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How To NOT Lose Your Cell Phone

Updated on March 21, 2017

Ever Lost Your Cell Phone? - Fess up!

If so, did you find it?

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Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Cell Phone Gone?

"Honey, sweetie-pie," I typed, sending my husband a gooey instant message while he was at work. "Sorry to bother you, but could you call me?"

I didn't have to explain why; we'd been through this umpteen times before. Last time he'd called my cell phone for me, it rang ... in my back pocket. Yes, I am a doofus.

But, aw, come on, you know you've done it. Maybe your phone wasn't "lost" in your back pocket, but if you're a normal human being with a mobile you just can't live without, you must have misplaced it at least a time or two, yes?

If so, you know the feeling -- that moment of panic when the phone is not right where it's supposed to be ... which may be any of seventeen places.

Then, when you recover your breath, you break out in a cold sweat. You panic and start rummaging through your underwear drawer, through the laundry basket, the freezer. Your house is a wreck, and then you gasp: *Gasp!* You used your cell on the city bus! Or was it in Wal-Mart? At the dentist's office?

I've been one of the lucky ones, though, always finding my missing mobile within an hour or two and usually in ridiculous places (even once in my sock ... that I was wearing at the time), but my mother wasn't so lucky. She must have dropped it at the Senior Center one day, never to be found again. So I got her a lanyard (her choice of accessory) to wear the phone around her neck. Then, once we'd gotten her a new one and I reprogrammed all of the numbers we could remember and those I could easily look up, I decided to put together this page to offer some suggestions to the rest of the wireless phone-addicted world.

The following are some tips, stories, funnies and handy accessories, as well as what to do if, by chance, your phone joins the millions of other wayward gadgets in the lost-but-never-found piles of the world.

A Simple Way to Keep Track: A comfortable and convenient lanyard

This is a very cheap way to save yourself a lot more money and hassle. My elderly mom used a lanyard just like this, to keep her phone literally at hand all the time. This may not be the best option for someone who's on the go a lot -- to have a phone hanging around your neck -- but for someone like my mom, who was very sedentary and also quite forgetful, this was the perfect solution.

CTCStore Detachable Nectstrap/Lanyard for Cell Phone & MP3 (Black)
CTCStore Detachable Nectstrap/Lanyard for Cell Phone & MP3 (Black)

There's not much to say about a lanyard like this, except that it's simple and easy and probably best for times when you'll be walking or sitting a lot and want easy access to your phone without the risk of dropping it. My elderly mom had a lanyard like this for her cell phone, which was the perfect solution for her.

What to do if you lose your your cell phone
What to do if you lose your your cell phone

What To Do If You DO Lose Your Phone

Several steps to take to try to secure and, hopefuly, find it....

1. First things first: THINK. Where did you have your phone last? If it was in your house and you haven't left, well, nothing to worry about, unless maybe your dog looks like he has indigestion or your toddler just flushed the toilet. Otherwise, take a deep breath and look around. Better yet, if you think the phone was on, call it from your land line or have someone call your cell so you can follow that ring tone or happy little song to the source.

Don't have a land line? Not at home and don't have access to a tele but you do have a computer? Then try this: Go to Where's My Cell Phone? .com a free service by iGoogle. Simply enter your number and listen for a ring. Cool!

2. If that doesn't work, well, then you should call your provider, so some less-than-ethical doobie doesn't run up your bill calling all his (or her) buddies all over the globe. Let your provider know you can't find your phone, but tell them not to cancel your service just yet. Have them deactivate your phone while you continue your search.

Here are the numbers of some common wireless providers:

  • AT&T: (800) 331-0500

  • Verizon Wireless: (800) 922-0204

  • Sprint Nextel (888) 211-4727

  • T-Mobile: (877) 453-1304

3. Now that your phone can't be used, think again. Where have you been since you last saw or used it? Call those places or businesses where your cell might be and ask if it's in their lost-and-found or, if you can give them a specific location where you sat or shopped, perhaps a nice employee or manager might take a look for you.

4. If your phone still hasn't turned up, call your provider back and ask if there is any way, pretty please, that you can get a free replacement. Or perhaps you have insurance that will cover at least part of the new one. If not, don't sink a lot of money in a new phone, because your old beloved might still turn up somewhere (like in that black hole you call a purse perhaps).

5. If you didn't have it before, now's a good time to sign up for insurance on your phone. My experience with Verizon is that it costs $5 per month, and that insurance will cover the cost of a replacement if yours is lost or damaged.

The photo above is in the public domain.

Can You Imagine?

You're away on vacation, oblivious to the fact that your cell phone back home has been stolen, and the thief has run up a $26,000 bill!

This really did happen to Wendy Nguyen. Read the story and learn the outcome in Customers Pay For Lost Cell Calls.

Just in Case

Don't lose all those numbers you once had at your fingertips.

Read Lost Cell Phone? Your Carrier Has Your Backup from The Wall Street Journal's "The Mossberg Solution."

Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Cell Phone

  • Keep your car keys next to your phone as it's charging.
  • Place your purse or wallet next to it and the charger.
  • Be consistent: Always put your phone in the same place in the house.
  • Attach it to your person at all times (ie. with a hip belt case) ... except maybe when you're in the shower or in bed

Cell phone holders
Cell phone holders

Ways To Keep Your Phone Attached

To you, that is....

The following are some handy accessories -- cases, arm and wrist bands, and lanyards -- for keeping your phone from wandering off.

Many of these products are also handy for attaching other gadgets -- like iPods, MP3 players and digital cameras -- to your personal person.

I'm trying to decide which type of case is right for me. Or maybe I'll just need more than one....

