We all misplace things occasionally. But for individuals with ADHD, it can happen every day, multiple times a day. It can be frustrating and result in many wasted hours spent searching for lost items that are used on a daily basis. It can be even moe anxiety provoking during the holidays when the pace of life is more hectic.
The particular characteristics of the ADHD brain can be to blame.
The ADHD Brain and Losing Things
The working memory of the ADHD brain typically has a somewhat lower capacity, so it’s easier to forget where you put things as other distractions vie for your attention.
Finding things can be just as problematic for the same reason distractions get in the way. And on top of that, panic can set in if your search is making you late for an appointment.
How to Avoid Losing Things
Create a home for important items – Assign a specific location in your home or office to store your essential items, preferably in the area where they are used. For example, keys and wallet on a table near the front door. Be deliberate about returning items to their “home.”
Establish daily rituals – Make a list of all the steps you take to get ready every morning. Laminate your list. As you go through your morning routine, cross off each item.
Highlight important items – Make commonly misplaced items stand out. This can includes tings like putting reflective tape on the TV remote or attaching your keys to a large and unique key chain. For the stimulus seeking ADHD brain, bright colors and unique shapes make it easy to detect an object when scanning a room for misplaced items.
Be mindful when you put something down – Say to yourself, “I’m putting my ______ here.” Look at the spot, pause, and give yourself a moment to take in the location. This little bit of focused attention will help cement the location in your memory.
Use technology – Trackers can help you quickly help you locate important items that you frequently misplace. These can be stickers or plastic chips that attach to keys, phones, wallets, and other small items. When you misplace an item bearing a tracker, you can send a signal to activate it, which will emit a noise revealing its location.
The video below has more insights about how to stop losing things.
How to Stop Losing Things – Jessica McCabe