Department of lost keys, glasses, ...

HALLIE EPHRON: I swear it seems like I spend half my life looking for my cell phone or my reading glasses. My daughter used to make fun of me. Then the other day she sent me this text.

Poetic justice, I suppose.

It reminds me how, when I was my daughter’s age, it amused me that my lovely mother-in-law would carry a handbag from room to room in our house. Like Queen Elizabeth, she always seemed to have that purse strapped to her arm.

Now I get it. My reading glasses and cell phone and keys would be much easier to keep track of if I hauled them around in a big fat handbag. Too bad, a QE2 pocketbook isn’t my style.

For a while I started tucking my glasses and cell into my pants pocket… until I nearly tossed them both in the wash with a pair of sweatpants.

Is there anything you are constantly losing track of and what coping strategies have you come up with? Do you have a gadget to help you find your gadgets? Can your car keys clap back?

LUCY BURDETTE: We have this problem too Hallie, and are forever helping each other look for phone, glasses, keys. I always keep my keys in my purse, but John loses his endlessly. And they are smart keys so sending them through the washer would be very expensive. The phone I try to keep with me, though it has been known to slip through the couch cushions and cause panic.

Glasses are the biggest problem. Since our Lottie puppy ate 4 pairs, I can never leave them somewhere she can reach. I’m trying to remember to put them only next to the upstairs sink or in a pottery piece in the kitchen. I live in fear that I will hear that awful crunching again…

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Lucy, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told the story of, “my friend with the adorable Havanese, but wait ‘til you hear what that pup eats!”

I’ve solved the reading glasses problem by leaving a pair anywhere I might need them: in my car, in the kitchen, in the bathroom (reading, of course!) with my spares in the bedroom. My secret source is TJ Maxx, where you can get boxed sets of three reading glasses for $9-$12. I have about ten glasses right now, so when I inevitably lose one or leave it behind somewhere, it’s not a big deal.

The thing I struggle with is paperwork. Or maybe paper in general. I don’t have a good system, I tend to pile and stuff, and as a result, I can’t find things when I need it. SMCC sent me a contract for this semester. Can I find it? No. I have a list of possible Christmas presents for the kids. Can I find it? No. The birthday card I cleverly pre-bought so it wouldn’t be late? You guessed it. I know there are ways to whip the paper tiger into shape, but sorting and organizing a whole system takes so long and I’ve never managed to make more than a dent in it.

RHYS BOWEN: I’m actually quite organized when it comes to paperwork, finances etc.

Luckily since my cataract operation I don’t need any glasses--a minor miracle. Nor do I lose keys as my car has a keyless entry and start so the keys remain in a special pocket in my purse. However count me as one who loses her phone on a daily basis. I carry it around the house with me, set it down somewhere and then…. I have to call it from the land line to locate it again. I’m thinking of getting an Apple Watch so that my phone essentially stays on my wrist. Who else has one? What do you think?

And Julia, I can’t tell you how many perfect cards I have bought for future birthdays and anniversaries, only not to be able to locate them when the event comes around. And then I do find them two days later.

JENN McKINLAY: The only time I ever lose anything is when someone else puts it where it doesn’t belong. Yes, I am that person -- a place for everything and everything in its place. If you wanted to torture me, you wouuld put my keys on the wrong peg, rearrange my sock drawer, or, heaven forfend, move the tools in my toolbox.

Like Julia, I own about twenty pairs of reading glasses and they decorate every room. Very handy! I recently bought an old metal filing cabinet at Good Will -- $9!!! So all of my documents are neatly stored. I refuse to apologize for being insanely organized. I was a librarian for 22 years and I have a rage for order to show for it.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: My glasses are bifocal but I have a different strength for the computer and yet again a different strength for READING reading. So computer glasses on each desk and the reading reading glasses on the bedside table. Keys stay in the car, purse on the hook in the hall. The phone is almost always in my pocket--I try to wear things with deep pockets and am absolutely lost otherwise! But I am addicted to bluetooth headsets (hearing loss in one ear makes it really difficult to talk otherwise) and I do occasionally lose the blasted little things.

And just yesterday I lost my Kindle!! How on earth can you lose a Kindle Paperwhite? Of course it finally turned up exactly where it should have been, but I was so cross, having looked absolutely everywhere else for it. In my defense we were having a new AC system installed and I was totally out of my normal routine.

I am actually pretty organized about paperwork (surprising, I know.) Although I seldom manage to put anything IN the filing cabinets, I do know where most things are--even the greeting cards for any occasion.

HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: Truly, yesterday, as I was looking for my phone for the ten millionth time, this thought crossed my mind: “I wish there was a THING you could use to carry around the phone and not have to keep picking it up and putting it down.” Then the other side of my brain answered: “Like a POCKET?”


When I make dinner, I wear an apron (ME! AN APRON!), and wow, it is SO useful for carrying the phone in that sometimes I leave it on because the pockets are SO convenient. A fanny pack would work (gah), but that’s not comfortable, or a little cross body purse. We should invent something.

And I have often used my landline to call myself to find the cell phone. That’s pretty much why we have it, I fear.

Glasses? HA! I had cataract surgery, so I don;t really need them--unless it’s really dim light or for instagram on my phone. So there’s a pair on the kitchen table, and my nightstand, and one on my desk.

And the minute I file something in the file cabinet, I forget it exists. But I have colored folders with tabs in an open file container so I can see them. I love to be organized, too, it’s so rewarding. (But things do tend to pile up..).

HALLIE: Oh boy an I relate. And when I answer my cell phone after calling it from my landline, I'm usually surprised that there's no one there.

But this is about coping strategies...Help!