The Items Each State Loses the Most

A header image for a blog about the common items Americans lose most often
A header image for a blog about the common items Americans lose most often

Have you ever found yourself frantically searching for your misplaced belongings, only to discover they have vanished into thin air? Don’t worry. You aren’t alone.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the items Americans are misplacing most often. From the common culprits to the peculiar exceptions, we’ll uncover the patterns of misplaced possessions across the country.

Read on to find out which items your state loses the most and for inspiration to double-check your pockets before you head out the door!

Time Spent Searching for Lost Items by State

A U.S. map showing how many minutes residents in each state spend looking for lost items

Let’s delve into how much time folks across the country spend hunting for their lost items every year. To gather these insights, we asked survey participants about the average number of things they misplace monthly and the typical time it takes to find them. Using this data, we estimated the average search time for each state on an annual basis.

Oklahoma takes the lead in the search marathon, with residents spending an impressive 30 hours and 17 minutes per year seeking out their lost belongings. That’s more than a full day dedicated solely to pursuing misplaced items!

Following closely behind is Alabama, where people devote an average of 29 hours and 5 minutes per year to their search efforts. Meanwhile, Arkansans invest around 26 hours and 30 minutes annually in locating lost possessions.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have states where people seem to possess a remarkable knack for finding items — at least, compared to other states. Maryland is the reigning efficiency champion, with an average search time of 9 hours and 45 minutes spent on the hunt every year.

Similarly, residents of New Mexico also spend less than 10 hours a year (9 hours and 53 minutes, to be exact) trying to find out where they left their keys, phone, wallet, or whatever else they lose regularly.

The Items Americans Misplace Most Often

A graphic illustrating survey insights about the items Americans lose most often

No surprises here — our beloved cell phones come in first as the most commonly misplaced item for Americans. They’re the reigning champions of misplacement in almost every state except for West Virginia, where residents seem to have a knack for losing their keys.

Losing things can have serious consequences, especially if you misplace something at the worst time. Approximately 35% of Americans have experienced the frantic rush of being late for work or school due to searching high and low for a lost item. Talk about a chaotic morning!

That’s not all — another 16% of us have had to dig deep into our pockets to replace expensive items we’ve misplaced. In other words, losing things can put a dent in your finances if you aren’t careful.

Not only can losing something disrupt our schedules and drain our bank accounts, but it can also strain our relationships. Believe it or not, 13% of Americans have had heated arguments with their loved ones over lost items.

Now, let’s talk about the items that Americans dread losing the most. Sitting comfortably at the top of the list is our trusty cell phone, with a staggering 49% of people expressing a willingness to pay a significant sum to ensure it never vanishes.

Right behind cell phones are our reliable keys at 41% and our indispensable wallets at 40%.

When it comes to locating lost treasures, it seems our couches play an unexpected hero’s role. A surprising 28% of people have reported finding their lost valuables tucked away in the cozy depths of their couches. 

So, the next time you find yourself tearing your hair out in search of something, remember to give your couch a thorough rummaging before you throw in the towel.

Closing Thoughts

From the ever-elusive cell phones to the frequently misplaced keys and wallets, it’s clear that losing something valuable can cause quite a stir in our lives. Thankfully, most misplaced items are just a couch cushion away.

For fine jewelry you won’t want to misplace, Shane Co. offers a stunning range of pieces that will elevate your style. Whether you’re looking for a dazzling necklace, elegant earrings, or a symbol of everlasting love like an engagement ring, our collection is sure to enchant you.


To find out the items Americans are most likely to lose and how long they spend looking for them, we surveyed over 2,000 people from 44 states over a two-week period in April 2023. We asked them what personal belongings they misplace most often, how many minutes it typically takes to find them, and where they eventually turn up. Using estimations on how often people lose these items, we were able to determine how many minutes per month they spend searching their house for things like their phones, keys, and jewelry.

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