Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Stop Losing Your Keys (and Everything Else)

You only need to do two things to stop losing things.

Establish "a place for everything and [put] everything in its place." 

The cubby by the entrance/exit to my apartment. This is where I keep my keys and wallet (in my purse), where I keep things we use outside regularly like Envirosax and bike helmet, and items to return to friends.
This means stop leaving your crap all over the place. 1. Establish a place to store an object. 2. Look for the object in this place when you need it. 3. Use the object. 4. When you're done, return the object to its storage place.

The best place to store an object is where you will be when you need it, a place that makes sense to you, is easy for you to access, and keeps the object safe from danger of being damaged. I keep my keys on a little cubby by the door for these reasons. I now keep my rain boots by the door for these reason too. Even though all my other shoes are stored in my closet, I like having my rain boots by the door because oftentimes I decide to carry or wear them last minute.

It takes time to discover the best place to store things, but if you pay attention to your needs and habits and you'll find a storage place for everything you use.

Practice Mindfulness.

If you pay attention to what you are doing, you won't loose things. When I think about the times that I've misplaced things, I was usually distracted from the present moment. I was either thinking about something that happened in the past, anxious about the future, or otherwise going through the motions of activity without focusing on what I was doing.

Slow down. Breathe. Be here now. All that good stuff! Adding meditation to your daily routine is a great way to practice mindfulness because all you have to do is focus on your breath. My friend Samuel Jakob Kirschner, founder of Artists of Living, introduced me to meditation. Check out his website for guided meditations and other resources.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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