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Losing something you need is one of the worst feelings in the world, isn’t it?

Even if it’s not really gone, that brief sensation of panic in realizing your keys, wallet, or phone is missing is enough to ruin anyone’s day. Maybe you know someone that’s had to drive back to work because they thought they left their wallet in the office when it turned out to be right at home. (Not that, uh, that’s ever happened to any of us, of course.)

So what can you do about your stuff going missing? Someone’s going to tell you to try some expensive brain vitamins, someone else will talk about some ‘crazy new app’ they found, but we think we’ve got a good solution that won’t take as much effort as you might think: better organization!

By organizing your stuff in a specific way and giving everything a home, we think you can cut down on the risk of your important (or less-important) belongings going missing right when you need them most. Here’s five ways we’ve found to avoid losing some of the most commonly-lost things in the home:

1. Make Sure Your Phone & Keys Always Have Somewhere To Go

When you’re trying to get out the door in the morning, one of the things you’re going to misplace most often are your phone and keys. By giving them a home in the same place every day, you’re much more likely to remember where they are and avoid panicking over their loss. Start keeping them on the same nightstand every night, or set up an entryway organizer to keep them right by the door with your mail. The trick here isn’t so much where they go (although you don’t need them taking up space on your dining room table all the time) so much as it is making sure they’re consistently in the same spot, every time—consistency is key when not losing stuff.

2. Sort Mail and Paperwork ASAP

Some bills and important paperwork still come in the mail, and given how little attention we pay to the mail these days, this sort of thing can disappear almost immediately. Set up a mail organizer by the door to help hang onto everything you need to keep, don’t feel bad throwing out anything you don’t need, and get in the habit of sorting it every day when you get home. The accumulation of mail can lead you to lose the stuff you actually need to keep, and can bury other stuff in your home.

3. Take Care of That Junk Drawer

It’s sort of a cruel irony: the junk drawer that you set aside so you wouldn’t lose things like phone chargers and batteries probably leads to more lost phone chargers and batteries than anything else in your home. We’ve posted some tips for organizing junk drawers in the past, but the quick and dirty way to do it (when you have time, of course) is to empty it all out and sort it by priority. Sure, you might look back fondly on the time you had a Blackberry, but that was 2008 and you’re never going to find another phone that uses the same type of phone charger—go ahead and toss/donate it.

4. Figure Out What You Lose The Most

Above and beyond simply reorganizing your home, identifying the things you lose most will help you stay focused and come up with ways to keep track of those items specifically. Always losing your keys? Consider getting a keyholder to hang right by the door where you keep your jacket, and then forcing yourself to get in the habit of putting your keys there every night, even if you forget to take them out of your pocket for the first few days. Never sure where your glasses are? Get a glasses case and then never take it out of a certain room—you’ll keep them safer and easier to access. The list could go on and on, but the important thing is to think about the stuff you find yourself needing to look for the most often, and come up with a plan from there.

5. Always Have a Backup Plan

Finally, no matter how much planning you do, there’s always the risk of accidents, and the best way to recover from them is to have a plan B. Is your wallet well and truly gone? Make sure you know how to contact your banks to get your cards reissued, and try to never keep any sensitive personal information in your wallet just in case. If you lose your glasses, try to keep a second pair of a slightly older prescription around so you can at least see what you’re doing (even if everything seems a little…fuzzy). Same with phones—unless your old phone was totally on its last legs, you may want to keep your last Galaxy around to re-activate in case you think your phone can just up and vanish on its own one day. There’s a fine line to walk here; you don’t need to become a hoarder, but there’s something to be said for planning ahead if you’re the forgetful type.

Got any other tips to remember where your stuff is? Drop a comment below!

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