No, you probably did not leave the iron on. You know how I know that? NOBODY really irons anymore and if you do it’s a big honking deal,. But there are plenty of other things you can forget when you walk out the door. One of the detractions of solo living is that there is no one to remind you not to forget, and no one to bring you your lunch or your keys when you do forget them, and trust me…you will.
Everybody forgets things, and it only gets worse as you get older. What you have to do is plan to forget. You expect yourself to forget things, so before you start forgetting on a regular basis, you have to develop some habits to remember things. You can’t wait until you start forgetting things to say ‘hey, i better start getting in the habit of reminding myself ‘ cause by then it’s too late and you are going to forget to do that as well.
Lets start with keys....where’s your spare? put one in your wallet or somewhere else in your everyday carry. Now where’s your spare spare? that’s the one you need when you lock the door behind you when you forgot your wallet: the classic magnetic HideAkey always works as advertised, and it need not go ON a car, it doesn’t even have to go near your door, just some place undisturbed..like the underside of a mailbox or planter etc. be creative, a plastic pill bottle under a rock works just fine. Even if you never use it, what are you out? the cost of the key and the pill bottle.
The most frequent thing to forget are events: appointments, birthdays, etc. . .Google calendar, synced to your phone calendar goes way beyond the tiny Hallmark pocket calendar, of even a wall calendar, which I never ever could remember to update. You really can’t beat a free utility app that will outlive you. After you have set up your event, you set reminders that email or text yourself: one a day ahead and one hours ahead should work fine. Best part is, you can set it up to repeat every year – love that part, haven’t forgotten a birthday in a while. Think beyond appointments, add bill due dates, and payments, or the future dates and hours of fairs and festivals, book or dvd released dates, reminders to pick up your dry cleaning; use it as a journal, add anything you may want to remember. Do it as a habit and you won’t have to kick yourself for forgetting something.
Speaking of dry cleaning, how many times do you walk out of the house without it? library books? Redbox dvds, empty deposit bottles? things you borrowed? yeah, I do that a lot. This is where the reusable grocery bags come in….the ones you paid 99 cents for and now spend their time hanging on the back of the door knob, because you forget them too. Things that are destined to leave your house should be packed and ready, and hanging on the door handle. When you go out, take the bags, if you have a vehicle put them inside, eventually you will drop them off. My favorites are the Workhorse reusable bag, which last FOREVER and when empty are about the size of a squished up handkerchief.
Aside from external memory aids, habit is your best friend. Unplugging the iron or the toaster oven after you use it, takes that fear off your plate. Set an egg timer alarm EVERY time you put something on the stove, don’t worry, you will start doing this the second time you burn out a pan. Taking your pills at the same time everyday, keeping your keys and wallet on the same surface everyday, means never having to root around looking for them. The whole landing pad thing isn’t just for families with kids, the only chronically clean surface in my house is the kitchen table, and that’s where my keys are supposed to be, unless I left them in the car….again.