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04th Sep 2013

“Now Where Did I Put My…?” – How Many Things the Average Person Forgets Every Day

And men are twice as likely to forget a partner's birthday or an anniversary...

Rebecca McKnight

The average person forgets four important facts, items or events every day, it has been revealed. Researchers who carried out the study among 2,000 adults found we typically forget as many as 1460 things every year, including leaving for work without a phone, keys or wallet or forgetting what you went into a room for.

The study compiled the top 50 most commonly forgotten things and found important messages, meetings and emails are also missed amid our busy lives.

Forgetting to defrost meat or where you parked the car are common slips, while the dreaded lapse in remembering someone’s name when introducing them was a regular blank.

A spokesman for the Post-it Brand from 3M, which commissioned the report, said:

”Our days are so jam packed full of tasks whether at work or at home, it’s no surprise people find it hard to keep track of everything.

”With much longer working hours, financial concerns and just busier lifestyles, even those with the best memory can stumble when it comes to remembering even the most simple of things during a hectic day.”

Women were found to show the most frustration when they lose or forget things – yet men are twice as likely to forget a partner’s birthday or an anniversary and, remarkably, one in twenty men have completely forgotten to attend a funeral.

“I know today is important… I just don’t know why…”

Indeed, more than half of women in relationships said their partner has forgotten something they were counting on them to remember despite numerous attempts to remind them.

But the ladies aren’t always perfect, and are actually more likely to lie if they’ve forgotten something big and think they’ll get in trouble for it – one in four women admitting to doing this.

Men are also slacker when it comes to passing on important messages, and perhaps this explains why women were twice as likely to be the one in the relationship with the better memory.

No surprises then that 54% of men in relationships rely on their partner to remember certain things so they don’t have to.

While a quarter of the women studied said they can never rely on their partner to do something if it’s crucial and are better off doing it themselves.

An embarrassed one in five dads has completely forgotten to pick up the kids from school.

Which goes some way to explaining why men were nearly twice as likely to have been labelled a ‘liability’ when it comes to being organised.


1. Forget what you went into a room for
2. Misplacing keys
3. Forgetting things on your grocery shop
4. People’s names when you’re introducing them
5. Where you put your pen
6. Taking meat out to defrost
7. Forgetting to respond to an email
8. Forgetting to post something
9. Forgetting what you’re searching for online or on the computer
10. Forgetting where the car was parked
11. Forgetting where a wallet was put down
12. Words to songs
13. Forgetting to get milk/dinner/groceries on your way home
14. Forgetting to respond on social media
15. Forgetting to reply to texts
16. Watering plants
17. Friends’/family’s phone numbers
18. Forgetting to record a good programme on TV
19. Putting washing in the machine and forgetting to switch it on
20. Putting bins out
21. Who has sugar/no sugar in their tea
22. Metric/imperial measurement conversions
23. Looking for glasses/sunglasses when they’re on your head
24. Forgetting your pin numbers
25. Taking library books back
26. Forgetting to bring washing in off the line
27. Anniversaries
28. Forgetting the train or bus times
29. Booking appointments like dentist/opticians
30. Paying bills
31. Pick up the phone and forget who you were about to call
32. Forgetting a meeting
33. Forgetting to clean your teeth
34. Forgetting to put your watch on
35. Forgetting social plans/evening events
36. Dentist/doctor appointment
37. Booking a train ticket in advance
38. Forgetting to pull the flush
39. Forgetting your debit/credit card in the machine
40. Forgetting to put the toilet seat back down
41. Paying somebody back
42. Forgetting to get fuel
43. Forgetting to shave
44. Partner’s birthday
45. Simple recipes like how long you boil an egg
46. Forgetting to renew car/home insurance/MOT
47. Giving kids money for school trip/dinners
48. Feeding animals/getting someone to feed animals
49. Who is a vegetarian when you have friends for dinner
50. Forgetting which fuel you need in the car