- Barking like a dog when you put something down will help you remember exactly where it is later on.
- Despite the common myth, retracing your steps is ineffective unless you have been making mental ‘markers’ throughout the day.
- Listening to classical music or having a cup of tea are effective when looking for lost items due to their calming effect.
- Women are more effective at finding things than men as their brains are better at multitasking.
- Primary school children are also the key to finding your lost possessions – they have optimum cerebral capacity from 5-9 years old.
- Keep calm and drink tea
Try sipping a cup of tea to relax. This will help you make connections quicker in your mind when recalling markers.
- Blare out some Bach
Classical music is proven to have a positive effect due to its calming influence.
- Be patient
Allow your brain time to relax and for the initial panic to pass. You can then look for your item in a more focused and reasoned way.
- Ask a woman or child to help
People who are particularly logical are proven to be good at finding things. Women and primary school children’s brains are also more suited to finding lost items.
Meditating will help you to relax and think more clearly about where you left your item.
- Put pen to paper
Drawing and subliminal art therapy unlocks subconscious activity in the brain. Use a blank piece of paper and a pen and start drawing. Letting the pen flow can help to unlock the memory.
Rose, explains: “The good news is that there is no such thing as a person with a bad memory – this is a myth. The truth is, we all know where our lost items are, we just don’t know how to access the information in our brains, and this is a skill that can be taught using simple memory training techniques.”
“When we realise we’ve lost a treasured item our ability to think straight is immediately impaired. We are often inclined to panic and adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormone, are produced. The best thing to do, therefore, is to try and relax. Have a cup of tea, sit on the sofa, concentrate on your breathing, all these things help stop these hormones taking over and stopping us thinking straight in a time of panic.”
- Bark like a dog
Barking like a dog every time you put your item down will make you more consciously aware of the moment in which the item left your hands and help prevent you forgetting where you were when this happened.
- Pinch your arm
A simple physical action like pinching your arm when you put your keys down will help act as a mental marker, making you more cognitively aware of the action and more likely to remember where you were when you misplaced your keys.
- Stick a label on it
Put a name label in your item and handwrite a number on it. When leaving the house, run through the numbers of the items you should have on you and you are less likely to lose them. Labelling your items will also help ensure they are returned if they do go missing.
- Compliment your possessions
Give the item a funny sounding name or pay it a compliment every time you put it down. For example, “I’ll let you sunbathe here by the window, Percy the Pen”. The bizarre behavior will help you consciously remember where you left it behind.
- Become a creature of habit
Put things in obvious places! This will form a habit and make it easier to find, using muscle memory.
- Colour code
Our attention and behaviour can be affected by colour. Choose a colour you don’t like and attach something of that colour to the item before you put it away. You are much more likely to remember a colour you don’t often, than one that you like and is probably all around you.
Which location returned the most bears?
York was the place where the most bears were returned – 75% of the bears made their way back to us. Bears lost in cafés and coffee shops were revealed by the research to be in most luck when it comes to being reunited with their owners – 85% were found and returned.
How long did it take the bears to be returned?
Of those bears that were returned, 68% made their way home within the first 24 hours of being lost. Bears that weren’t returned within the first four days then have a less than 1% chance of being reunited with their owner.
What made people return the bears?
Richard Wiseman, a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, had the answers. He said: “The research shows that people carry out acts of kindness when they feel some kind of empathy for others. When people see a lost bear they are likely to think that it may be have been dropped by a child, who is now frantically searching for the bear. This effect is applied by the bear having a nametag - It is no longer just a bear - now it has an identity and is even more likely to produce feelings of empathy.”
Did more men or women return the bears?
Women were the most likely to call to reunite the lost bear – 64% in fact. Tom or Sarah were the most common names of the good Samaritans.
How old were members of the public who called?
Teddy bears lost in the experiment pulled at the heartstrings of those aged between 21 and 30, as almost 40 percent of the heroes who returned the bears were between this age range.
What does the research show?
The research really shows how caring we are as a nation. The average person loses over 3,000 items in a lifetime, and while this often can’t be helped, the experiment just shows that by putting nametags on your most treasured items, you’re giving yourself a 50 percent chance that it will be returned by a caring member of the public. We thank all these kind people that took part in the study and urge anyone who finds a lost item with a nametag to try and reunite it with their owner. You never know just how important it might be to them!
Whether you are a parent trying to cope with the everyday hassle of lost belongings, or a teacher of nursery or primary school who'd like to prevent the issue of lost property, colour sticker nametags are the easiest and most effective solution.
My Nametags specialises in producing the highest quality name labels on the market: 100% washable and tumble dryer proof, rub resistant, they can be applied onto all everyday items including the inside of the shoes! Choosing My Nametags labels, offering 3 lines of text and a colourful design and background of your choice, you could have everything easily returned by adding your mobile number or the class attended by your child.
"My daughter cardigan was lost in the nursery... thanks to My Nametags label on it the parent who took it by mistake found it out it wasn't their."B KURSMIERZ, STAFFORDSHIRE