I wanna be stuck with you
April 19, 2014 9:35 PM   Subscribe

People of Metafilter, especially the lady types who often wear clothing with no pocketses: how do you keep your cell phone within earshot when you're at home? Especially if you've got a touch of ye olde ADHD and still struggle to remember to always take it with you when you leave the house, let alone remember to take it with you when you move from room to room.

I solved this problem for many many years by having nothing more than a pay-as-you-go phone that I hardly ever used, usual forgot to keep charged, often lost for days at a time, and wasn't a significant part of my life. Two years ago I gave in to the smartphone revolution and really, really love it now that I have it.

The problem I am having is that when I am at home--which is most of the time since I am a work-at-home freelancer--I struggle to keep it within earshot so that I can answer calls or know when my daughter is texting me. We've got a 2-story house and I've got lousy hearing, so I can really only hear it when it's in the same room as me. I usually try to keep it in my purse, which helps a lot with always remembering to take it with me when I leave. I also try (less successfully) to keep my purse in my bedroom, which is where I spend 75% of my time when I'm at home.

But I feel weird and have a hard time remembering to drag my purse around the house whenever I change locations for a while. If I do take my purse to the new location, I will half the time forget to bring it back. If I don't take it with me, I rarely remember to check my phone for missed calls/messages when I get back. There's a definite time-sensitive nature to most of the communications I get, so just letting things slide for however long it is until I realize my phone and I have been parted for a few hours--is not ideal.

I'm open to suggestions for mechanical (would a belt clip work on bottoms that don't have a belt or stiff waistband?), technological (I've looked at a few different Bluetooth anti-loss/call alert devices but the reviews are pretty mediocre), or "systems-based" solutions (so long as whatever system I need to remember to follow is very simple).
posted by drlith to Technology (52 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Less classy option: I tuck it in my bra if I have no pockets and need it nearby.
posted by chiababe at 9:42 PM on April 19, 2014 [26 favorites]

Yeah, I'm sorry--I shove it in my bra. I'm large-chested, and the bra has big cups. I realise it's not the most ladylike thing to do.
posted by Savannah at 9:44 PM on April 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

posted by SLC Mom at 9:44 PM on April 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Nthing bras. Things tend not to fall out easily and you sure as heck know when you've got a call.

Your only real other option is to either sew pockets into everything, put your phone on a lanyard, or get a cover with a clip and clip it to your waistband.
posted by ninazer0 at 9:45 PM on April 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

I don't think this is really a clothing problem. I'm a man and all my clothes have pockets, but I almost never put my phone in a pocket while I'm at home. (Too many scare articles about radiation, I guess, chemtrails-esque though it may be.) I keep my phone within earshot by adjusting the volume and moving it with me as needed. I haven't lost it yet and seldom miss a call.

I think the reason this works for me is that my phone is my work email, work and personal texts, my weather station... When it is gone I am very aware of its absence in a way I never was with a basic flip phone.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:51 PM on April 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, I've seen women use bras to hold phones even in fairly professional settings -- it's a natural outcome of having clothes with no pockets.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:52 PM on April 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Haha. Yes, well, I should also mention that I spend much of my freelancing work-at-home time in my PJs, braless. The dogs know exactly when it's time for their afternoon walk because mommy's putting her street clothes on!

But your suggestions did make me remember that I've got a slim Nathan waist pack that I could probably just train my phone to live in and just wear that around most of the time.
posted by drlith at 9:52 PM on April 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a weird, unscientific horror of phones in bras. I usually just move my phone from surface to surface, but sometimes I use a passport neck pouch, which holds my iPhone securely as long as I don't bend over and swing it into something.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:04 PM on April 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I basically live in a hoodie with pockets for this reason, but in spring and summer that's a problem, so last year I got this for wearing around the house and to do a little gardening.

I prefer it large enough to sit on my hips. It's not perfect, but I like it better than any waist pack I've seen or tried.
posted by whoiam at 10:04 PM on April 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

An armband is an option.
posted by sacrifix at 10:16 PM on April 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hoodie with pockets is you answer!!

Geez do I miss wearing that fashion as a woman.

These days , yeah, I put it in my bra. Sorry.
posted by jbenben at 10:22 PM on April 19, 2014

Get a multi-handset docking station and put phones in various rooms. Keep phone in the dock so you can find it.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:39 PM on April 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I too worked in PJs! Lots of men's sweatpants and PJ pants have pockets (unlike women's, which is unfair). Perhaps that's an option besides a hoodie? I find that some hoodie pockets aren't deep enough for phones...

