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Never lose your wallet or keys again

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Have you ever lost something only to realize it was right where you left it?


Today, I am going to teach you how to never lose your wallet or keys again.


Last weekend I opened the refrigerator excited to make a veggie omelet. I took out the onion, peppers, and spinach, placed them on the counter, and turned around to grab the eggs.


I was confused and disappointed when I discovered we were out of eggs, and I exclaimed to my fiancé, 'Oh man, we're out of eggs?’


I turned around to see her staring at me with a puzzled and concerned look. I glanced at the counter and saw the carton of eggs sitting directly next to the veggies I took out.


My brain was on autopilot (a common symptom of ADHD).


My fiancé saw me take the eggs out of the fridge, put them on the counter, turn around, and reopen the fridge only to ask out loud where the eggs were.


We both were dying laughing. Later that night, she was still teasing me about it. But it brought back some less funny memories.


I used to constantly be late to work, appointments, or meetings because I could not find my keys.

Do you frequently misplace your wallet or keys?

  • Yes, all of the time!

  • No, rarely or never


I would be ready to leave on time, only to spend 5 or 10 minutes frantically searching my apartment. By the time I found them, I was stressed, rushing, and frustrated.


Sometimes, we honestly misplace things. For adults with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction, losing their belongings is stressful.


Incidents like these can lead to feelings of shame, negative self-talk, and disrupt the rest of your day.


In this article, I will share actionable tips so that you never lose your wallet or keys again!


Why do adults with ADHD and Executive Dysfunction lose their belongings?

If you are diagnosed with ADHD and consistently misplace your things, you are not alone.



frequently losing things is one of the ADHD symptoms listed in the DSM.

Disorganization may be to blame. Adults with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction struggle to develop and maintain organizational systems at home.


Inattention might also be the culprit.


Inattention goes beyond the idea of struggling to focus on a task for an extended period of time. Some people lack focus when they put things down as they are not fully present at the moment.


Moments of low alertness happen when we are distracted by present thoughts. This may be caused by talking to someone as we enter our apartment and put our keys down or thinking about what we will do next as we walk into a room.


Lastly, it could be the way your brain is wired.


"people with ADHD have structural differences in the frontal lobe (a region in our brain)."

The frontal lobe is responsible for many executive function skills like:

  • organization

  • attention

  • and planning

This difference in our brains means adults with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction need to develop systems to be organized, sustain attention, and plan.


These systems might look different compared to neurotypical adults.


Does losing my things mean I have ADHD?

While it is not unusual for people to misplace their belongings from time to time, adults with ADHD tend to do this frequently and to a point where it seriously disrupts their daily lives.


It’s estimated that adult ADHD affects more than 8 million adults (or up to 5% of Americans).

Just because you misplace your things does not mean you have ADHD. If you think you have ADHD or want to learn more about diagnosis, consult with your doctor. They might recommend you undergo an evaluation.


How can I be more organized and never lose my wallet or keys again?


Create a launch pad

Create a designated space where your wallet and keys live. Ideally, your launch pad is close to the door so they are easy to grab as you leave.


This can be a specific location on a shelf or even a small bowl close to the door. Feel free to make it a part of your home decor!


When you get home, be mindful and tell yourself, “I am putting my wallet and keys on the launch pad”. The goal is to make this a habit.


Purchase Bluetooth trackers

There are a few different Bluetooth tracking devices that you can purchase in case you misplace your wallet or keys. AirTags and Tiles are the most popular.


If you forget to use the launch pad and discover you've misplaced your wallet or keys, you can quickly locate them using your phone.


Build a habit by double-checking

Whenever I leave the house, I tap my two front pockets and back pocket while repeating the mantra: “Phone, wallet, keys”.


This recent habit is my way of double-checking that I grabbed everything from the launch pad.


I came up with this idea after watching Adam Sandler’s comedy special on Netflix. If you want a good laugh, check out this link. WARNING: This video is not safe for work or children.


Get in the habit of double-checking. It will save you a ton of time in the long run and improve your time management skills.

What if I need more help beyond these tips?

Working with an adult executive function coach can help you develop a deeper understanding of your gaps and guide you in becoming more organized, focused, and attentive.



When working with an adult executive function coach, you will learn how to set meaningful goals, develop organizational systems, enhance your planning skills, and learn how to masterfully manage your time.


If you want to learn more about adult executive function coaching, check out our comprehensive guide.


If you want to understand what a typical session looks like, you can learn more here.


What are the benefits of being more organized?

For adults with ADHD or executive dysfunction, the benefits are amazing!


By building a launch pad, you immediately become more organized. Your house or apartment will be less cluttered, and you'll experience reduced stress.


Constructing the launch pad may take a few minutes of your time, but it will save you countless minutes in the future. No more searching for your wallet or keys when you are trying to leave on time!


Instead of panicking before you leave the house, you will know exactly where your wallet and keys are, reducing stress and improving your time management skills.


Additionally, the launch pad will free up your working memory. By freeing up your working memory, you will be able to remember things more clearly and experience a greater sense of calm.


Lastly, by mindfully placing your wallet and keys on the launch pad every time you get home and double-checking your pockets as you leave the house, you are building mini habits.


Mini habits compound. They can carry over to other aspects of your life while giving you the confidence that you can be an organized and mindful person!


Conclusion

The journey to greater organization and the prevention of those frustrating "lost and found" moments is within your reach. Whether you or someone you know is affected by ADHD or Executive Dysfunction, the tips and strategies shared in this article can make a world of difference.


From creating a dedicated launch pad to implementing the power of habit, these small changes can lead to a more organized and stress-free life.


Remember, while misplacing items is a common human experience, for some, it can be a daily challenge. If you suspect that ADHD might be a factor, consult with a medical professional for a proper evaluation.


By adopting these practices and seeking support when needed, you're not only preventing the stress and chaos of losing your wallet or keys but also taking significant steps towards a more organized and mindful life.


Don't let "Where are my keys?" become a recurring question. Embrace the possibilities of being in control and finding peace in the everyday chaos.


Stay Engaged


About the author

Eric Kaufmann, M.Ed is a Professional Educational Therapist and Certified Executive Function Coach. He is the Co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, an online adult executive function coaching company designed to guide adults in overcoming disorganization, procrastination, and productivity roadblocks so they can unlock their potential. Eric is also the founder of Elevate Learning Solutions, an Educational Therapy practice located in San Clemente, CA, that guides students with neurological differences toward becoming independent and confident students and self-leaders.

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Upskill Specialists was founded when two former special education teachers turned executive function coaches decided that adults need tools and coaching to improve their workplace skills and feel confident and empowered. Our mission is to ensure every adult with EF challenges has access to high-quality coaching services. 

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