Brits spend 140 days of their lives searching for lost items, study finds

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Brits spend the equivalent of 140 days of their lives looking for lost items and splash out almost £5,000 on replacements, a study has revealed. The average adult spends nearly nine minutes every day looking for misplaced belongings due to forgetfulness, rushing around and always having other things on their minds. The most commonly misplaced item is the smartphone, followed by the dreaded TV remote – likely to be tucked down the side of the sofa – as well as keys for the car and house.

Larger items, such as tablets and headphones, also made the list compiled from a study of 2,000 adults. 

It also emerged some items have even been missing for as long as two years before finally being reunited with their owner, with the average adult misplacing two things that they never find again. 

As a result, 55 percent have ended up forking out an average of £76-a-year to replace lost items – the equivalent of £4,788 over the course of an adult lifetime. 

The study was commissioned by Samsung SmartThings Find, an easy way to keep track of lost devices, enabling customers to pinpoint the exact location using integrated map directions and Bluetooth. 

Psychologist, Dr Becky Spelman, speaking on behalf of Samsung SmartThings Find, said: “This year has taken us all by surprise. We’re working from home or not being able to work at all, while having to follow all sorts of new rules and procedures. 

spending habits

Brits splash out almost £5,000 on replacing lost items (Image: Getty)

“For many of us, the lines between work and personal lives are blurring, with outdoor time and ‘free time’ limited. 

“We’re spending more time in close quarters with housemates, partners, friends or family than we’re used to, coupled with worry and concern for either vulnerable loved ones or our jobs, or both. 

“In this context, it’s unsurprising many of us have limited mental bandwidth for keeping track of our possessions.” 

The study also found a third of adults will lose something at least once a day or more – with glasses, credit or debit cards and wallets among the top 30 items most likely to disappear. 

In a bid to find things, more than a third will “turn the house upside down”, while a fifth have been embarrassed to realise the item was in a pocket or bag all along. 

Just seven percent use technology apps to help them recover a lost item. 

After searching from top to bottom, Brits have uncovered lost things in all manner of places – including the bin, their pet’s bed or even in a shoe. 

It also emerged that 28 percent will have a feeling of panic set in when they can’t find something, with 62 percent getting frustrated. 

Dr Becky Spelman added: “Although everyone loses things at times, and we may laugh about it, losing things can be extremely stressful, and even make people feel as though they are spiralling out of control. 

“The fact that most of us are already living with heightened anxiety because of the pandemic makes everything that much worse.” 

But while 56 percent blame themselves for things going astray, this isn’t always the case, with 19 blaming their partner and 13 percent believing their children are hiding their belongings. 

While three in 10 reckon they are more forgetful now as they are having to work from home with their children running riot – giving them more to think about. 

A third even believe they have been more forgetful this year compared to 2019, with 56 percent putting this down to stress. 

kid

Three in ten say they are more forgetful after becoming parents (Image: Getty)

Others blame the lockdown restrictions (44 percent) and fatigue (41 percent), with the added pressure of remembering new items such as hand sanitizer or a face mask (36 percent).  

SmartThings Find allows users of the app to pinpoint the exact location of compatible devices by using integrated map directions and Bluetooth, giving precise directions. 

If the item is in a notoriously hard-to-find spot, such as under the sofa, or in a shoe, the app will enable the lost device to ‘ring’ when it’s within Bluetooth range 

Kyle Brown, the head of connected living solutions at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: “Losing items can be an emotional time, and we can see from this research just how big an impact that can have. 

“SmartThings Find allows our customers to find other devices from the Galaxy ecosystem via a simple-to-use app, alleviating the inevitable stress that can come with misplacing a valuable item and it is our goal to increase the possibilities of SmartThings Find in the near-future, to support this even further.” 

For more information, visit: https://www.samsung.com/uk/smartthings/

TOP 10 ITEMS ADULTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO MISPLACE:

1. Smartphone

2. TV remote

3. Car keys

4. House keys

5. Glasses

6. Pens

7. Facemask

8. Headphones

9. Wallet

10. Mobile phone charger

 

TOP 10 STRANGEST PLACES A LOST ITEM HAS BEEN FOUND IN LOCKDOWN:

1. In the fridge

2. In the bin

3. In the car

4. In a shoe

5. In a cupboard

6. In the garden

7. Behind the sofa

8. Under the mattress

9. At the bottom of the wardrobe

10. In the pet’s bed



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