My god I LOVED having important phone calls with clients when I was in PJs...
posted by Crystalinne at 10:46 PM on April 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

You could get a sexy phone belt like Dwight Schrute. Truth be told, I just forget my phone and I forget to turn my ringer on too. I tell people the best way to reach me is to email me - at least then messages go to both my phone and my computer.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:51 PM on April 19, 2014

Bought a belt clip case, absolutely worth it.
posted by Sequence at 11:35 PM on April 19, 2014

When I'm at home in my sweats and PJs, I usually put on a pullover hoodie. I keep my cell in the tummy pocket.

Also, I buy men's PJ bottoms (they sell them separate, and they have big pockets! It's awesome!). Sometimes they're called 'lounge pants'.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:36 PM on April 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Gardener's apron, painter's smock, neck pouch. Seconding men's pj bottoms.
posted by maggieb at 11:38 PM on April 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am braless (and generally pantsless) at home. The phone (which I have in a rubberized at least a little bit grippy case) goes into the waistband of my underpants. It stays put just fine. On the off chance I'm wearing pants indoors, they're generally yoga pants and I just fold the phone into the foldover.

I also do this with my kindle. Works like a charm.

Sometimes I wonder why I tell the internet these things.
posted by phunniemee at 11:43 PM on April 19, 2014 [19 favorites]

I try not to buy clothing that lacks pockets. Obviously, manufacturers have not gotten the message, but I continue my one woman boycott (girlcott?)
posted by Cranberry at 11:48 PM on April 19, 2014 [19 favorites]

I keep it on the same surface (table, shelf etc) each room,so I can backtrack to a room to find it quickly. I used to have a brightly colored case that helped spot it as well. Also the find my iPhone service or equivalent alarm works really well. You can get little stick on alarms to trigger from nearby off a key fob or proximity for $20-$80.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:54 PM on April 19, 2014

Get a cross body bag. They're tiny. Wear it all the time and put your phone and wallet in it.
posted by SakuraK at 11:59 PM on April 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

My hard of hearing grandfather was able to get a device that made household lights flash when the doorbell or phone rang .
posted by brujita at 12:14 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and because apparently I can't read, my belt clip has zero problems with yoga pants or whatever.
posted by Sequence at 12:41 AM on April 20, 2014

I too work from home and mostly enjoy a braless existence there. I've learned to only buy PJ pants with pockets. Of course this is rare, but in a recent period of retail madness I discovered something great - all Soma pajama pants have pockets.
posted by Mizu at 1:12 AM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

The current options are limited, but with Android Wear coming and Apple rumoured to be entering the market this year, you might be able to buy a watch-like device soon that'll do exactly what you want.
posted by Georgina at 2:12 AM on April 20, 2014

Keeping the cellphone with me isn't a high priority on my mind, but there are lanyards and small purses/ holders/ pouches you can hang from your shoulders or clip to your belt. The phone pouch I use (bought from Strapya) has a carabiner.
posted by sukeban at 2:36 AM on April 20, 2014

I use Pandora to play music on my iPhone, I hook it up to small Bluetooth speaker that's powerful enough that I can hear it easily down the hall and in other rooms. When it rings, the ring also goes through the speaker and I can hear it no matter where I am. That way I don't have to lug it around the house. Maybe try a speaker system?
posted by Jubey at 2:52 AM on April 20, 2014 [5 favorites]

I was also going to suggest some sort of docking station, which plugs into your landline. Assuming you have phones throughout the house, you could interact with it using your normal phones. Something like this.
posted by whatzit at 3:12 AM on April 20, 2014

If the working is being done on a laptop then MightyText could be the thing. It pops up all texts and calls (and battery alerts) on your computer, and while you can't answer calls you can text back and pretty well disguise the fact that you left the phone at a friend's house.
posted by emilyw at 3:36 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Google Voice: During times I know I am likely to be at home, I set it to ring the house phone, GChat, as well as the my cell phone. Its great, because GChat starts ringing a few seconds before my phone does, giving me a chance to go grab my cell if necessary.
posted by troytroy at 4:10 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use the bluetooth speaker option rather a lot.

