We're a bunch of 'losers'


Wednesday 21st March 2012: New research out today reveals that British adults will nearly misplace an incredible 200,000 items in their lifetime(1).

The study by esure home insurance shows that the average person will misplace up to nine items every single day of the week – that’s 3,285 items ‘lost and found’ a year and 198,743 over the course of a lifetime(2).

Mobile phones, house keys, car keys, important paperwork and documents are the most commonly misplaced items, with over a third of Brits polled (37 per cent) admitting to spending an average of 15 minutes per day searching for these misplaced items.

This equates to over 5,520 hours or 230 days over the course of a lifetime(3). According to the survey of 3,000 adults it seems that we’re a nation that’s quick to point the finger – with a massive three quarter of arguments (77 per cent) flaring up between couples about the whereabouts of a misplaced item. The research also revealed that other items which prove tricky to keep track of are hairbrushes, gloves, clothing, umbrellas and books. Train and bus tickets, bank cards, coats and diaries also slip out of sight regularly.

Half of those polled (51 per cent) claim to be constantly on the search for things they have lost or misplaced, with the majority (91 per cent) saying the item is always found somewhere obvious.

It emerged that three quarters (72 per cent) of all misplaced possessions occur in the home, with many people losing things in the workplace and car every day.

People are most frustrated at losing their house keys, Smartphone or car keys but showing that money isn’t always everything, less than five per cent said losing their bank card was the most upsetting.

Nikki Sellers, Head of home insurance at esure, said: “Most Brits blame their bad luck or a hectic lifestyle for constantly misplacing items or even losing them completely.

“Homeowners should be extra cautious when it comes to looking after their house keys – as this could prove to be costly if they were to fall into the hands of opportunistic thieves. We encourage everyone to keep documents and valuables in a safe place and carry less around with them – that way you’re less likely to lose something.”

According to the survey, many knew that untidiness and poor memory led to them losing track of items, with more than half (53 per cent) wishing they were more organised.

One in ten women have permanently lost a piece of jewellery but the item most likely to disappear and never to be seen again was the umbrella.

But there is always hope for habitual ‘losers’ as 57 per cent of those surveyed said they regularly thought they’d lost something, only to find it again months later. 60 per cent confessed they’d often find long lost items with ‘no clue’ how they got there in the first place.


1. Mobile phone
2. House keys
3. Car keys
4. Paperwork / documents
5. Sunglasses
6. Purse / wallet
7. Smartphone
8. Lip balm
9. Hair brush
10. Gloves
11. Clothing
12. Umbrella
13. Book
14. Bank card
15. Train / bus ticket
16. Coat
17. Diary / Filofax
18. Sun hat
19. Laptop
20. Car


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esure’s press contacts:
Asia Yasir, Public Relations Manager: 01737 641305
Adrian Webb, Head of Corporate Communications: 01737 641000
Niki Bolton, Corporate Communications Manager: 01737 235070

Email: pr@esure.com 
Visit the media centre: www.esure.com 
An ISDN line is available for radio interviews.

Notes to Editors: (1) SWNS conducted an online research survey via Onepoll which interviewed a random sample of 3,000 adults aged 18 and over between 8th and 13th November 2011.
(2) The average life expectancy of an adult is 60.5 years.
(3) 15 minutes a day x 365 days a year = 5,475 minutes / 91.25 hours a year. 91.25 hours a year x 60.5 (average life expectancy) = 5,520.6 hours / 230 days in a lifetime.