Lost and Found

lost bear

Photo by {manda}

Usually when things go missing at our house, it’s because our two-year-old is going through a hiding phase.

It’s funny and frustrating to have things moved and hidden in unlikely places, especially when we’re trying to get ready to go somewhere.

She’s old enough to hide things, but not old enough to tell me where they are. The conversations go like this:

Me: Where are your shoes?
Lane: They’re hiding.
Me: Can you show me where you hid them?
Lane: Let’s find them! [Marches in a circle around the room. The shoes are discovered two days later, wrapped up in a blanket.]

Pennies are slipped into the air vents of my vacuum cleaner, toys are tucked inside my shoes, and stuffed animals are piled behind curtains. Anything with a hole or tube will likely have rocks or marbles dropped into it.

Pockets are for keeping acorns, and souvenir rocks show up in drinking glasses.

We’ve started a habit of checking hiding spots, just to see what we find. The remote was stuck behind the couch, and the nail clippers were behind the pillows. Little socks were under my bed. It’s kind of like living with a tiny family of Borrowers.

Everything shows up eventually, usually with much celebrating.

How much gets lost and found at your house?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. This post made me laugh!

    Just today I wondered where the slipcover for my phone had gone.

    I started turning over pillows on the sofa in my search. Not really expecting an answer, I asked my 2-year-old if she knew where it was.

    Nikki’s reply: “In Baba’s shoe!”

    I watched in amazement as she ran across the room, dipped her hand into the shoe, and came back with the phone cover.

    I hesitated only a moment before putting it back on my phone.

    Life with a 2-year-old brings plenty of surprises!

  2. Southern Gal says:

    My guy usually hides things in plain view. He can never find anything he’s looking for! I have to go to the room he’s in and find the thing I’ve asked for EVERY TIME. I would be crying if he actually HID something!

  3. Cute post and it let’s me know what I have to look forward to.

    Recently our 18 month old started picking things up (remote, camera, phones, books etc.), walking around with them, and then dropping them wherever he happens to be when he sees a new “shiny object”.

    So when he starts hiding them…oh boy that’ll be fun! :)

  4. Right before the holidays, my dh couldn’t find his credit card. We were standing in the kitchen trying to re-trace his steps. We both got on the phone and called the grocery store and the gym to see if they found it. My 3 yo dd was listening to our conversation and says, “i’m sorry daddy, I have your card”. my dh says “you do, where is it?” “in my bag” and my dd leads him to his card which was in her “wallet” in her “bag”. crisis diverted…

    I’m not trying, but I’m raising a bag lady…I found all sorts of stuff from our house in her bags…coasters, keys, remotes, etc

    Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet´s last blog post..Question of the week???

  5. Oh this post brings back many memories of my older children when they were little (my kids are 20 yrs, 16 yrs and 4 yrs). We moved when my son was in 1st grade. When we picked up the couch to load it on the truck we heard a lot of rattling in it. We were curious and cut open the bottom to find at least 6 pacifiers that had been stashed there by him. It had been years since he last had one. I also found them behind the long curtains during that move. I always did wonder why we lost so many……I found out during that move! We had a good laugh.

  6. Oh this reminds me of what happened about 9 months ago in our home. Both a debit card and my husband’s beard trimmer went missing. I have no idea how either of those could get in our toddler’s hands, but we have yet to find them. We have a running joke about finding the beard trimmer floating in the toilet someday.

    Shannon´s last blog post..My Breastfeeding Story: Low Milk Supply

  7. My kids (3 and 4 1/2) used to leave little “presents” in their dad’s work boots. He leaves very early in the morning before they get up, so it always made him smile to put his foot in his boot only to discover a block or some other little trinket. He always thought it was just their way of saying, “We love you, Daddy!”

    KaseyQ´s last blog post..New Restaurant.com Code…

  8. My daughter likes to take off with my keys, but other than that not too much has been lost around here. Yet!

    My son however, is turning into a trash collector. Anytime I try to put cardboard in the recycle bin he wants it. So now I am finding cardboard creations in weird places.

  9. The worst for us are the things that are lost and irretrievable. For example, the ball shoved into the subwoofer of our sound system…and the numerous flat objects pushed into the in between spaces of our pocket doors. I’ve also found that pockets are the hiding place of choice lately. Unfortunately, I don’t figure that one out until AFTER I do the laundry. Most recently – a zillion cardboard discs from a game (obviously now no longer playable) and a toy pager from the doctor kit which proceeded to beep a loud shrill sound until I could find a screwdriver to remove the battery. Life with preschoolers is fun stuff!

    Lynette´s last blog post..Boys Will Be Boys ~ (What C-boy Told His Daddy)

  10. Right now we are missing a Ninetendo DS, worth about $125! So we are not too happy about that. I wish it was just someone hiding it and playing a trick instead of irresponsible children. I’m hoping that it will turn up eventually, although we have searched the house high and low.

    MNKristy´s last blog post..Ski Day

  11. Cell phones and socks are the main victims at our house. Occasionally important pieces of paper go wandering off (or eaten, the weirdo), but I guess that’s our fault for leaving them within reach.

    Minnesotamom´s last blog post..“Song!”

  12. Walker who’s almost 2.5 has gone through various hiding phases in the last year or so…he also has a penchant for the trashcan and at times when things never do turn back up, I can only assume he slid something by me…I especially have to watch his breakfast plate & fork…can’t even begin to tell you how many of those I’ve fished out of the trash can, and the week after his sister was born, back in Jan, I can only guess that our Veggie Tales plate escaped my notice as it is no more!

    jodi @ bpr´s last blog post..Yummo & Then Some!