Also, shamefully, I play real time sim games on my phone, the type with like, two hour turnarounds on certain elements. So I remember to take it with me so I can remember to dingle the thinger when the timer is up. Maybe like, an e pet or something else so you have a positive feedback on taking your phone with you everywhere?
posted by Jilder at 4:47 AM on April 20, 2014

I work in PJs too. :) Men's PJ pants are well made and comfortable, and very often have good deep pockets.
posted by tomboko at 5:23 AM on April 20, 2014

Ritual. If you pick up your coffee cup or tea mug or soda can, or cup of water - pick up your phone too. Have specific phone places designated for your phone to be. I pick high counter tops, end tables near walls for boundary loading (creating a bigger sound), and I keep the background noise to a minimum.

Most importantly though, I have a program called 'Where's my Droid?' When my wife really needs to reach me she texts me one phrase, and my phone goes to full volume, vibrates and doesn't stop ringing until I turn it off. When I really get too busy to notice my phone, that will generally dislodge my hyper-focus so that I can pay attention to my phone ringing.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:37 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have the otterbox defender case for my iphone, which includes a belt clip. If I'm moving around a lot at home, that's what I use. I find it generally works okay with sweatpants and yoga pants.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:12 AM on April 20, 2014

I love my SPIbelt and use it to hold my phone when I'm listening to music on headphones while I'm cleaning or doing other things around the house. Aprons with front pockets work great too.
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2014

I turn on a pandora station. Then, when I notice I can't hear the music I backtrack until I find the phone. You can use something that doesn't engage but rather soothes.

Fellow person with add here.

I'd use the arm band except answering is a pain. I either have to be attached via headphones or contort myself to answer and then get the phone out of the sticky plastic sleeve.
posted by bilabial at 6:34 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

sewed some pockets into my pj tops and bottoms. Another option is some kind of lanyard; so when it goes in your purse you can loop it with your purse handle.
posted by tilde at 6:35 AM on April 20, 2014

How about a smart watch? You won't be able to respond to a text or answer the phone, but at least you'll know you have something to respond to. Mine can get notices from several rooms away, but I don't know what the maximum distance is.
posted by nalyd at 6:44 AM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

I got a holster recently for this very reason. It's a little dorky but I'm very happy with it. I also like the Bluetooth speaker solution.
posted by emkelley at 6:48 AM on April 20, 2014

Do you have a landline? My landline phone has a Bluetooth connection to my cell, and it rings whenever my cell phone is in range and rings. (Search Amazon for "bluetooth cordless phone" to get some models that would work.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:51 AM on April 20, 2014

Another woman who tucks her phone in her bra, here.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:10 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I'm at home I usually keep it plugged in and sitting on the same table. If you have a work desk you use regularly, keep it plugged in there. The fewer places I leave my phone, the more likely I am to remember where it is, and the easier it is to find when I don't. If you keep forgetting it when you leave the house, set up a little spot where both your phone and your keys/purse can live.

I've found that, most of the time, when I attempt to carry my phone in my pocket, I'll still fail to notice when it's ringing or vibrating, and if I'm wearing more than one pocketed garment I'll forget which pocket I put it in.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:29 AM on April 20, 2014

Another vote for armband or belt clip.
posted by Neekee at 7:30 AM on April 20, 2014

Use a waist belt with strap-on pockets- works for me. Etsy has a good selection.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:03 AM on April 20, 2014

It's an option to get a home phone system with bluetooth. You set the phone near the base station, let them pair, and then it's like your cell phone is routed through your normal phone.

You could also use google voice to send your calls to a landline (if you have one) and texts to your email while you're home.
posted by R a c h e l at 8:15 AM on April 20, 2014

I have a tiny purse that I think of as a pocket to wear when I don't have pockets. My android phone in its case would be uncomfortable in a bra.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM on April 20, 2014

I usually wear a robe at home for this very reason - no bra or pants necessary, soft and comfy, has pockets.
posted by danceswithlight at 10:05 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

My neighbor has one of those bluetooth things in her ear all the time. She gets a signal anywhere in her house and yard and even at my place as long as she doesn't go any farther then my kitchen.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:24 AM on April 20, 2014

I am also a bra-stashing smartphone user and I am not ashamed to admit it!
posted by Lynsey at 1:24 PM on April 20, 2014

anti-bra: Elizabeth Edwards was known early on in her spotlight for carrying her cell phone in her bra. I'll never believe her breast cancer wasn't at least in part a consequence.
posted by mmiddle at 7:02 AM on April 21, 2014

The phone call is coming from INSIDE THE PANTS!

Seriously. Brilliant solution, phunnimee. It fits perfectly longwise at the hip, it's inconspicuous, and I don't even notice it. I'm very glad you decided to overshare.
posted by drlith at 4:05 PM on April 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

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