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Where did I leave my keys?


Published: 05/01/2012


What item do you most often misplace in your house? I recently did an informal online survey and the number one answer
was keys. I’ve had the experience of losing keys myself. But what happened as a result of misplacing my keys may surprise you.


Before I started working as a professional organizer, I was a fitness instructor. I loved my job and made an effort to
arrive at least 15 minutes early for every class. But on one particular day, circumstances conspired to make me late.


I went to my purse to fetch my keys, but they weren’t  there. It was strange, because  I had developed a habit of always putting my keys in my purse so I wouldn’t waste time searching for them.  I opened each zipper and checked
every pocket in my purse, while getting more and more frantic as time ticked away. I emptied the contents of my purse, but still no keys.


I checked my coat pockets, the kitchen counter, even inside my shoes in case the keys had fallen out of my purse. I called my
husband at work to make sure he hadn't inadvertently taken them. As a person who greatly values being organized, I was taking this personally.


Finally, I was left with no choice but to call a cab if I wanted to get to my class on time. The cab arrived promptly, and the driver got me there just in the nick of time. However, as we were driving towards the fitness centre, we came upon a car accident on the road just outside the parking lot. It looked as though it happened just a few minutes before we arrived.


Shortly after I got back home from the class, I put my hand in my purse to get a tissue and I felt something bulky. There, in one of the pockets, were my keys. I had my purse with me the whole time, so I knew it was impossible that someone placed the keys there after I looked for them. And I know I checked inside that pocket.


I have had many years to think about this incident and I’ve come up with a couple of explanations. The first is that sometimes we are delayed for our own good. I might have been involved in that car accident had I found my keys and driven to the fitness centre at my regular time. I call it a miracle, and yes, I do believe in miracles.


Another explanation could be that I was so frantic about finding my keys that I lost my focus and couldn’t see that they
were right in front of me; sort of a momentary blindness caused by stress.


When I had stopped looking for them and relaxed, they turned up. I try and remember this lesson the odd time I’m looking for something and can’t find it.

I try to relax and let it go. I do something else. I turn off that part of my brain. The lost item usually turns up, eventually.


The next time you misplace your keys, cell phone or glasses, relax and trust that they will turn up when they’re meant to.
However, if you’re misplacing various items on a regular basis, and it’s costing you time, energy and money, you might consider calling a professional organizer to help. One can provide support, encouragement and motivation to
help you achieve your organizing goals.  


•   Hellen Buttigieg is a Certified Professional Organizer, life coach, TV personality, author and speaker. Her Oakville-based company, We Organize U, helps busy professionals clear their clutter and create a more relaxed home, a more productive
workspace, and a more manageable, meaningful life. Get a free copy of Hellen’s e-Book, 7 Habits That Rob You of Your Time, Energy and Inner Peace, at


©TeamLindemann – iStockphoto

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