  13. This happens in our house ALL the time! I couldn’t find my house keys for months, we almost changed the locks on the house because I thought maybe I dropped them outside. I had to use the spare set. Then one day I was wiping something off of the floor and I saw my keys under the dishwasher of all places!

    KatieG´s last blog post..Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

  14. My almost 3 year old LOVES to confiscate my phone and keys. So far I have been lucky and she always remembers where she puts them. She loves to hide other things as well and have me guess where they are. The image of her putting her arms up and shrugging her shoulders going “I dont know” when I ask where something is, is hopefully an image that will remain in my mind forever.

    Stefanie´s last blog post..Thank You

  15. I’ve got 2 boys who LOVE to hide things exactly where they don’t go. Last week I could not figure out how the vacuum got clogged. I finally took it apart and found a matchbox car stuffed down the hose and a giggling two year old. Kids keep things entertaining!

  16. This happens at our place sometimes with books. And you’re right, sometimes it is frustrating when we can’t find them, but there is always much rejoicing afterward!

  17. haha! We just finished remodeling our kitchen. Tarp went down last night! So I’m hoping we can have a break from lost stuff now that the tools are no longer out, and the kitchen is functional.

  18. I guess every family has this issue. My older children were not really big hiders, they just would put something down and forget about it and that is generally how things got lost. I think my youngest may have the hiding bug though. She has already discovered some good hiding places and we find all kinds of things in them. Fortunately, so far she seems to be sticking to the same hiding places, so we can find things pretty easily with a check of just a couple of spots.

    Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog post..Feb 24, Recommended Organization Sites

  19. Oh, we totally have a hider, too! Most commonly, it’s things like the remote and pens and shoes. It is exactly like living the Borrowers!

  20. That reminds me… we’re missing a bottle full of milk.

    Dave´s last blog post..Stephanie Petty

  21. Oh how cute! It brought tears to my eyes remembering how my son used to hide things. Enjoy! Before you know it she will be a teenager! Then you hear “mom where’s my…..?”

  22. We have lost one of the salt and pepper shakers from the kids little kitchen (it’s the same one you have) which makes me sad because it was one of the cutest things about it. The worst, though is when you loose a sippy cup with milk in it. My 21 month old is always sticking her cups in the oddest places and once that milk sours there’s just not way to get the cup clean!

  23. We once lost half of a pair of stride rite shoes – one week after purchasing them! I searched the house, didn’t find them… They turned up over one year later – behind a heavy book on a lower shelf of our bookcase! Luckily I had kept the other shoe – and hopefully I’ll have another baby girl to wear those pretty pink shoes!

    maryanne´s last blog post..Books to help toddlers prepare for new siblings

  24. We have been missing our car keys for almost a year now. I have lost hope of finding them.

  25. one time my little brother decided to *hide* the eraser on a mechanical pencil from me and my older brother.

    Let me tell you, it’s a sight to see your brother strapped down on the bed, with your mom taking tweezers to his nose!!!

    He didn’t hide things in his nose after that.

  26. Jill Whitney says:

    Oh my my. This is exactly our house. We have a two year old and she routinely hides items (always that belong to other people) under a free standing china hutch. Whenever we can’t find something we look there. Although she has become quite fond of flushing items down the toilet lately–including pulling the toilet paper from the wall and stringing it directly down into the water then—FLUSH! again and again, until Mommy realizes what is going on.

    Clara S. posted a funny one about the milk sippy cups–yuck, when I find one of those my hand reaches out slowly and I’m thinking, do I really want to open this? With much trepidation I stand over the kitchen sink and slowly twist the lid off like it’s going to explode.

  27. Oh my goodness. I’m horrible about losing things all on my own; when I get ‘in the zone’ (about anything), I focus only on what my mind is on and can put things down in odd places. I can’t imagine how frustrated I’d get if I didn’t know whether it really was me setting something down or my kid intentionally hiding it!

    Sally Parrott Ashbrook´s last blog post..Step Four in the Year of Self-Care: Offer Yourself Empathy

  28. Ahhh, the memories! I remember the funky milk sippy cups hidden all over the house. I would open them the same way, Jill!

    The worst thing that was lost was when my youngest went through the throwing-everything-in-the-trash stage (so helpful!) was my DH’s good watch. It cost around $80. That was the only explanation we could come up with for its disappearance.

  29. With the two teenage girls that reside in my house, a lot goes missing. It’s usually their stuff. They bring it in the house, dump it and then days later wonder where their (fill in the blank) is. They expect me to know. My reply is usually something like, “I didn’t use it.” or “It’s not mine so I don’t have to track it’s whereabouts.” The one thing that happens on a very regular basis is that clothes get left at someone’s house following an overnight stay and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laundered clothes that don’t belong to anyone in my house.

    Nancy´s last blog post..The Right Start

  30. cute post!

    My daughter, Sara, is a strange one… no matter what it is … if it is hers or not… she knows where everything is in the house!
    ie. my purse, Dad’s gloves, Eli’s homework. That girl is a freak of nature.. and I love it! :D

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah´s last blog post..What 6 months of snow looks like…..

  31. We don’t have children, but our cat loves to carry things around in her mouth. She has her own Yarn Relocation Program, and if I dare to leave out a ball of yarn or a mitten or a pair of rolled up socks, it gets moved. Once she even tried to relocate our rolling clothes hamper. She was pulling it out of our bedroom into the hallway when I caught her. Very strong teeth, that one.

    Jen in KS´s last blog post..Eat your heart out

  32. Too cute!