Looking for specific ideas to prevent ADDer losing important stuff. Help, please!

My husband has the worst case of lose-itis I've ever run into. I'd like to know if any of you have found ways to treat this in yourselves, you spouses or your children.

My husband has to buy gas every other day (Don't get me started on his job.) and so I've been reluctant to take his debit card away from him. He does not engage in the sort of wild spending a lot of people on this site complain of in ADDers. He has lost his debit card. (No unauthorized charges, so I'm sure it wasn't stolen.) and his work-issued cell phone. He also lost his keys but I just found them this morning. He called me a little bit ago saying he was out of gas. I am 30 miles away, in another county altogether, without a car. He's been driving mine since he blew his engine. (At least he didn't lose *the car*! Ordering a new debit card will cost money plus an overdraft fee as our account is at 0. (Of course, it would be an overdraft fee if he could buy gas as well.) It would also take a week, so it would not help in the present circumstance. Our bank has no branches in the county where he works.

There have to be ways that would help him not lose such important stuff. Does anyone have any ideas? I've suggested what worked for my father but he refuses to do it. (Actually refuses, says it isn't a good idea.) But my father never lost ANYTHING!

He is taking ADD meds. There is no counseling. I don't know what else to do. If any of you have found a solution to this particular ADD problem, I'd love to hear it.

We used to have this problem,

We used to have this problem, before I even knew about ADHD. We would spend so much time tossing couch cushions, checking pockets, etc, etc before leaving the house each time. Finally I developed a landing zone (LZ) by the door, a basket or tray where he could dump his items when he came in. At first he didn't use it much, but any time I found his keys and wallet where they did not belong I would put them in the LZ. Gradually when he realized he could reliably find his things there, he began to drop them there himself. Now that I think about it, we have lots of little assigned places fo things, mail goes on the dining room table, stamps in the drawer in the hall always, and so forth. I guess I had to get organized in order for this kind of chaos to minimize. I saw some interesting titles on Amazon.com for organizing an ADHD household, but I haven't read any yet.

A place for Everything...

I agree with Hermie40... I have a place where I go immediately upon arriving home. It is at the end of the kitchen counter. Mail is put there first to go through immediately, so I can throw away all the crap and leave mail for my wife and I take the bills immediately up to the right side of my desk. My laptop bag goes next to the counter, which has my wallet, checkbook and spare keys to my wife's car (For when she, the NonADDer, loses hers :-) My keys go in the drawer under the counter. My phone is on me from the time I wake up to when I go to bed, because it is the key organizational tool in my life. I dock it to a clock radio, because it is my alarm clock too. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, Always... Repetition becomes unconscious habit and I NEVER loose my keys, iPhone or wallet or bills. Everything must have a specific place. If I need to remember anything extra in the morning, I set an alarm to remind me and place the object on the landing zone cabinet by my keys.

My mornings are an exact science. I mean an exact order to getting up, starting coffee, taking Adderall, walking dogs, making breakfast for me and my oldest daughter, relaxing watching the news for 30 minutes, turning on the bedroom TV to start my wife's wake up process, wake my youngest daughter, manage her getting dressed, having breakfast, brushing her teeth and hair, checking her school backpack, brushing teeth, taking shower, dressed and take some or all kids to school depending on my wife's progress and off to work and I am rarely late. I know I sound like a psycho, but without order there is chaos... 

Since your husband drives so much, I would suggest specific time and days to get gas. Fill the tank no matter how much is left. ADDers like me will get so driven by the days tasks we will forget to even check for gas. Do the same thing for other repeat activities. I get my haircut at noon of the third Saturday of every month. My hair dresser books me 3 or 4 months at a time while I enter it in my Outlook on my phone and invite my wife, so it is on her phone too. I do the same thing with oil changes, tire rotation, changing the air filters in the house and even giving the dogs there meds. All of this will not work if your husband does not embrace the method. I hope some of my ramblings help :-)



I like that idea

The phone and debit card are not in the house, I am sure of that. It might be difficult for him to buy gas that way because he doesn't always go to the same places and take the same routes. They have 100 clients, roughly, and he would only see about 8 a day. They are in 4 counties (hence all the driving).

