How to Find Lost Stuff

(First Post in this series: Keeping You in Suspense)

It’s not lost until Mom can’t find it. I read this in a book once, but I was saying it long before I read the book, so quote me. Finding things is one of my superpowers—a superpower cultivated through lots of practice and experience over the years.

In our house, things are never lost; they go on adventures. Of course, they don’t always return. I am still wondering about a full Starbucks and a right shoe, and let’s not talk about the costly pair of prescription glasses that I wore once. But most of the time, I can coax objects back from their adventures by following these steps.

Before the search:

St. Anthony – First things first. I ask St. Anthony for help. While understanding that lost souls are his specialty, not lost car keys and that these days, he may be too busy to help much, I still always ask. St. Anthony doesn’t work for free. My offering is $10 to the first homeless person that asks.

The Blame Game is for losers, you are a finder! Resist saying I always lose my whatever. Resist screaming where did you put my whatever. Resist saying I know you took it. Have a peppermint patty (the food of the day)! 

Say out loud  “I will find it.” – Be vocal about finding the object. You don’t have to believe what comes out of your mouth; just say it! Out loud. Examples: I’m great at finding things, I find things all the time, I’m a finder, not a loser!

Comfort – Fix yourself a beverage (a root beer float, a glass of wine, a cuppa) and something to snack on (forget the carrot sticks and go for chocolate). Next, picture yourself finding what you’ve lost—not looking for it, but finding it, actually holding the item.

Ah-ha! Feel the relief, the happiness, of finding the object, and smile. Recall other happy events in your life. Have confidence that you will find it. You’ve found stuff before, and you can do it again! You don’t have to wait to find the object before you feel good. Feeling good before and while searching is an act of faith that you will find what you are looking for.

Remember, the object is not lost. It is exactly where it is supposed to be. Now let’s help it find YOU!

First, look in the place where the object usually lives. A drawer? A closet? A shelf? Even if you didn’t put it back in the right place, someone else might have done it for you. Stranger things have happened.

Think back – Ask yourself where you last used the object. Have you ever looked for your phone while talking on it? Me either. Moving on. The point is that you may be looking right at the object and not see it. Stress does funny things to us. Go back and look again in all the usual places, but this time say the name of the item you are looking for out loud. “Here keys, keys, KEYS!”

Hide and seek – Annoying but true. Sometimes our beloved possessions like to play hide and seek. Check under and over anything that might hide the item. For example blankets, newspapers, pan lids, hats, shawls, coats, the cat. Did you look around where the object was last seen (increase your looking radius by a few steps)? Did it roll under something? Is it lodged behind something? Is it misfiled?

Don’t be maze dull – This is one of my favorite expressions. Mice will stop going down a tunnel if you remove the cheese; humans will keep going down the same tunnel, over and over again, certain that the cheese will show up. You’ve looked. No cheese. Try a different tunnel.

It wasn’t you – It is possible that someone borrowed your Starbucks or mistook your scarf for their own. Ask around. “By any chance did you borrow my scarf?” “Did I leave my Starbucks in your room?” “Have you seen my car keys?” Be polite. Be nice. If they answer no, do not scream, “I know you took it!” Believe them—but watch them carefully.

Follow these tips, and there is a good chance you’ll soon be shouting, “WOO HOO I FOUND IT.” But what if you don’t find what you are looking for? Well, this is inconvenient and annoying, and sometimes it is very sad, but it happens to everyone. It might be time to intentionally give up the search. Sometimes when we give up, things show up. But so what if it doesn’t. You gave the search your best effort. Congratulations! Have a piece of chocolate and remind yourself that “Happily ever after” is dependent on you and not your possessions.

Do you have a lost and found story to share?

Odd Loves Company!

P.S. If you would like to try a TrackR Bravo let me know in the comments. I have a few to give away. You will have to order a battery (the first battery is free).

2 thoughts on “How to Find Lost Stuff

  1. Great tips, Kb! I, too, am a finder, not a loser. When family/friends wonder how I do it, I just shrug. A lot depends on being observant … and having a good memory. You’ve outlined an easy-to-follow avenue for those wanting to develop their finding skills — thank you for that (and I’ll have to let them read your steps so they can start becoming finders, too!)

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