Hide-and-seek is a fun game for kids, but not as pleasurable when you’re looking for a misplaced set of keys, the earrings you want to wear tonight or your wallet. It’s even worse if you’re headed out the door and need the lost thing immediately.

Hide-and-seek is a fun game for kids, but not as pleasurable when you’re looking for a misplaced set of keys, the earrings you want to wear tonight or your wallet. It’s even worse if you’re headed out the door and need the lost thing immediately.

“Not being able to find something is a minor challenge to happiness, of course, but it’s one of those minor things that can make me crazy,” said productivity expert Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Four Tendencies.”

According to the Lost & Found survey released by Pixie, a location app for iPhones, Americans spend $2.7 billion every year replacing the items they can’t find. Surprisingly, the survey found that Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for their misplaced things, with the most common items to go missing being remote controls, phones, car and house keys, glasses, shoes, and wallets and purses.

The next time you’re going crazy looking for something, try these tips from Michael Solomon, author of “How to Find Lost Objects.”

Take a breath
Before running around the house turning over couch cushions, take a second to stop and think. Wait until you have an idea where it might be.

Look where it’s supposed to be
When a person is frantically looking for something, it’s easy to miss that it’s right where it’s supposed to be. Look carefully where the missing item should be. Sometimes things can be hidden in their proper place.

Say its name
Calm down, clear your mind and concentrate on the lost object. Once you’re focused, say its name repeatedly as you look for the missing item.

Look carefully
Rather than rummaging around, conduct a slow and systematic search. Once you’ve looked in the normal places, try less-likely locations or high-traffic areas, although Solomon said that objects are usually found within 18 inches of their original location.
While most lost items eventually turn up, they don’t necessarily appear when you need them. Sometimes you have to let go and hope for a surprise reunion in the future.