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The Basics

Lost and Not Yet Found

Set it and forget it?

If you, like me, can’t see, set it and forget it has a whole other significance. I know, you don’t lose track of your stuff. You resent my suggesting that, just because you can’t see, you might not remember where you set something down or where you put it.

I apologize, so let me start this over. I sometimes set things down or put them somewhere and can’t remember where. Even worse, I look for whatever it was and end up knocking it over, spilling it or maybe just bumping it, with the result that it goes flying and I have an even harder time finding it.

If I could see, I would just look around and would usually find whatever was temporarily lost. I can’t. I don’t.

Okay, you’ve got the idea. I occasionally set it and forget it.

If that ever happens to you, here are a couple of tips. First, work on putting things away, where they belong. Yes, I’m actually serious. Even if you plan to use it again fairly soon, take the extra minute to put it away, back where it’s easy to find. It’s nearly as easy to get into the habit of putting things away as it is to habitually set things down willy-nilly. “I’ll put it away later” is mostly a sign of laziness. That isn’t much of an issue, unless you can’t see. But if you don’t mind not being able to find your stuff, don’t bother with getting into the habit of putting them away.

Here is my second tip. If you need to set something down while completing a task or activity, put it beside something else that doesn’t move, and that you always know where it is. This comes up when working in the kitchen, at your desk, in your workshop, etc. You need to lay down a tool or supply while you do something else. It needs to be handy when you need it.

The main point here is not to just randomly lay it down in an open area on a counter or other surface. Put it next to the wall, against an appliance or other object that you seldom move, or beside another fixed object. The idea is that you can first locate the spot that doesn’t move and then locate whatever you sat down.

This technique is much harder to explain than to do. It’s like having a mental map showing where things are. When setting something down, put it next to a familiar landmark on your mental map. Then, even if you forget where you put it, it’s easier to check near the usual landmarks than to have to randomly search around for it. It will make finding your stuff even easier if you get into the habit of trying to always use the same reference landmarks as much as you can. If you set things down beside the regular landmarks, they will be easier to find, when you set it but forget where.

A quick reminder and a tiny extra tip

Remember to move your hand low and slow when reaching for whatever you have temporarily set aside or laid down. The tiny tip is to always lay knives down with the cutting edge away from you and on the other side of where you may be feeling for it. The same edge that can cut a cucumber can and will cut your finger, if you aren’t careful.