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Alternative ADHD Treatment: Stop Losing and Forgetting

LineOfSightWe ADDers tend to forget important things and lose important stuff. Not just misplacing a business card and forgetting to water the plants – but misplacing the car and forgetting to feed the kids! The culprit is weak working memory: inability to temporarily store and call up info.

A Built-In ADHD Alternative Treatment Solution

Sure, medication, diet, exercise can help us mitigate that weak working memory. But we have a kind of built-in natural, alternative ADHD treatment solution: Our unique way of seeing the world. See, we ADDers tend to be visual-spatial thinkers — we learn and handle information better visually and with pictures than with our ears and through text. Knowing this relative strength can help us with our weakness for losing and forgetting.

For ADDers, Seeing is Remembering

Putting something in a drawer or in a pile –- and therefore out of sight — is the same as burying it in the Sahara. It’s not just ‘out of sight, out of mind’, it’s ‘out of sight, out of EXISTENCE.’ So we ADDers must do everything we can to keep important and easily-lost items IN OUR LINE OF SIGHT.

Therefore, associate every losable item with an easily VISIBLE SPACE that it will call home. Good example is an “entrance center” near the front door. When you get home, keys, glasses, phone, umbrella, etc., all go there. It’s a table or a cabinet or just a cleared space on the dining room table. It also of course functions as an “exit” center for when you head out.

An Action Step to Help You Stop Losing/Forgetting

Here’s an Action Step from ADD Crusher™ Video I, Way 5, that takes less than 10 minutes and will help you stop losing your stuff…and your mind!



Finally, go back through the list and with each item and location, call up the mental picture of it — really visualize each in your mind’s eye: the keys on the hook, the remote in the tray, etc.

When you can see them IN YOUR MIND’S EYE in their proper place, and also WITH THE TWO EYES IN YOUR HEAD, you’re on your way!

And if you like simple, evidence-based tips and strategies to help you (or a loved one) manage your ADHD, then you will love the award-winning ADD Crusher™ multi-media program, which is endorsed by over 100 ADHD coaches around the world. And here’s an opportunity to get the program at 25% off: Just go to ADDCrusher.com and use promo code BLOG25 to get that steep discount. It’s 100% effective, with a 100% money-back guarantee.



P.S. Be sure to forward this to anyone you know who might have a losing/forgetting handicap — whether ADHD or not! ab

22 Responses to “Alternative ADHD Treatment: Stop Losing and Forgetting”

By Pat - 20 April 2019 Reply

A neuro-typical friend who has lived a very orderly life is working on lightening up and being more spontaneous, so she chuckled and told me to lighten up when my grand-daughter put my keys someplace other than on the hook by the door. (Granddaughter also has ADHD, so she didn’t know where she set them down, either!) What my friend doesn’t grasp is that while lightening up is good for her orderliness, I’m trying to create order where chaos prevailed!! Plus I struggle with getting to work on time as it is; I don’t need any more “excuses!!”

By ADD Crusher - 21 April 2019 Reply

Great distinction between you and your neuro-typical friend. I guess the upshot is, don’t “lighten up” on your efforts to battle back vs the ADHD, procrastination, clutter, etc. — but DO lighten up on YOURSELF!! -AB

By Nicole - 2 November 2016 Reply

My biggest challenge with losing things is that I tend to change Jackets and Bags all the time (between several types of purses or my backpack depending on where I’m going or what I’m wearing) and so things often get forgotten in this process and it makes it harder to associate always putting my phone in ‘this particular’ pocket etc… I also tend to lose things in the house bc I use them off and on at different times in different parts of the house..

Keys are easiest in general if I remember to use the caribener clip I have to clip them onto whatever bag I’m using when I get home.. But glasses I use to drive but also need to use them to watch tv and my phone or daytimer just ends up in different parts of the house as I refer to them.. So very easy to lose track of..

By ADD Crusher - 2 November 2016 Reply

Indeed, Nicole, it seems women, in part for some of the reasons you cite, have more stuff to keep track of and more variation in their daily accoutrement! Hang in there though, and for those things that are used in multiple locations around the house, see if you can identify multiple “homes” for them in those locations. Another tip for purses is simply to have less stuff in there and/or to pre-package core items so that switching purses is made easier. Crush it!!

By Brendan - 26 May 2015 Reply

This definitely works for me but only for keys and general stuff. I find that if there is something that is important for me to remember BUT don’t want to do, it becomes just as invisible as if I put it in a draw (or the Sahara). It’s like my subconscious sabotages my strategies for remembering to do things that I deep down don’t want to do. Any tips? Or am I the only one this happens to?

By Sam - 14 March 2015 Reply

I try to think of everything as “food.” I have no problem putting the milk back in the fridge after I use it so it won’t spoil. So I started trying to think of everything like if it’s “food”, I use it and have to put it back in its home RIGHT AWAY before it spoils. It doesn’t work all the time, but sometimes it helps.

