Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that my mom had Attenton Deficit Disorder. I was thinking today about something she used to do that I’ve done myself more times than I can count.
My mom would call me up and ask me if I knew where she had put something. Even after she and my dad retired to Florida and were a thousand miles away, she would call and ask.
It was usually something fairly important – you know, the stuff you want to put in a safe place so you don’t lose it, except of course, that’s exactly what ended up happening.
Once she spent the better part of a day looking for a skirt she’d bought on her last trip back to Michigan. That time, she called the friend who had gone shopping with her, on the off chance that she might know where she had put the skirt once she’d gotten back home to Florida.
The phone call actually worked that time. Turned out she’d decided not to buy the skirt at the last minute and put it back on the rack.
Have you ever misplaced something and then spent hours trying to find it? I know I have. It happens more to those of us with Attention Deficit Disorder because many of us have trouble with Executive Function skills, like storing things in short term memory, or retrieving them later.
I’ve been more successful than my mom was in finding ways to keep track of important things. For instance, I have a file cabinet with clearly marked file folders in it for important papers, and I make a habit of filing anything important right away. I have a special file folder at the front that’s called “To Be Filed” so if I don’t have time to properly file something, I can at least put it there.
I have special places in the house for certain things, and I make sure everyone uses them. I’ve tried to make them as “user friendly” as possible so that I do get my family’s cooperation. A good example is our key basket on the table in the foyer. Everyone’s keys get tossed in the basket as they come in the front door; that way, no one ever loses their keys. Simple and easy.
One of the biggest things I’ve done is to purchase (and use) a PDA. Mine is a Palm Pilot, but you can get Windows based ones, too. I might use my Palm Pilot to record things like where I put the concert tickets that I bought 3 months ago, or where I hid a Christmas present I bought in July.
I’m sure there are more solutions that I haven’t thought of, but the use of these 3 tips alone has all but eliminated those crazy “tear the house apart until you find it” days for me, and that’s worth a lot.