What To Do When Things Go Missing

Finding things is a nightmare. Whether it’s that file of important work, passport or keys to your house it’s always a mad dash to get it on time. Pets are easy if you have them chipped, if not it’s hell. IPhones nowadays have an app that can help you locate it if you lose it. But keys..keys. Earlier today I needed to find my key before I had a revision session. Luckily it wasn’t a major part of my education since I can revise from home, but never-the-less it was a stressful experience. My bundle of keys included my key-card for my university accommodation, the key to my house and the key to Ed’s. If I lost one I lost them all. I’ve learned from this experience. Here is what I would do if I lost my keys.


They keys of an archaeologist. If only I could use a trowel to dig out my missing things…

1. Re-trace your steps.

Do this first and foremost as it narrows down the possible locations of the item. Then look in those places. I once thought I lost my key somewhere in the park as the only place I remember having it was between two doors. If it’s not in those areas then proceed to step number two.

2. Panic.

Look at the time and realise you only have five minutes to find it. If you don’t find the key/passport/file of work on time you’re in trouble. You’ll miss the lecture, you’ll be late for your flight or your boss will fire you (a bit extreme). Once you’ve panicked you need to organise a systematic search.

3. Look in all bags, pockets and drawers.

Obviously they’re reasonable places to put keys. So get the ones you used when you last had the key and check them all. Not there? Then look in bags that it won’t even be in because you haven’t touched it for a year. Not there either? It must be in the pocket you checked earlier.

4. Trash your room/house

Now that the keys aren’t anywhere to be seen there’s no logical place for them to be. Proceed to move every item that you own until you are sure you’ve checked everything. If your room wasn’t messy before the search it is now. Now not only is your key impossible to find but now there’s obstacles stopping you from ever doing so.

5. Panic (again)

Now you’re late. There’s no way possible it’s going to be solved. You think If I can find it in the next two minutes I might make it. This turns you into a frenzy and all you can do is panic. This leads to step six.

6. Look in the illogical places

Your key isn’t anywhere. So it must be in the fridge. Or the bin. Or in the garden. Or in the shower. Look in those places. If it’s not there then it’s safe to assume you’ve accidentally flushed it down the toilet. Now instead of looking for the key you’re looking for the phone number to the locksmith.

7. Give up.

You’ve looked everywhere and you can’t find it. Just assume that it will turn up naturally when you aren’t thinking about it and go back to bed/chores/tidying the room you trashed in the search process.

8. Realise that there is ONE place you haven’t looked.

Go to the place. Look inside. Oh, look. It’s there in your box of nail polishes. Once you’ve questioned it you’ll feel silly that you never looked inside.

9. Organise yourself

Take the bowl that your mum bought you specifically for keys and small items. You’ve filled it with loose pennies from your purse that you know you’ll never use. Still. Take it out and put your keys in swearing you’ll use it religiously.

10. Repeat

Once you’ve left you’ll then come back from your trip to town/the zoo/work and put your keys down. The time will come when you need to find it again. but it’s not in the key bowl. Revert back to step one.

Obviously finding things is impossible. If only putting up search posters for your shoe was considered normal, or that you could put pictures of your cutlery on milk cartons. Maybe one day there’ll be an app to find anything you own but for now all we can do is follow the steps and try, desperately not to conduct a search-party late into the night.


2 thoughts on “What To Do When Things Go Missing

  1. You forgot the best possible option: desperately need to look for something else. You won’t find it, but you WILL find the original set of missing keys that you’d given up on.
    You would have thought someone would have come up with a fail-safe key finding device by now though. And we call ourselves civilised? Pah.

    • Oh how could I forget that step! It’s almost certainly imminent! And I agree..there must be someone who could make millions via Dragons Den by inventing a device like that! 😀

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