Make a Fresh Start – Day 17

Seana speaking into a microphone where she is putting things down.

Happy Sunday! Our month-long series entitled “Make a Fresh Start” continues today with another tip for helping you manage and maintain your space.

One of the most common problems we have when it comes to our space is losing track of where things are. We reach for an item, only to find that it isn’t where we thought it was. This can be very frustrating, especially when there is time pressure involved.

Establishing “homes” for all of our belongings is very helpful. For example, hang a hook for the keys, choose a resting place for your cell phone, and set up a jar for holding loose change. Unfortunately, even when we have assigned locations for various pieces, we periodically fail to return them to their proper place.

Here is a little trick that might help: audibly verbalize where you are putting things down. For instance, speak the words, “I’m hanging my keys on the hook.” By saying the words out loud, you engage a second sense (hearing) to your effort, increasing the odds that you will remember where an object has been placed. It also adds a bit of accountability to your routine. If you know the key is supposed to go on the hook, but are on the verge of having to say, “I’m putting my key on the kitchen counter,” you might catch yourself and put the keys back in the proper place.

When we are busy, we often mindlessly put things down. This is why we lose track of them. Verbalizing is a quick, simple, and free trick for forcing yourself to focus on where you are placing your belongings.

Do you speak to yourself when putting objects down? Is there any item that you frequently misplace?

Make a Fresh Start logo, a plant with a fresh green leaf

7 thoughts on “Make a Fresh Start – Day 17”

  1. Well, I talk to myself all the time but never tried your suggestion. I’m going to give it a try. While packing to move this week, I have found items I’ve hunted for months. What’s even more strange is that I live in just a bit over 900 sq ft. It’s amazing what one can cram into even small spaces. Thanks for your reminders! XO

    1. BEST OF LUCK with the move. Take your time, it is a marathon. I think I can honestly say that when I work with clients, we find “lost” things almost every time. So often I hear, “Oh, I’ve been wondering where this went!”

  2. Ok, I totally use this verbal cue trick in a different way. In the morning I will literally say, “I’ve shut the flat iron off” or “I’ve turned off the stove,” so I’m driving to work and second-guessing myself! But I can see it being used in the put-items-away sense too.

    1. Yes, absolutely works for that purpose! I remember my Mom making us hear her say “I’ve unplugged the coffee pot” because she had a perpetual anxiety about going out and leaving that on! Same idea, it makes you feel better that you know you said it, so you must have done it.

  3. I’ll have to give that a try. I have homes for most things but I often carelessly put things down without paying attention to what I am doing and then have to hunt for them. I’ll try to speak out loud when I put my phone down especially.

  4. Pingback: “Make a Fresh Start” – Recap | The Seana Method Organizing & Productivity

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