The real problem is that he doesn't think it's a problem. He figures whatever is lost will just "turn up." Usually it does when one of us is looking for something else. I found his keys this morning because I couldn't find my shoes, which fell off when I answered the phone. Of course, the dog was lying on my shoe. But his boss gave him holy hell for running out of gas and I am afraid his job is in jeopardy.

I have really tried to have a

I have really tried to have a place for things with no success. At home a lot of time is wasted searching. Maybe I will look up an organizing for ADHD book. He loses his wallet, keys, phone, everything. We live in a small town and everyone just calls me to let me know :(

I realize that Sueann posted

I realize that Sueann posted her message several years ago, so this won't help her husband, but in case anyone else happens to have similar  problems and is interested.....

Paying for gas:

I keep an envelope containing "Crisis cash" in the glove compartment of my car. There have been many ADD-related occasions when I've needed to use it, for a variety of reasons.  At least twice in recent years it has saved me when my gas tank was almost on empty and I'd left my purse at home. (I do that a lot!) Once, years ago, before I kept the crisis cash,  I set off for a trip in a town some 20 miles away. When I was nearing my destination, I filled up the tank , went to pay, and suddenly discovered that I'd left my purse at home and I had no means of paying for the gas at all!  I had my baby with me, too. After a few minutes of panic I went inside, explained the situation, and offered to leave my stroller as guarantee while I carried my baby the rest of the way into the town, to try to find a branch of my bank.  Fortunately, although irritated, the staff were understanding, took my name and address, etc. and  said I could mail them a check once I got home.   Nowadays, I have my trusty crisis cash.  (Though I do live in fear of being stopped by the police without my license on one of my purseless expeditions!)  I realize that if anyone breaks into my car I'll lose it, but to me it's worth that risk, in order to have  that very necessary safety net.

I, too misplace my plastic cards a lot.  At the gas station, I do it because once I've used the card,  I tend to throw it hastily onto the passenger seat (because my focus is then on filling up) instead of taking the time to put the card back in its correct slot in my purse. Then I forget to do so afterwards and the card falls down through the narrow gap between the seat and the gear stick housing. (It's a good location for a card that has decided to hide, because it's quite hard to see, even when you crawl into the back of the car and try to look there!)   Sadly, I don't really have any ideas on how to stop oneself losing them. But if you could afford it, I suppose you could buy one of those prepaid Visa cards and keep that in the car, to use in situations where a card is needed rather than cash. I actually keep a few gift cards (scrip) in my car, too, as well as a LOT of other "emergency" supplies, such as might be needed by an ADD person. :-)


I, too, lose my keys  - especially when I'm stressed. But I started losing them less often after I put them on one of those fairly wide, fabric lanyards that people sometimes wear round their necks for ID cards. Mine is a bright pink  support-breast-cancer-research one, and thus easily visible. Because the lanyard is longand wide, it makes the key-ring more noticeable, so I find that I'm more likely to remember to pick it up. It's also easier to spot when I forget where I put it.

We have put hooks on the back of a closet door for keys, and because the lanyard is long, it's easier and quicker to hang onto a hook than a little key-ring is. So I hang it up more often.  And it's more bulky as well, which makes me less likely to forget I'm holding it, as I used to,  and put it down absent-mindedly in some random place as I walk into the house. 

When I absolutely had to have keys to get into various rooms at work, I used to wear a lanyard round my neck. Most of the time I don't wear my own keys around my neck now. But I still do so when it's imperative not to put my keys down and it's very likely that I would. For example, in the supermarket parking lot. I know that as I'm opening and shutting the doors and the trunk, getting out my reusable bags, or packing groceries, or returning the cart to the cart corral, my mind will be elsewhere and I'm very likely to lock the car with my keys inside. So I put my lanyard around my neck before I start opening and shutting the doors and trunk. And so now my family members have to bring my spare keys to the supermarket parking lot rather less often than in pre-lanyard days. :-)  


Revisiting an old issue

I appreciate this reply, even though it's too late for my husband and me.

Unfortunately, he lost his much-loved job for this reason about 2 weeks after this post. He went to work without his wallet. He tried to borrow money from a co-worker. She told their boss he was driving clients without his driver's license and his boss fired him. Then he refused to look for another job for over 2 years and I left him. So he lost a job he loved and a wife I think he loved because he refused to problem-solve this issue. Sad.