"If you would put things away you would know where they are," Timothy said most emphatically to his mother Amy. Timothy is my nephew.
Amy was looking for her car keys. She could have been looking for her purse, her shoes, or her head.
On a typical day when Amy got home from work you could follow her trail through the house. She left a path from the front door to wherever she finally decompressed.
Timothy, not Tim or Timmy, was the polar opposite of his mother. He put everything away and knew where everything was. All of his video games were lined up in alphabetical order. When he got home he hung up his coat on the fifth peg and put his shoes in the same spot under the deacon's bench. He knew exactly how many light switches and electrical outlets there were in the house. He rarely smiled and it pissed him off to no end when his mother would run around the house at the last minute looking for her briefcase or something she should have put away.
When I can't find something the first thing I do is retrace my steps. If that doesn't work I shut my eyes and try to visualize where I've been from the last place I remember having it. I lost a digital recorder last Spring. The last place I remember having it was in the breakfast nook the day before Easter Sunday. I was scrubbing the floor. Our house gets cleaned more the week before Easter than any other time of the year. We have my wife's family in for the day. It is also the most opportune time to misplace something. I had accidentally kicked the bucket and spilled water everywhere. I remember that in great detail. I vaguely recalled seeing my recorder on the breakfast table. After that it was a haze.
If you can't find something on your own you can always ask someone who lives with you. If you live alone feel free to talk to yourself. Amy was always asking someone if they saw her watch or cell phone or keys. Of course you risk being reminded that you should put things away. A place for everything and everything in its place. Their eyes may see in plain sight what you somehow overlooked. When Amy couldn't find her rings Timothy remembered seeing them in a container on the window sill over the kitchen sink. She had taken them off when she was making meatloaf. She didn't want to lose them.
I also start cleaning and organizing, mostly organizing. Chances are if you're losing things there may be some clutter in your life. Going through piles of newspapers, books, mail and so on may uncover things that were inadvertently buried. You may find things that you forgot about and gave up on. I was in the attic last weekend getting rid of enough stuff to make an area to walk through comfortably. I lifted up a stack of old magazines that had been sitting there unattended for several months. Oh My God, there was my digital recorder. I had just about given up ever finding it. I had given consideration to the fact that I may have accidentally thrown it out. It isn't very big. I got a fresh pair of AAA batteries and put them in since the other ones were dead. I listened to the last thing I recorded.
"I'm going to put some these old New Yorker magazines over here, for now...I'll be right back."
Amy found her car keys. She was carrying them in her hand.