where you’re placing your keys, your brain has no information stored about the item’s whereabouts. Other factors, such as stress levels and overall mental health, can also play a role in how often you misplace items.

Here are a few tips on how to prevent your precious possessions from going missing:

1. Set digital reminders: If you regularly lose track of specific items, digital reminders might be for you. There are a variety of great productivity apps available on most smartphones to remind you to double check your wallet before leaving the house. Most calendar apps such as Google Calendar and Outlook have remind features that can help you organize your valuables. There are also useful apps like Todoist that specialize in creating reminders and daily lists.

2. Retrace your steps: “Retracing your steps” after losing an item can be a useful approach when activating your brain’s context-dependent memory, since your memory is the strongest when you mentally or physically place yourself back in the environment in which the item was lost. Reconstructing these events visually can help trigger your memories and be an important step in rediscovering a misplaced item.

3. Try a Bluetooth tracker for smaller items: For smaller items like your phone, wallet and keys, Bluetooth trackers can provide much-needed tech relief. Trackers like these are designed for those times you lose an item within close proximity. Instead of wasting precious moments searching for your lost item, you can pull up an app to tell you where it is.

4. Use the power of GPS tracking devices for high-value items: When it comes to highly valuable items like photography equipment, luggage and even pets, you’ll need more protection. Products like T-Mobile’s SyncUP Tracker uses a combination of GPS technology and T-Mobile’s reliable nationwide network to track an item at any moment from anywhere. Other devices that rely on Bluetooth technology often have tracking range limitations and shorter battery life. T-Mobile’s SyncUP Tracker includes a rechargeable battery and virtual boundaries that alert you if an item leaves the designated location, all via your smartphone through an app available on both iOS and Android.

Just because you lost an item doesn’t mean that you should lose hope or panic. With a few changes to your routine and even some tech upgrades, you’ll find it much easier to cope during those forgetful moments.