By ADD Crusher - 15 March 2015 Reply

@Sam — i think this is a brilliant brain hack. May i steal it (well, share it)??? – Alan

By Laura Lawrence - 23 October 2014 Reply

I’ve always been organized with things like this, it comes natural to me. I’m an organizing freak actually. When I visit friends who are unorganized I feel uneasy and want to start full on cleaning their place. I don’t have ADHD but my teen son does. Hmmm now that I’m writing this maybe I’m OCD! Something I can add about putting things in a certain place is the following: When you have say a boy friend or girl friend come over to your house. Make sure to tell them where to return your items to. I can’t say how many times my boy friend has placed my tv remote in a different area. I’ve spent tons of time searching for items and texting him and feeling frustrated and angry with him. So I’m going to tell him next time he comes over, OK please place my tv remote in the little basket under my coffee table. Here is where you can put your car keys when you come to my place. I also spend numerous time helping him find his keys etc. when he visits me. This might also help those living with someone with ADD or ADHD who drives you a little batty. But love them to pieces!

By ADD Crusher - 24 October 2014 Reply

@Laura you’re touching on a classic strategy that ADDers MUST adhere to if we’re going to stop losing and forgetting things! On behalf of the ADHD Tribe, thank you for gently reminding us to put things in their “home” consistently! -A

By Vicky - 23 November 2014 Reply

Yes, I definitely agree with Laura. I do have A.D.D. and I have always placed my keys hanging on a nail in the kitchen and it really has cut down on search time.

By Terri - 22 March 2020 Reply

Our solution for the remote is a cradle. It needs to charge. We refuse to change the remote just for this reason alone.

By ADD Crusher - 23 March 2020 Reply

LOVE THIS! Whatever works, keep workin’ it!!

By Tendi - 25 September 2014 Reply

My problem is paper clutter, and everytime I make time to do it, I naturally find something else to do and time passes by and nothing gets done 🙁

By ADD Crusher - 25 September 2014 Reply

Hi Tendi — yes, that is a classic ADHD problem. Trying to get something done or cleaned up and constantly getting distracted by other tasks…so nothing ever gets FINISHED! Here’s the solution, in this blog post watch the free video of Way 8: Do What You’re Doing Now! https://addcrusher.com/3-deadly-time-wasters-and-fixes-adhd-adults/

By CoachJuli - 23 May 2014 Reply

Love these ideas Alan! I have another to add to it that I have found particularly helpful – LABEL THE LOCATION! That’s right – when you put something down, develop the habit of literally saying out loud the location you are dropping something. For example: “iPhone on counter” – that 3 seconds to ‘label the location’ does several things:
1. Causes you to be mindful by stopping just long enough to notice what you are doing so you stop to think for a moment
2. Causes you to record the location visually because that three seconds makes you notice where you are placing the item
3. Saying it out loud so that you are using yet another sense, auditory, and hearing where you placed it.
I found that saying “keys” each time I place my car keys in my purse causes me to remember that I didn’t just lock them in the car, but indeed put them where they need to be. When you need to rethink or retrace your steps to determine where you tossed something last, our brain has various options to draw from that you recorded into your mind. Good chances that at least ONE of them stuck!
Try it – it’s simple and pretty darn effective!

By ADD Crusher - 24 May 2014 Reply

Great additional tips, Juli. Anything we can do to add a “touchpoint” — saying it aloud…associating it with something…creating an emotion around it — improves our ability to remember!!

By Vicky - 23 November 2014 Reply

Wow! Great idea, I’ll try that! Before my meds, I remember locking the keys in the car at least once a week. It was SO frustrating and I have stopped that due to meds and my car “dinging” when keys are left in ignition. Up until the 2000’s I never owned a car that reminded me of this or had a button to press on my keys that honked my car horn so I could find my parked car. Thanks goodness for some technology out there! I do believe it is steadfastly becoming a more A.D.D./A.D.H.D.-friendly world out there in some ways.

By Dr. Chaos - 15 October 2019 Reply

My rule is, ALWAYS lock the car with the key or key fob button. I do not touch the button on the door; it may as well not exist. I sometimes lose the keys outside the vehicle, but I never lock them inside. Since I drive for a living, and am in and out of a car or bus several times during the workday, I can’t afford to be locking keys in the vehicle. That said, I once lost a key walking away from the desk where keýs are handed out. It took all of 20 seconds from the time I walked away from the desk until it disappeared, never to be found.

By ADD Crusher - 15 October 2019 Reply

Love that rule, Dr.! But most importantly, love that you HAVE a rule! We need to create and enforce rules to keep ourselves from screwing ourselves!! -Alan

By JOHN G FORD - 8 June 2019 Reply

labeling works great I do it for when I need to know where I put my car keys so I can find them quick the next day. Convincing my wife to do the same is another matter

By ADD Crusher - 10 June 2019 Reply

So glad you’re finding useful ways to mentally label, John. It’s such a simple concept — if we can just try it, repeat it, and make it a habit it can be really powerful.

By Sonia - 22 April 2014 Reply

I do this consistently. The problem is…everything at one point or another is important enough to keep in my line of sight. Resulting in visual chaos (though I can find almost anything).

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