Losing Things and ADHD

by | Jan 25, 2024 | ADHD Success Skills and Tools | 0 comments

losing things and ADHD

What have you lost today? Your keys? Your phone? Your wallet?

Be honest. How often do you race around muttering, “Where in the *&^%$ did I put my _______? “(fill in the blank)

Losing stuff is a huge challenge for adults with ADHD. It’s because we struggle with organization.

Perhaps you’ve heard the basic rule of getting organized: Everything needs a home. Items without homes become homeless and get lost. They roam about and you never quite know where to find them.

Giving everything a home is a solid, basic organizing rule you need to pay attention to if you want to stop losing stuff.

However, when it comes to getting organized with ADHD we have to look at the idea of giving everything a home a tad differently. To stay organized, ADHD adults need to create the right homes for their stuff. Not just any home will do.

Things you always use in one spot need what I call permanent homes. Things like kitchen knives, laundry detergent, and office supplies. Sure they can get lost, but if you keep them where you use them, you’ll be in pretty good shape.

Losing Stuff That Roams Is The Real Problem

Losing stuff that never stays in the same place is more common. I call these things ‘Travelers’.

Travelers are things like cell phones, keys, glasses, purses, or wallets.

Creating a permanent home for a Traveler won’t keep you from losing it because if you have Adult ADHD always putting a Traveler away in its permanent home will take too many steps and you won’t do it. You’re more apt to set it down in some random place.

This means Travelers actually need more than one home. They need a permanent home as well as numerous vacation homes.

Losing keys is a big problem for ADHD Adults, so let’s use my keys as an example of permanent and vacation homes.

The permanent home of my keys is in my purse. However, their vacation homes are:

  • my car ignition,
  • my right front pocket when I don’t carry my purse,
  • by the phone on the left-hand kitchen counter by the back door,
  • on the left corner of my dresser.

See how specific I am about my keys’ vacation homes? That’s the trick to not losing stuff if you have Adult ADHD.

You have to know exactly where the Travelers’ vacation homes are and PUT THEM THERE when you’re not using them.

Otherwise, you will keep losing your keys and other stuff and you’ll find yourself racing about yelling, “Where in the heck are my $%^&*@$ keys?”

Let me know in the comments – where are your Travelers’ permanent and vacation homes?

And to learn more organizing tips:


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