I always lose (Why and what to do?)

In this article, we will find the reason why ‘I always lose’. We will look at the psychological reason why people always lose things. In addition, we will also understand the underlying psychological disorder with always losing things. Finally, the article gives certain tips on how to avoid losing things. 

Why do I always lose things? 

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Losing things always is a major sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As the name suggests, people with ADHD usually do not pay attention to their actions and are forgetful. Hence they many feel they always lose. 

Losing things is a daily occurrence. It happens to anyone and everyone. Asking the question of why do I always lose things, is a common thing. 

However, if you are suffering from ADHD  it is guaranteed. People with ADHD usually find themselves in the blind spot when it comes to remembering where they have placed their belongings. In fact, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association classifies losing things as a primary symptom of ADHD. 

Losing keys, your identity proof card, or a most loved jacket appears to happen to numerous people with ADHD. You are not alone.  Battling with monitoring your stuff and recalling where you put things can be both disappointing and humiliating. You’re looking hysterically for something, however, you’re likely scrutinizing yourself simultaneously. With considerations, for example, “Where did I put those?” or “OMG, I don’t possess energy for this now,” your adrenaline begins to race through your mind and body, sending your anxiety through the rooftop.

Reasons why people with ADHD lose things? 

The reasons why people with ADHD always lose things are 

  • Lack of attention
  • Disorganization  
  • Forgetfulness
  • Milk in the cupboard syndrome 

It may be possible that you are diagnosed with ADHD and hence, you always lose things. But to understand what happens that makes you lose things, we are giving you a few reasons that are the result of your ADHD that makes you always lose things. 

Here are the reasons why people with ADHD always lose things. 

Lack of attention 

Knowing where exactly a specific item is, requires consistent cautiousness. All one needs is a snapshot of mindlessness to lose things. You put your keys down in one room, at that point you leave the room without contemplating where your keys are. You lean your umbrella against the wall in a café, at that point you leave the cafe without giving your umbrella any attention. One snapshot of low sharpness is sufficient for you to later end up following your steps, stressing to sort out, when was the last time I saw my umbrella/keys/whatever, and where was the basic purpose of distractedness at which things went amiss?


People with ADHD are not only inattentive, but they also do not believe in keeping their things in the right place. They are messy and untidy. The lack of attention plus their misfortune of disorganization makes it easier for them to lose things. People with ADHD usually lose things in the mess they have made. Firstly they may not pay attention to where they have kept it and the disorganization makes it difficult to find the lost object. 


 Often, individuals with ADHD are not really focusing on the thing they’re doing. This side of ADHD can be the idea of as half-attention or as going on autopilot: you’re accomplishing something, yet your cerebrum isn’t generally centered around the thing you’re doing. Since you’re not completely paying attention to your own activities, it’s anything but difficult to remember those moves ever made. Thus, with regards to losing things, the situation resembles this: you record a few archives in a cabinet while you’re pondering something totally different, and you along these lines have no memory of having put those reports anyplace by any means.

Milk-in-the-Cupboard Syndrome

People with ADHD are inattentive to their tasks. Hence they may end up misplacing things by keeping them in the wrong place. Therefore the name milk in the cupboard. It is possible for them to put their keys in the dishwasher, or a particular top in the kitchen cabinet, for reasons not known because of their lack of attention. This syndrome is another impact of the ADHD brain working on autopilot mode. 

What is ADHD?

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems. ADHD is usually a common and significant disorder that is persistent in childhood. However, it may also be seen in various adults. 

Even though it is called adult ADHD, symptoms are seen from childhood. The treatment for both adults as well as childhood ADHD is the same. Psycholfuts usually prescribe medications with psychotherapy

Symptoms of adult ADHD include

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

How to avoid losing things? 

Here are a few things you can do to avoid losing things because of ADHD 

  • Encode their location 
  • Vividly recall what you were doing
  • Have designated places for every single thing
  • Do not hide things
  • Keep a book 
  • Go to a counselor 

If you are suffering from adult ADHD, it is quite possible that you may be losing things frequently. With a lifelong mental disorder, it is difficult to deal with the side effects of it. Losing things may be the most frustrating. However do not worry, in this section of the article we will give you different ways to avoid losing things 

Encode their location 

Every time you place something that is of importance or something that you might need later, make sure you say it out loud. You may ask how is this going to help? But say, for example, if you place the keys on your dressing table, rehearse it out loud ‘I have kept the keys on the dressing table’. Doing this will make it easier for your brain to encode this information properly and retrieve it for you when needed. What happens inside the brain may sound like a difficult process, but all you have to do is to repeat the location of the object openly to encode it. Simple right? This will certainly help you with remembering where you have kept your things, 

By doing so, you are actually paying attention to your objects, and when you do pay attention, you will end up remembering things. 

Vividly recall what you were doing

If it so happens that you have lost something and are tired of looking at it everywhere and yet can not find it. Try to sit down and calm your mind. Then think of when was the last time you saw the object and what were you doing at that point in time. Were you talking to someone on the phone, were you cleaning your house. Not only do you have to retrace your steps, but remember how you were feeling, what had just happened, what you were looking forward to, and other aspects of your mental state. This will have a better outcome. 

Have designated places for every single thing

It might sound difficult to keep up with this, but assigning a place for all your objects and strictly following it, will help your life come to track. For example, if you come home, the first thing you do is put the keys on the key holder. All your lose items go into a transparent plastic bag kept in your room. All your important paper and mails go into the basket kept in the kitchen. Every time you encounter these objects, make it a habit to keep them in the assigned place. This will help you overcome your disorganization as well as help you remember where your objects are. 

Do not hide things

Whatever it is, do not hide your things in a special place, if you do so, you may end up forgetting where the pace was and what was kept there. This may have various disadvantages like you may end up buying the same things again and again because you are unable to find that you already have. 

Keep a book 

If it so happens that you do have to hide something or you keep things in the assigned place and yet forget, make sure that you have a log for all your things and where they are placed. Assing a book for this. As soon as you put something away, write it down, in case you forget where it is you will have it written down. If mainlining a book seems difficult to you, make a digital note on your phone. However, the disadvantage of this is what if you lose both the notebook and the phone. 

Go to a counselor 

Losing things over time can be a stressful process. In order to avoid any more toll on your mental health because of ADHD, it is important that you go to a mental health professional. By doing so you will be helped on controlling the symptoms of ADHD, learn new strategies to avoid losing things. With medication and psychotherapy, you will have control over your ADHD. this will help you learn coping mechanisms too. 


In this article, we have found the reason why ‘I always lose’. We have to look at the psychological reason why people always lose things. In addition, we have also understood the underlying psychological disorder of always losing things. Finally, the article gave certain tips on how to avoid losing things. 

FAQs: I always lose

What does it mean if you keep losing things?

Losing things is the breakdown of the interface between memory and attention. Apart from this, people also lose things due to stress, multitasking, and fatigue. However, losing things is associated with a psychological disorder called ADHD. 

What do we often lose?

New research reveals that an average person is known to lose more than 3,000 possessions in their lifetime. This includes 384 pens, 192 items of clothing, and 64 umbrellas. A study of 2,000 adults found we will typically misplace four items a month with keys, mobile phones, pens, and glasses being the most common. 

Where do you look for lost things?

If you lose something at a restaurant or a mall or even at your place of work or study, there is usually a lost and found. Visit the place again and look at the lost and found. You may find your belongings there. In case you lose something in your house, go through your house thoroughly. Especially look under the beds and sofas. 





Was this post helpful?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]