“I Can’t Find It! Where Did I Put It?”

"I Can't Find It! Where Did I Put It?"
A place for everything, and everything in its place

“I Can’t Find It! Where Did I Put It?”

In our house we often hear, “I Can’t Find It!  Where Did I Put It?” People stress out when they hear those words. Certainly, you have heard it  in your house as well.  For me, it is time to put a stop to it.  Looking for stuff could be avoided 99% of the time.    However,  the problem is three-fold:

  • no designated place for the item
  • too many designated places for the item
  • not putting  it back in the correct place

A Place for Everything

This saying is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”  I took an inventory of the personal items that I do put away 95-100% of the time.  This project was interesting. I checking off many items from my  toothbrush to- the 3-hole paper punch; all have a designated place.  It was encouraging to know that there are quite a few items that have a place and that I am disciplined in returning them to their assigned place. Most noteworthy, it  made me see other important items that are out of place. Books, notebooks, tools that don’t have a place will certainly cause me to say one day,  “I Can’t Find It!  Where Did I Put It?”

Where did I put that receipt?

I get frustrated when I look for receipts. “Where did I put it?”, I argue with myself.  “I know that receipt was filed in one of my safe places”; for instance, there is my wallet , my fridge magnet, a little drawer in my bedroom, a container on top of the fridge. That’s the problem– too many places!

  • As a result, I have receipts in only one corner of the house now.
  • This  corner contains a small plastic wallet -like container with dividers that divide the receipts into months. It holds all receipts that may be needed for return within a year.
  • The other receipts go into a plastic jug for checking back on for budgeting purposes at end -of- month.
  • At the end of the month they get filed for income tax or thrown away.

Organize now

You guessed it!!  I have to be very disciplined for end -of- month receipt housecleaning.  However, it only takes a maximum  of ten minutes. There are 3 outcomes:

  • I file important receipts for income tax.
  • Some receipts are used for budgeting.
  • Many get thrown away.

Due to this I  have a less cluttered mind, save money and spend less time looking for receipts.  I keep motivated because  the results are so hugely beneficial.

“I Can’t Find My Notes! Where Did I Put That Notebook?”

Certain important items that are not used regularly but need to be found quickly are the most difficult to file and to remember where they are.  I finally designated a shelf for all of my committees, ministries, or projects I work on during the year.  If they are put away as soon as I am finished, they can be found in moments and frustration never arises.

Paper! Paper! Paper!

It was prophesied that we would be a paperless society by now. Not so!  In fact every year I seem to receive more paper coming into the house. Certain things have to be printed ….more paper!  I have not conquered this. Nevertheless, I continue to strategize.  I now:

  • have a shallow, clear plastic storage container that sits in my dining room
  • place all papers, notes, envelopes that I or my husband are working on in that container
  • file these papers weekly, or throw away
  • do not place  loose paper  any other place (well…at least  that’s the rule for  the main floor)


Clothes!  Clothes! Clothes!

I came up with this strategy when my children were young:  to get  rid of  their excess clothes.  They even helped.  My two youngest boys chose 7 work t-shirts, and 5 good t-shirts and 3 other good dress shirts. Nobody needs more shirts than that in their drawers.  The boys made some into rags.  We sent the rest to the thrift shop. I taught them to roll up their t-shirts before placing in drawers and showed them which shirts to hang up. Done!  Too many shirts cause messy drawers. Their life was made easier.    Immediately they knew where their work/play clothes were.

An adult woman’s drawers and closets are a tad more complicated.  Check out how to  declutter your clothes closet by Marie Kondo.  I don’t follow all her extreme steps but most of it is very helpful.

Where is My Phone?

Does this sound familiar?  I could call my phone from another phone to find it. First of all, I find that degrading. Also, my phone may be turned off or dead.  In that case, calling it won’t help. When a person moves around a lot in their home; this is a challenge. I don’t always have a pocket to hold the phone in when I am finished using it. My first decision was to choose only  7 rooms in my house where I would leave my phone. Then I   designated only one  place in each room. Seven places might seem a lot, but it works for me. I don’t want to keep wasting time looking. What works for you? First of all you will need to

  • discover what the problem is
  • strategize (chatting with a coach helps) for success
  • discipline yourself to succeed

Let’s change our life. Let’s say, “I Can’t Find It! Where Did I Put It?” less times.

–Karen Moilliet    July 8, 2020







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Kamloops, BC

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