You were sure you left the keys right there on the counter, and now they are nowhere to be found. Finding lost keys is one of those life skills we all need to learn.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do is retrace your steps, and keep your eyes to the ground. But even before that, you stop and take a good look through the regular places you usually look for lost car keys. By the dresser, near the front door, or even next to the bathroom.
Still lost your keys? Where could they be?
Misplacing objects like your car keys is an everyday occurrence, but finding them can be like going on a treasure hunt without a map. It’s frustrating, really tests your patience and makes for an unplanned delay before you can get on with the rest of your day. Phew. Hurry up and let’s get it over with already!
Here are some recommendations from experts to help you recover your lost car keys. Hopefully, you have already bought Key Finder Pro and installed the app alongside your car keys so you never need worry about losing your car keys again.
But if you haven’t yet, we consider you a potential client of ours, so here’s a few pointers in the right direction. (Consider printing this out and putting it someplace you can easily find it.)
1…Stay calm and search on
One of the biggest mistakes people make is becoming panicked or angry, which leads to frantic, unfocused searching, said Michael Solomon, who wrote a book “How to Find Lost Objects.” I know, this may sound 100% obvious, but there is a definite ring of truth to it.
One of the axioms of his book is: “There are no missing objects. Only unsystematic searchers.” Start your search close by your previous path when you first lost your car keys. Then spread out a little either side so you have some sort of plan around your search.
Look for the item where it’s supposed to be. Seriously, this isn’t a torture test. Go to the place you’d otherwise have left them and start there, fanning outwards. Sometimes objects undergo “domestic drift” in which they were left wherever they were last used, Mr. Solomon said. Don’t you just love being introduced to a new word – “domestic drift” – right in the middle of one of the most stressful times of your week? IKR?
“Objects are apt to wander,” he wrote in his book. “I have found, though, that they tend to travel no more than 18 inches from their original location.” Thank you Mr Solomon, I hope you aren’t offended if I offer you a generous 18 inches of my opinion whilst I look for my lost bluetooth key tracker! lol joke..
2…Be Disciplined in your Search
A common trap is forgetting where you have already searched, Corbin A. Cunningham, a Ph.D. student at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, said in an email. I hate to be the bearer of the most obvious news, Mr Cunningham, but, yeah, very helpful, we will keep a note in our journals about where we have already searched…
“Go from one room to another, and only move on if you think you have searched everywhere in that room,” he wrote. Can I add some more suggestions? Perhaps “Maintain a zen like state of peace and calm,” and “Do not waver on your path as you follow along the route of lost wireless key tracker discovery…”
Once you have thoroughly searched an area and ruled it out, don’t waste time returning to it. My add? “Sprinkle naplam and kerosene and thoroughly soak the area in flammables – this helps set it aloght so you are less likely to consider it “unsearched”…
“Don’t go round in circles,” Mr. Solomon wrote in his book. “No matter how promising a site — if the object wasn’t there the first time, it won’t be there the second.” Ummm, daylight, Mr Cunningham – can we offer you the Mr Obvious award whilst we are here sir?
3…Focus on Cluttered Areas
An experiment at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland tested how efficiently we conduct searches. And halfway through – they lost some of the results… but then they found them after checking on their own findings… Like the matrix?
Here’s one of their experiments.
A computer screen was manipulated so a target that participants were searching for was readily visible in one half and blended in on the other half. Researchers monitored participants’ eye movements using a high-speed infrared camera.
Researchers found that almost half of the eye movements were directed to the easy side even though it was readily apparent that the target was not there.
“The most efficient way to find something is not to look where you don’t need to look,” one of the researchers, Anna Nowakowska, wrote. “For example, if you’re looking for your keys, you should focus on the areas with the most clutter because if they were somewhere more obvious, you would have found them by now. Our results suggest people probably waste a great deal of time looking in locations that they already know don’t contain the thing they are looking for.”
Wow, love it! Look in amongst the trash, the mess and the stuff you might have misplaced your car keys and key tracker amongst.
4…Retrace your Steps
Irene Kan, a professor of psychology at Villanova University who specializes in memory and cognition, said that the key to finding misplaced items is forming a mental image of what you were doing or feeling when you last saw the missing item.
At Key Finder we love this. Connect your feeling or thought with the lost item and genuinely allow yourself to be led to it. Make it immersive, real and as authentic as possible.
Try to recreate as rich an experience as possible. Think about the location, what you were doing, the time of day, who else was there, your mental state and any other details.
Engaging in this process, called context reinstatement, can help you recall details that might otherwise be inaccessible, she said.
5…Beware of Mind Tricks
Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan who specializes in memory disorders, said recreating those moments can sometimes introduce a false memory that takes you off the trail.
If two people are searching, use open-ended instead of leading questions, she said. For example, ask: “When did you last see the missing item?” instead of “Remember? We were together in the car when we last saw it.”
6…Use Prevention Strategies
One way to keep from losing things is to get in the habit of always putting them in the same place. When we lose things that are not part of our daily routine, such as important papers, it often happens because we are trying to keep them safe or private, Dr. Devi said.
We love this – we also used a key tray placed strategically next to our front door so that we would feel drawn to leave the keys there each time we arrived home. But in relaity we someimtes slipped up and left them across the whole apartment.
April Masini, who writes about relationships and etiquette for her website suggested taking preventive steps.
“Put a neon Post-it on important papers, a big, colorful bell-type key chain toggle on your keys and keep the ringer on your phone (which, ideally, is in a rainbow-colored OtterBox) so you can call it,” she wrote in an email. “When you prepare for losing items — which we all do at all ages — you have a better chance of finding a marked-to-stand-out item, than one that camouflages itself into your décor.”
If you prefer more high-tech solutions, consider products like Key Finder Pro, which you attach to an item. An app helps you find its location. Other apps are available specifically to help you find your smartphone.
7…Remember, forgetting is normal
Dr. Devi said as we get into our 40s and 50s, our memories can be challenged by the multitasking brought on by being at the peak of our professional careers and caring for children or parents. At Key Finder we are completely understanding of the ageing process and appreciate how a LOUD and CLEARLY heard Key Finder device is crucial to making a difference.
At Key Finder we emphasize that forgetting is hard-wired into our brains. We’re all born to forget, I guess! And as part of our evolution and that faulty memory is not a sign of lower intelligence. That’s how a simple, affordable bluetooth tracker like Key Finder can really make a difference to your everyday life.