A place for everything, everything in its place. If I had a dime for every time I had heard that phrase and ignored it, I’d have, well … sadly, not that many dimes. Because at one point in my life I would’ve misplaced the change cup. But after a few habit adjustments, that change cup’s always in my purview.  

So, if you’re ready to turn over a new leaf — just like I was — and get organized once and for all, check out these tips on how to never lose things in your home. 

1. Have a place for everything — and put everything in its place

The minute I hung up a hook for my keys, I never lost them again. (True story!) They are just always hanging on the hook. Paperwork is another bugaboo, but establishing a filing system means you’ll always be able to find your go-to place for permission slips, invoices, and schedules. This technique works for everything from kitchen gadgets (drawer under stove) to flashlights (shelf on pantry) to umbrellas (hall closet). And to really make sure you never lose things in your home, teach everyone else to return items when they use them — wayward scissors, we’re looking at you.

2. Follow a routine every time you get home

The key to putting everything back in its proper place is remembering to put everything in back in its proper place. And the key to remembering: make it a habit. Walk in, hang your purse up, put your phone on the charging pad, empty your change into a nearby cup, and hang up those keys. If you do it every time, you’ll inevitably notice when you skip a part of the sequence, and you’ll backtrack to make sure it’s done.

3. Put stuff where it makes sense

If you want to return library books, put them in the car. If you always take your earbuds jogging, put them with your running shoes. Using this technique means you won’t waste precious minutes tracking something down when you’re already in a rush.

4. Have less stuff

While you don’t have to go full-on Marie Kondo, having less stuff makes you far less likely to misplace it. So consider getting rid of at least a few of your 6 pairs of black pants so you’re not constantly reaching for the wrong ones. (Because there’s really only that one pair we actually like, anyway.)

5. Use a tracking device

Maybe you’re synced with an app that helps find your phone. But there are other great devices you can attach to pesky things that go missing so you never lose things in your home. Look into popular options like Tile or TrackR to help you find stuff. (Yes, those were my keys in the trash! Thanks, Tile!)

6. Stay calm if you do lose something

It’s easy to start a frenzied hard-target search where you’re throwing things about. But stop for a second. Take a deep breath. And try one of these other solutions.

  • Try to remember the last time you used or saw the item. Trace your steps from where you might have been.
  • Ask someone who hasn’t been fiendishly searching to take a quick look around — their fresh eyes might spot it immediately.
  • If it’s an important piece of paper or item in your junk drawer, start calmly organizing the area rather than ripping it apart. The necessary item might show up during the course of your session. Plus you’re liable to find something you didn’t even know you were looking for.
  • If all else fails, and you don’t have to have that item immediately, take a break from the search. Inevitably it’ll show up where and when you least expect it. Because where is everything always? The last place you’d think to look.

Despite your best efforts, though, unexpected things can sometimes happen to your stuff. A laptop stolen from your car. A mini-blaze destroys your clothes. Vandals smash your garden gnome. So, as part of your newfound never-losing-your-stuff skills, make sure all of your stuff is covered with from Esurance. Start a renters or homeowners quote today, and find out how we’re making insurance surprisingly painless. 

Smart technology | Home and garden


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.