How To Stop Losing Things

by | Sep 8, 2011 | ADHD Symptom Control | 3 comments

losing thingsI hate it when I lose things. Don’t you?

For ADHD adults losing things seems a sad fact of life.

Besides being annoying it wastes tons of time, makes us late and causes panic. Losing things also gives non-ADD people reason to treat us like we’re imbeciles.

My stuff doesn’t go missing very often anymore thanks to my solid habits of giving everything a home and sending things home when I’m not using them.

Sometimes good habits just aren’t enough. Holes still occasionally appear in my carefully constructed structure.

That sometime is now.

I seem to have lost my iPod Shuffle; that itty bitty mp3 player Apple makes.

Frankly I didn’t even know the Shuffle was missing until the other day when my daughter asked to borrow it.

Of course, I couldn’t confess to losing the darn thing so I conjured up a story about the Shuffle being crucial to my existence and if Favorite Daughter wants one she can use the pile of cash she’s hoarding in her savings account to buy her own.

Don’t mess with me. I’ve got ADD. I can dodge an issue and make up an excuse in a flash.

This isn’t the first time I’ve lost the Shuffle. I’m not really worried, it always reappears. It’s annoying enough though that I think it’s time to do a bit of analysis on why it gets lost.

The Two Reasons I Lose My Shuffle

  1. The Shuffle is so tiny I can’t easily keep track of it. Frankly, no ADD adult in her right mind should own a gadget that small.
  2. Also, the Shuffle doesn’t have a consistent home. Like a gypsy it wanders between my car, my purse, my dresser and my office. I tend to stuff it places without a thought.

No wonder it gets lost!

Now that I know the root of the problem, I can create a solution.

Here’s what I will do so I never lose the Shuffle again

  1. I can’t make the Shuffle bigger, but I CAN make it seem bigger by putting it in a little bag or coin purse when I’m not using it.
  2. The Shuffle is never going to have one home. The nature of how I use it and recharge it means it’s a wanderer. I can, however, give it a few campsites; a small choice of specific spots where it lives. My habit will be to put it in one of those campsites when I’m using it.

Details like why you lose things and where the Shuffle lives is the kind of minutia you have to pay attention to if you want to live easily with ADHD. Details that seem insignificant, but until you address them you’ll live a life of chaos.

As a Senior Certified ADHD Coach I specialize in helping ADD / ADHD adult learn to better manage their stuff and time so they can live more successfully with Attention Deficit. You’ll find more information about ADD coaching and my services here.


  1. How to Focus

    Wow, “campsites” is such a great idea! I have three major cabinet spaces in my house; these would be great places to use as my “campsites” for my keys!

  2. wolfshades

    A place for everything and everything in its place. I realize now, after living so long with ADD (and not knowing it until I was recently diagnosed) that I’d developed some coping strategies like the one you mentioned that, for the most part, seems to work.

    Still, there are times I get close to giving myself a heart attack. I mean, an iPad is pretty big, right? Not likely to get lost. You’d think, anyway. There have been at least three times that I can think of, where I was out grocery shopping or whatever, and put it down so I could count change. Only to get half way home (or ALL the way home) and suddenly realize my hands feel empty. Each time I panicked and came rushing back, to discover that a store clerk had thoughtfully picked it up and put it away for safe-keeping.

    I’m not safe with *anything* it seems.

  3. Nishant

    I am not ADHD or ADD, but I recently left my iPod Touch at a friend’s house, and I hope this will help me not to lose other things!


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