Is The Current Climate Making Us More Forgetful? Research Reveals Over Half of Brits Are Misplacing Two Belongings a Week

November 24, 2020
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Dr Becky Spelman reveals how the emotional impact of spending more time at home may be leading to the nation misplacing more belongings than ever before

  • Over a third of people agree to feeling more forgetful in 2020, with stress (56%), the national lockdown (44%) and fatigue (41%) reported as top reasons.
  • The average person spends the equivalent of 140[1] days looking for lost items – which equates to nearly £5,000 on replacements over the course of their lifetime
  • Top missed items of 2020 include, Smartphone, TV remote and car keys, with other technology items such as headphones and tablets also making the top 30
  • Samsung SmartThings Find is the easiest way to keep track of lost devices, enabling customers to pinpoint the exact location using integrated map directions and Bluetooth


LONDON, UK – November 24th, 2020Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd – As the nation settles into another national lockdown, the impact of being at home more than ever before is evident, particularly when it comes to memory, with a third (33%) agreeing they are more forgetful this year compared to last.


With months of various levels of restrictions in place, research by Samsung reveals[2] over half (56%) of people in the UK are losing around two personal belongings per week, which has doubled since pre-lockdown. Top reasons for this new wave of forgetfulness has been identified as stress (56%), the general lockdown restrictions (44%) and fatigue (41%), with the added pressure of remembering new items as a priority, such as hand sanitizer or a face mask, affecting over a third (36%).


This year has taken us all by surprise. We’re working from home or not being able to work at all, whilst having to follow all sorts of new rules and procedures. For many of us, the lines between work and personal lives are blurring, with outdoor time and ‘free time’ limited,” comments Cognitive Behavioural, Psychodynamic & EMDR Practitioner, Dr Becky Spelman.


“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.”


According to the research, smartphones are most likely to be misplaced, even in the home, 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.


From smaller keepsakes that are low in cost but high in emotional-value, to those devices that have been invested in, some items have been missing for as long as two years before finally being reunited with their owner. As a result, over half (55%) of Brits have ended up coughing up cash, and a lot of time trying to replace them.


  • On average, Brits fork out £76 a year – the equivalent of £4,788 over the course of an adult lifetime. Over half (56%) even admit to losing a valuable item, replacing it and losing it again!
  • In terms of time – the average person in the UK spends the equivalent of 140 days of their lives looking for lost items, equating to just shy of nine minutes every day


But it’s not just finance or time that goes into losing valuable or important items, it’s the emotions that go with it, making people feel frustrated (62%), stressed (32%) and panicked (28%). Nearly 60% of Brits also admit it can cause arguments in their household, with one in five (19%) confessing they often blame their partner when something valuable goes missing.


Commenting on the emotional impact, Dr Becky Spelman believes, “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 spiraling out of control. The fact that most of us are already living with heightened anxiety because of the pandemic makes everything that much worse.


Despite thinking being at home would make finding lost items easier, Brits have uncovered misplaced belongings in all manner of places – including a bin, their pet’s bed or even in a shoe, with the average adult set to misplace two things that they never find again.


With tech items such as smartphones, watches and earbuds included in the list of most-lost items, people are turning to technology to help. SmartThings Find from Samsung is the easy way to keep track of devices, whether further afield or within close proximity inside the home. Using the free-to-use SmartThings app, users can 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 – which is perfect for the 60% of Brits who agree lost devices usually end up never being more than 2ft far away.


Kyle Brown, Head of Connected Living Solutions at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland. comments: “At Samsung, we are always looking at ways to make our customers lives that little bit easier, developing services and technology to cater to their needs.


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.”


With services and technology available to help find misplaced items or devices, it’s a surprise that just 7% of people in the UK currently use them. Available for Samsung customers, SmartThings Find is a free-to-use service which helps locate lost devices from the Galaxy ecosystem. For more information, visit:



*according to poll of 2,000 people in the UK

In the fridge 12%
In the bin 11%
In the car 7%
In a shoe 6%
In a cupboard 6%
In the garden 6%
Behind the sofa 5%
Under the mattress 3%
At the bottom of the wardrobe 3%
In the pet’s bed 2%



*according to poll of 2,000 people in the UK

Smartphone 40%
TV remote 30%
Car keys 30%
Glasses 29%
Pens 24%
Headphones / earbuds 14%
Mask 14%
Wallet 13%
Phone charger 12%
Hair ties 11%
Important documents 10%
Sunglasses 10%
Lip balm 10%
Glasses case 9%
Purse 8%
Credit / debit card 8%
Watch 7%
Cup of tea 7%
Shed keys 7%
Earrings 7%
Garage keys 6%
Rings 6%
Laptop charger 6%
Laptop 6%
Water bottle 6%
Tablet charger 6%
Lipstick 5%
Glass of water/juice 5%
Handbag 4%
Car (can’t remember where it’s parked) 4%


[1] Calculated using average minutes per day spent searching for missing items, multiplied by average length of adult lifetime

[2] Research was fielded online among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults living in the UK. Fieldwork was carried out in partnership with OnePoll and was in field from 05/11/2020-10/11/2020

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