Lost And Missing Items: What We Lose The Most And Where We Lose It
How many times a week do you look for your keys? Or are you more of a ‘where’s my wallet’ type of person?
We all have our moments where we can’t find the things that were right there a moment ago. The things you lose are usually the things you carry around with you the most, so it's no surprise that most people lose the same things, and do so more than once a month.
Most commonly lost items
No matter how different our lifestyles are, studies and polls suggest that when it comes to losing stuff, we’re all pretty much the same.
What do we lose most often?
Top 5 things we lose:
Car or house keys, wallet, phone, TV remote, glasses
Surveys done in the US and UK show that most of us lose the same personal items no matter our location and while the order changes a little bit, the top 5 items we lose are the same no matter where you live.
In the US, the top spot on this list goes to the TV remote that over 71% of Americans lose it at least once a month. In the UK, 1st place goes to keys, while remote controls only show up in 5th place.
Things that go missing when you need them
Top 5 items lost in US vs UK:
US: TV remotes, phones, car & house keys, glasses, wallets and bags
UK: Keys, phone, pens (or other items of stationery), glasses or sunglasses, remote controls
The items that follow the top 5 are no surprise either and while the order of appearance changes a little bit, both people in the US and UK will also look for their:
Money, socks, phone charger, bank cards, gloves, umbrella, headphones, wallet, make-up, jewelry, shoes, watches and hats.
While 66% of British people describe themselves as someone who would lose things 'regularly', 50% of Americans in the surveys admitted that they are regularly late for work, looking for their things. In a survey done by IKEA in Spain, 48% reported losing something at least once a week.
On average, people will look for a missing item for about 5 minutes.
The surveys don’t report if the item is then found, or if the person just gives up and hopes for the best.
Sometimes a laid-back approach is the better option, as 69% of Americans have reported finding one lost item while searching for another one.
Why do we lose everything?
If you’re the forgetful type, don’t feel bad. Studies have shown that forgetfulness in people without mental conditions is a sign of intelligence. It can also be a sign that you are too busy, distracted or tired.
Take some time for yourself and prioritize. Organize yourself and make sure to get enough rest and you should see an immediate improvement in your memory’s capabilities.
You might also be losing the same things over and over again because some things just disappear more easily. It’s not difficult to lose your keys, wallet or phone, since they go where you go and are always changing location.
Things that are easy to lose
While you’re enjoying your weekend, make sure to keep your personal items close, as you’re most likely to lose one of them between Saturday and Monday.
For example, more lost phones are reported on Sunday than any other day of the week. Unrelated, phones are also the thing we lose most on public transport.
Top day to lose your phone: Sunday
And other forms of transport don’t seem to be any better - Chicago taxi drivers report 120.000 lost phones every year!
Uber's latest Lost & Found report revealed that in the US, the top-10 items most frequently left behind in Ubers are:
5. Purse / Backpack
9. Vape / E-cig
10. ID / License
Unsurprisingly, Uber customers are most forgetful on the weekends between 11pm and 1am.
Frequent flyers beware!
While lost luggage is something nobody wants to experience, it’s not the only thing that can get lost.
There’s a lengthy list of items travelers also forget on the plane and getting those back can turn into a whole project.
Top 10 items travelers leave behind or lose on planes:
- Neck pillows
- Water bottles
- Glasses & sunglasses
Kids are champion losers of things
When it comes to kids, lost things are an almost daily occurrence.
Typically, kids lose or forget things at school, in kindergarten or on the playground.
Children under 10 are also more likely to lose something than older kids in their teens.
Top 5 items lost by kids:
US: Hats and mittens, school supplies, jackets, lunch boxes, backpacks
UK: School jumper, schoolbooks, stationery, socks, gloves
Kids in the UK typically lose up to 7 things per month and over 70% of these are sweaters, followed by sneakers and socks.
80% of parents reported that their child lost something of greater value like school supplies, brand clothing, books or lunch boxes at least once.
Other lost things frequently reported by parents are school uniforms, stationery and toys.
Most common places to misplace things
It's no surprise that we lose (or misplace) most of our things at home.
It's where we relax and stop paying attention to what we are doing, so it's easy to distract yourself and place something in a completely different spot where it would usually be.
The best way to find something you lost at home, is to retrace the steps you took when you had it last.
69% of Americans have reported finding one lost item while searching for another one.
Second place goes to public transit in all its forms.
Uber, Lyft, taxies, busses, metros, and subways are the perfect place to put something down for a moment and then forget about it. We usually forget things that we don't carry around every day, like shoppers, bags or books. Phones are almost always at the top of the list too, since we use them to kill time during the ride.
Other places we usually forget things include the office, other people's houses, bars, and restaurants.
In most cases, there's no use obsessing over lost items.
Luckily, everything we listed can be found again or replaced. The only thing you can never find once it’s been lost is time. Don’t spend too much of it looking for your lost things!