A tampon, some hair gel and a smoke detector

How many bedrooms have you slept in? I’m figuring no one could give me an exact answer as my question includes hotel rooms, BnBs, mate’s rooms etc. Wherever we go we take the things we need, namely toiletries and clothes that are required for the duration of our stay. For those who have moved in to new accommodation in Edinburgh for university I’m figuring you’ve brought the majority of your close personal belongings and everyday essentials with you – but what is already in your room?

Last week the replacement head for my electric toothbrush (do more people use these or does it just sound like I’m really posh? Kind of… anyway…) fell down the back of the top shelf of my cabinet under the sink in my student accommodation bedroom. “Crap”, I thought, “that’s lost forever”. I peered over down the back of the shelf however to find my brush was in easy reach, along with some “Simple make-up remover wipes” – not mine, honest. I explained what had happened to a flat mate who checked behind his cabinet, only to find an empty bottle of shower gel and a smoke detector! Another flat mate checked behind hers – she found some shoe protection spray, some Always pads and a Beechams cold and flu sachet! How many years had this stuff been down here? Did the original owner even know what had happened to it?

I found (apt word) some lost property statistics that were fairly surprising. In an undisclosed six month period, 54,874 mobile phones, 3179 laptops and 913 USB sticks were left in the back of London taxi cabs. The 2008 Glastonbury welfare centre dealt with over 2000 items of lost property, including approx. 400 mobile phones, 400 wallets and 100 cameras, with just a third of the items being reunited with their respective owners. Obviously you’d be more annoyed about losing your laptop than you would be about losing a miniscule tube of toothpaste but the concept of misplacing stuff is the same. By living in a technology-rich developed Western country we seem to be relatively relaxed about the security of those objects closest to us. It probably would not be unfair to say we live in a “throw-away society” and that we really do take many everyday objects and practices for granted.

So, what have you left behind over the years, perhaps without realising it? Why not take a closer look in the room you’re in now and see what other people have misplaced – who knows what you might find…


8 Responses

  1. this is good! what accomodation are you staying at because there is no way my sink can hide stuff behind it (no room)

  2. Really liked this post, good work! What staggering statistics.

    I don’t have student accommodation, and therefore won’t have similiar cabinets to peek behind, but I do find myself indulging in that kind of ‘throw-away’ social behaviour – for example, I have the odd habit of taking off my earrings on a night out, and leaving them on tables and sink tops. Losing one pair of earrings, meh, not so bad, but it leaves me wondering how many I’ve left along the years!

  3. Eva: Thanks – I’m at Riego Street – all the cabinets seem to have this hidden area!

    Sonja: Thank you for your feedback – I’m sure over the years we all leave behind a lot more than we think!

  4. ahhh thats horrific!! So glad im not staying in student halls! I think the real issue here is – Napier obviously don’t pay their cleaners enough!

    I always end up forgetting my PJ’s when im away.

  5. I thought this was really interesting, I ALWAYS lose things, I stayed at my friend over night in June and lost my camera cable and a necklace, I was in america this summer and lost my camera, $40, social security card, my american bank card, about 3 tshirts, a bottle opener and god only knows what else.

  6. Really good interesting blog George! I’ll probably turn my room upside now in a mad search when i get home now after reading that haha 🙂

  7. Love this blog George!


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