Forgetful Brits Spend Over 110 Days Of Their Lives Looking For Lost Items

New research reveals that scatter-brained Brits spend a staggering 110 days of their lives looking for lost objects.

The data also show that the UK population collectively misplace around 7.9 billion items each year, whilst permanently lost items cost us an of average of £78 each, every year.

Topping the list of items lost at home each year is the remote control, (12 times), glasses (10 times), keys and mobile devices (eight times), socks and underwear (seven times), whilst mobile phone chargers (six times) and wallets (five times) also rank highly.

The research by Privilege Insurance also found that we spend a staggering six and a half days of our lifetime simply searching for the remote control.

When it comes to gender divides, men rate the quality of their memory more highly than women with 66 per cent agreeing that they have a good memory compared to only 59 per cent of women.

However, despite this, men still manage to lose more than twice the value of items in the past 12 months (£106.50) compared to just women (£50.90), suggesting their memory isn’t as good as they would like to think.  

Men, it seems, are also more forgetful outside of the home, admitting to misplacing their bags an average of five times per year, whilst for women it’s just once.

The same applies to their wallet and money, misplacing them around five times per year, whilst women lose these items just twice.

However, when it comes to misplacing items in the home, women spend more time looking for their bankcard (17 minutes) than men (13 minutes) and also spend the most time looking for their passport (22 minutes) compared to men (15 minutes).  

As for age divides, 18-34-year-olds believe they have the best memory (70 per cent), despite losing an average of £125 worth of items in the past year compared to just £21 for over 55s.

They also forget where they’ve parked their car more frequently, with 17 per cent forgetting where their vehicle is on a regular basis – nearly twice the national average.

By comparison, only five per cent of over 55s regularly forget, despite believing they have the worst memory of any age group.

Millennials are also more than twice as likely to lose the remote control at home than their older counterparts, losing them an average of 16 times per year, compared to just six times.  

Regionally, it appears the most forgetful city in the UK is Southampton with a quarter of people (26 per cent) admitting they do not have a good memory, whilst the most confident was Brighton with 22 per cent strongly agreeing they have a good memory.

Christian Mendes, Head of Privilege Home Insurance, said:

“Losing an item isn’t unusual for any of us but it’s interesting to see just how much time and money it can amount to.

“We realise that it isn’t just the price of items that can cause upset, but the emotional rollercoaster that we can go through with either locating or replacing certain items. Especially when we’re in a rush in the morning and finding ourselves spending much needed time locating them.

“Having the necessary insurance policy in place can really help to ease the stress of losing valuables, particularly if there’s a sentimental value attached.”

Top list of items misplaced at home:

1.    Remote Controls

2.    Glasses

3.    Keys

4.    Mobile phones/devices

5.    Socks and underwear

6.    Mobile phone chargers

7.    Wallets/purses

8.    Headphones

9.    Shoes

10.  Bankcards

Top list of items lost out of home:

1.    Glasses

2.    Keys

3.    Mobile phones/devices

4.    Wallet

5.    Gloves

6.    Money

7.    Umbrellas

8.    Headphones

9.    Scarves

10.  Book

Most forgetful cities:

1.    Plymouth

2.    Cardiff

3.    Newcastle

4.    Belfast

5.    Manchester

6.    Edinburgh

7.    Glasgow

8.    Leeds

9.    Nottingham

10.  Norwich

Research carried out amongst a nationally representative sample of 2000 UK adults by Opinium Research from 17th December to 19th December 2019.


Privilege Insurance specialises in home insurance for homeowners and landlords. It also offers car insurance and breakdown cover by phone or on-line.

Privilege general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Privilege and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.  

Customers can find out more about Privilege’s products or get a quote by calling

0345 246 0515 or visiting