Ideal Organizing + Design: Where Are My Keys?

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Where are my Keys?

By Jennifer A Dwight-Organizing Coach

There are few things more stressful than being unable to find an item when you want or need it. When it happens repeatedly to high use items like your keys, important paperwork, wallet or purse, cell phone, and glasses, it is even more frustrating and time-consuming.

It is estimated that folks waste an average of ten minutes a day looking for lost possessions. The usual cause is not being mindful in the moment when the item is placed somewhere.

The best solution to chronic lost items is a behavior change. When everything has its place, lost belongings become a thing of the past. 

A good three-step definition of organization is the following 

1. Establishing a place for every item that you own.

A pretty bowl or container near the door that you use to enter and exit your home is a good place for keys and wallet. A sturdy hook close by for your purse works well too. This area is sometimes called the “landing strip.” There should also be room for groceries and other things you bring in with you so that you don’t have to choose what will be put down first. There is room for everything and things that only get used when you are out need not leave this area.

2. Remembering where that place is.

When you decide where everything is going to live, it must make sense to you. You might want to write it down and put it on the fridge until the habit has become ingrained.

3. Always returning items to their “home”

Don’t put your phone down somewhere unusual and tell yourself the lie “I’ll remember where I put it!” Take the few extra seconds, in that moment, to place the item where it belongs.


















Some items, like cell phones that we tend to keep with us but not always on us, need an exact spot in every room. When entering the room, make it a priority to place the slippery item where it belongs (click here for a link to the wooden holder). One needs to be mindful whenever handling frequently lost items.

I personally have at least five pairs of reading glasses placed in specific, strategic locations in my home. For instance, next to the thermostat as I can no longer read it without assistance. The glasses always go back on the table near the control so they will be there next time. If by chance I grab them when I can’t find another pair, I put them back as soon as I notice them out of place. I have different colors and thankfully I am able to remember where each color goes. I have a system that makes sense to me and I follow through with the right behavior.

Another solution:

If you like technology, here is a link to a video from one of many companies now making “finder” electronic products. We haven’t tried these yet, but if you really feel that you can’t train yourself to be mindful when putting things down, this might be a good alternative. We’d love to hear from you if you have experience to share about these finders.












(We are not affiliated with this or any “finder” product)

The benefit of being organized and able to find your belongings is more time, freedom, and peace of mind. At Ideal Organizing + Design, we are experts at creating beautiful, functional systems for those who want to escape from disorganization and coaching you through the necessary behavior modification to maintain a relaxed and organized lifestyle.

We also offer a Home Safety Audit. For details, please CLICK HERE.