Please help me find my lost heirlooms
February 8, 2018 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I managed to lose a small zippered pouch containing precious family jewelry. I'm desperate at this point.

I can't remember where I left it, but I suspect I hid it someplace "safe" when I was on vacation so that if my landlord needed to come in it wouldn't be out in the open. I asked all of my roommates and no one has been in my locked room since I was away.

What weird places have you hidden sentimental objects before? Alternatively, have you ever had success using a metal detector to find lost jewelry in your home? I'm willing to try anything.

Please help me, Internet.
posted by marfa, texas to Home & Garden (35 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
So it's definitely in your bedroom?

Under the mattress
Inside the duvet cover
Sock drawer
In the closet folded into some pants
Down inside an old purse or bookbag
In the toe of some boots
On the very top of the bookshelf tucked all the way to the back
Behind or under a piece of furniture it got knocked off of
posted by phunniemee at 9:07 AM on February 8, 2018

Bedroom 'junk drawer' - the one where you have the weird stuff you never wear but won't get rid of. It's shoved down in the bottom under stuff. Alternately (this is the same place, for me), the place where you keep those pouches and bags you don't usually use.
posted by Occula at 9:10 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Use a torch to methodically search every inch of your room from one side of the door right the way around to the other - it really focusses the mind and eye.

Open every box and bag, even (especially) ones that you think "Nah, I wouldn't have put it in there".
posted by humph at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2018

Break the room up into a grid. Start at one corner and examine everything in that spot. Work your way through the room even going through light fixtures and remembering walls and ceiling as well.
posted by Vaike at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

In unused purses and coat pocket that are hanging in the closet
posted by quince at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

This may be a stretch, but would you have unscrewed a vent cover and put it behind that?
Behind picture frames
Inside suitcases
Coat pockets
posted by shesbookish at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I recently found something valuable that I'd been looking for in a box that was sort of a "junk drawer" - ie, various different things that had no relation to each other, but which needed to be put away and I had no time at the moment to put them away properly. Because it was a "junk" box I'd purposely passed it over during my past searches, because "no way I would have put it in that box".

Once, when cleaning out an elderly relative's house, we found valuables stored in a beverage cooler.

I agree with the advice above to think of the room as a grid and work your way around the whole room methodically, opening everything. If you still can't find it, move the furniture to check behind it, and pull the drawers out of the dresser, sometimes things fall in the space between the back of the drawer and the cabinet.

Also, is there a chance that you may have left it in a medicine cabinet, or in your car, or in your desk at work (sometimes I take things to work that I don't want anyone at the house to see, but this is more along the line of presents).
posted by vignettist at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2018

Taped on the underside or back side of a drawer. (But I think you'd remember that.)
Taped behind a piece of furniture.
Pockets of any clean or dirty clothes.
Under a corner of the carpet.

In the hunt, as mentioned above, using a flashlight (American here) to methodically search is very helpful. My wife finds it amusing when I do this. ("I know you're older than me, but are you that old that you can't see?) Also when searching, I sometimes repeat to myself (silently or aloud) what I'm actually looking for. It's amazing how the mind can wander and you don't even see something you are looking at.

Good luck!
posted by The Deej at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Have you put it in any food containers you have in your room? One of my dads old friends hid her jewellery in the spaghetti tin whilst she was packing to go away, came home, forgot she'd done it and called the police to report a burglary. Found it weeks later when cooking dinner.
Laundry basket? Inside folded towels? Inside socks? Bin?
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2018

I did the same thing once. Months later, I found the jewelry in its velvet box stuck at the back of a dresser drawer. Except in my case, I had put it in the drawer and then left it there when I emptied out the dresser, which was later moved into a storage unit.

The moral of that, I guess, is check all your drawers and don’t discount the possibility that you hid it inside an object that has since been moved elsewhere.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:32 AM on February 8, 2018

On preview, what The Deej said is wise about talking out loud about what you’re looking for. You use different neural pathways when you speak out loud than you do when thinking in your head. I figure out so much stuff when I verbalize it.

