A Helpful Tip for Adults with ADHD – Operation: Never Lose Your Keys!
I’ve got a least a handful of super solid ADHD tips that I want to share with you over the course of time. Today, I’m going to share with you the tips I’ve used to keep my keys almost always where they should be. That is, locatable. There are few items in your life that are as important as those little jingly-jangly things, so don’t let them get the best of you!
#1: A key holder
Quite early into our ADHD marriage, my husband and I learned that our keys needed a home. Otherwise, they would find their own home buried under papers, stuffed between the couch cushions, left inside jean pockets, or accidentally stuffed in a drawer somewhere.
We bought – and have NEVER regretted – a key holder to hand next to the front door. When we come home, our keys go there. If we catch a pair of keys sitting on the counter or on the kitchen table, we hang them up. This has been a HUGE help in keeping our keys locatable. It’s not totally fool-proof, but it’s definitely an excellent first step. I took the liberty of getting you started on finding your own here.
If you can’t mount a key holder because you’re renting or something, then I recommend using a bowl next to the door. Much like the one in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment on The Big Bang Theory. Many other ADHDer’s have found both of these methods not only helpful, but necessary for their lives to run smoothly.
#2 A carabiner
This is MY personal favorite tip and without it, I simply CANNOT function.
My dad, who lived with undiagnosed ADHD his entire life, actually came up with this strategy for keeping his keys. He used a carabiner attached to his keyring and clipped it to one of the belt loops on his jeans at all times.
His keys were never NOT attached to his pants. So even when he wore his pajama pants, he knew that his keys were still on his jeans from the day before. (And those jeans were always on the floor, because he was a single dad and didn’t have a wife to nag him about it…)
I added a carabiner to MY keys shortly after I got my first set of keys. I think it started, at first, because Dad did it. But I quickly found it was not only helpful, but vital for me to keep up with my keys. I clip my keys to my belt loops, my purse, my wallet, and even my bra strap if I don’t have another place for them.
And I only ever hook my keys to the OUTSIDE of my purse. I never put my keys inside my purse. Because somehow I managed to obtain a blackhole and it’s stored at the bottom of my bag and it sucks up important things I put in it. I don’t know the details, but it’s the ONLY explanation for the things I’ve lost in there. (I’m joking of course… but I’m sure you can relate to a degree.)
Using this strategy, I have only locked my keys in my car twice in the 8 years I’ve been driving. And I’ve only seriously misplaced them maybe half a dozen times. For an ADHD gal, that’s kind of impressive. (And if you don’t count the time I lost them for two days while they were attached to my purse, even more so…)
The carabiner is also an easy handle to loop your finger through to help you hang onto your keys when you must hold them. And they come in a rainbow of colors!
#3 Don’t put them down
This rule is for when you’re out of the house.
Especially if you’re sitting in the car and the car is off. Don’t put them down. Hook them to your person or put them in your pocket. You can leave anything else in your car and at least you’ll have your keys to get back in and get it. But if you forget your keys inside your car, you have a problem. So don’t put them in your lap while you dig in the glove box. Don’t set them in the cup holder while you retrieve the other stuff you need from the car. Keep them ON YOU.
If you’re shopping, don’t put your keys on the counter during check out. Don’t set them down while you look at a piece of merchandise. Put them in your pocket, in an outside pocket of your bag, or hook them to your body. Your keys should always be where you are.
So that’s it! Those are my three major tips for keeping up with your keys. I hope you find these helpful. And If you’ve got any other tips and tricks that work for you, share them in the comments below!
PS: Literally minutes after writing this, I lost my keys… Just one of many outtakes this week. 🙂