If it were me:
Nestled flat behind books on a shelf
Inside a folded pair of socks
The bottom of a dirty clothes laundry hamper
Zipped into my mattress cover
Inside a bag of cotton balls (the manufacturer bag with the ziploc)
Inside the pocket of an old purse (people keep mentioning this one for a reason! Kind of makes me think it’s now too obvious a place for hiding things...)
If your bed has a headboard/footboard, stuffed down between the head/footboard and the mattress
Inside a cooking vessel with a lid (saucepan, lidded casserole dish)
Inside a tea or coffee canister
Inside a makeup bag
Any sort of box (cereal box, a box that a bottle of saline solution came in, etc) that no one would expect to have anything else inside it other than what’s advertised on the box
Inside a pair of shoes that are out of season (stuffed way forward into the toes)
posted by nightrecordings at 9:37 AM on February 8, 2018

Despite the 90’s web design, Professor Solomon’s twelve principles for finding lost objects has helped me on more than one occasion, check it out!
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:37 AM on February 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

Behind books on a bookshelf?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:39 AM on February 8, 2018

Also, bring in somebody else and have them look (on their own, without you hovering). A fresh pair of eyes can work wonders!
posted by orrnyereg at 9:41 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by mercredi at 9:48 AM on February 8, 2018

On top of a cabinet/piece of furniture above eye level? Lost a necklace that way for years, and then my son got tall enough to see on top of the medicine chest in his bathroom.
posted by LizardBreath at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

The last time I misplaced something valuable, I realized it after a trip - it turns out I'd put it in the front pocket of my suitcase.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:56 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Seconding looking in suitcases.
posted by rustcellar at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2018

My mom used to put stuff underneath the dirty laundry in the hamper.
posted by emkelley at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2018

If you have boxes for storage, be sure to empty them completely. I found something once in a box of old stuffed toys I didn’t look through at first because I “knew” it just had old stuffed toys in it.
posted by FencingGal at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2018

If you're looking (and re-looking) in any sort of 3-dimensional container like a drawer or a box, take the time to systematically remove everything in it, one item at a time. I couldn't tell you how many times I've pawed through a drawer multiple times and still not found The Thing because it was bunched up in a shirt or whatever.
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Use a torch to methodically search every inch of your room from one side of the door right the way around to the other - it really focusses the mind and eye.

What humph is calling a torch is the thing an American would call a flashlight. But an actual fiery torch would probably do a great job of helping you focus, too.

I tend to hide thing under furniture, so if it's possible to slip something beneath a dresser or other item, I'd look there. I also hide things high, above eye level, so if it were me I'd start at the floor and look at the bottom foot of physical space and then start at the ceiling and look at the top of anything that might be able to hold your items.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:41 AM on February 8, 2018

The freezer
A toolbox
A little-used cooking pot
Under the tissues in a tissue box
Any zipped up pocket of any object
posted by jgirl at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2018

Get a friend to help you look and even when they say something really obvious like”you checked your sock drawer, right?” And you say yes- ASK THEM TO CHECK AGAIN.
posted by raccoon409 at 10:44 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

My sister lost her rather large set of keys when she hung up a pair of pants with the keys in the pocket. The keys fell into the toe of some closed-toe shoes. She only discovered the keys by turning over all the shoes in her closet; simply lifting them didn't un-wedge the stuck keys enough to be discovered.
posted by blob at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don’t know your habits at all, but I’ve heard that if you were high when you hid something, getting high is the solution to finding it.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 11:55 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

It was in the drawer I keep my extra toileties in(???), which I'd already searched twice, but hadn't fully emptied.

Thank you Metafilter; you're the absolute best.
posted by marfa, texas at 11:58 AM on February 8, 2018 [85 favorites]

posted by orrnyereg at 11:59 AM on February 8, 2018

I am so, so happy for you!!!!
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:14 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yay! and thanks for updating; closure is good.
posted by theora55 at 2:09 PM on February 8, 2018

I put jewelry in decorative baskets occasionally, cause I can't figure out what else to do with it. Have been surprised to take down a dusty decorative basket from a high shelf and find its full of stuff I'd forgotten I owned.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:56 PM on February 8, 2018

That's fantastic! Thanks for the update!!!
posted by quince at 2:56 PM on February 8, 2018

Glad this has a happy ending!
posted by rpfields at 4:32 PM on February 8, 2018

posted by sarcasticah at 7:48 PM on February 8, 2018

The trick I learned from geocaching is to examine what is in your sightlines, and then imagine what is blocked from your sightlines. That is, what's in the "shadow" of the things you can see? What's under or behind things? Those are negative spaces in your mind, and you forget that anything could be there.

Also, storage areas full of bulk stuff, like all the paper towels & extra t.p., are good spots.

(I see that you found your stuff -- which, hurray! -- but I will post this anyway for future readers.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:53 AM on March 1, 2018

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