How About a Genuine Leather Cell Phone and Tool Holder - Hang, strap or clip it on. (Just don't forget to put your phone IN it.)

You can hang, strap or clip this cell phone, tool and accessory holder on work belts, suspenders, pants, etc. This is my husband's preferred way to keep his phone attached and its whereabouts known at all times (other than when he's sleeping, in which case it's right on the nightstand, every night).

CLC Custom LeatherCraft 5-Pocket Cell Phone/Tool Holder - 1105
CLC Custom LeatherCraft 5-Pocket Cell Phone/Tool Holder - 1105

This case holds most brands of compact phones and securely holds small tools and accessories like pliers, mini flashlights, and screwdrivers.


Other Similar Accessories for Encasing and Protecting your Phone

DRY PAK DP-46 Case for Cellphones, GPS and Mp3 - Yellow / Blue
DRY PAK DP-46 Case for Cellphones, GPS and Mp3 - Yellow / Blue

This waterproof cell phone case has an adjustable neck lanyard, a yellow sealing clip for high visibility, and twist open knobs for easily sealing out water, sand and dust. I go hiking in wet weather and canoeing quite a bit, so this is the perfect kind of case for me.


A Waterproof Case

Protect your phone (or camera and other items weighing up to 11 ounces) from water, dirt , dust and more and keep them afloat in this 'jellyfish" case, which is airtight down to 5ft. in submersion.

Delkin Jellyfish Floating Waterproof Accessory Kit
Delkin Jellyfish Floating Waterproof Accessory Kit

This case has a removable wrist strap, waterproof camera clip and floatation ball, as well as a stealth bottle opener. This is another good one for those of us who are really outdoorsy and on or in the water a lot.


A Wristlet Case for Your Phone

This wrist wallet comes in a variety of colors and has a snap closure and removable strap. The genuine leather case measures 5 inches long x 1.25 inches thick x 3.75 inches wide, with 2 interior zipper pocket, 6 card slots and center cell phone slot. You can carry your iPhone, Blackberry, HTC or most any cell phone, so this is one of those handy cases that can double as your wallet if you don't carry a lot of cards or change.

A Neoprene Armband Case for Active People - for cell phones, iPODS, & MP3 players

Cellet Neo Armband (10 inches long) for Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S2 SGH-T989 (T-Mobile version), Galaxy S3/SGH-i77 (AT&T), Infuse 4G, HTC EVO 4G, Thunderbolt, Motorla Droid Bionic & Similar Sized Phones - Black
Cellet Neo Armband (10 inches long) for Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S2 SGH-T989 (T-Mobile version), Galaxy S3/SGH-i77 (AT&T), Infuse 4G, HTC EVO 4G, Thunderbolt, Motorla Droid Bionic & Similar Sized Phones - Black

You can use this comfortable armband at the gym or any outdoor activity. I jog a lot, so this case encourages me to bring my phone more often, which is great to have on longer runs ... just in case.

This case is compatible with lots of different phones.


Other Accessories for keeping your phone hanging around

You can use a lanyard like this (which comes in black and red too) to carry any number of valuables, including your phone, camera, keys and more, so you can grab and use them quickly and easily without worrying that they might slip out of your hands or pocket.

Just a few dollars can help you save hundreds by keeping your phone or other accessories secure.

Amzer Detachable Cell Phone Neck Lanyard
Amzer Detachable Cell Phone Neck Lanyard

This is also a good idea for use when traveling -- and a simple preventative measure against pickpocketing too.


© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

Where Do You Keep Your Cell Phone? - Comments are welcome.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      You're supposed to keep track of my cell phone, hon.

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 8 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      I've lost mine in my home or car. Hubby loses one every few years, permanently. Once at a Buffalo Bills game. Chance of Recovery 0%. :D 5star Fav.

    • Twmarsh profile image

      Twmarsh 8 years ago

      You have got some great ideas and tips here. I lost my cell just once, and once is enough, not a lot of fun. Thanks for this five star lens!

    • draik profile image

      draik 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining Shopping Online Group. Your lens was added to our feature module and it will appear randomly.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      I tossed mine in the washing machine in a pocket of my bathrobe (which I decided at the last minute to throw in with the rest of the laundry) and totally ruined it. The part I hated the most was re-entering all the contacts - arrrgh! So the article on backup was of great interest to me! This is a very nice lens with lots of great information.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 8 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Everyone looks at me strangely, like I'm crazy, when I tell don't I don't have a cell phone.....But your Top 10 Worst Places To Lose Your Cell Phone can apply to my watches that I keep losing....and people look at me strangely because I wear these goofy kid's cereal watches!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      Great lens! I didn't know about the site you mention in your first tip, I'll definitely have to bookmark that. Lensrolled you to my Samsung Glyde lens!

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      great advice :-)

    • profile image

      Sojourn 8 years ago

      I keep my cell phone in my purse or on my desk at work. That's it. The only two places the phone is allowed anymore. I've lost one permanently and lost one for several hours. Oh, it's also used as my alarm clock so at night it's next to my bed. Hysterical lens but also with handy tips!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      [in reply to ChineseKitesforKids] Me too! I'm what you might call anal when it comes to being organized, but there are a few things I'm constantly hunting for, with that momentary panic that goes along with thinking you've lost (insert object) again. My cell phone is one. My small digital camera is another. And my Search & Rescue pager. I guess I just have an issue with gadgets. I never lose gloves, but I think I'd better have all my electronics permanently attached to me somehow.

    • Louise0711 profile image

      Louise0711 7 years ago

      I am always losing things including my phone. Great lens. I will try to take on board some of the tips!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've just bought trackit stickers and saved where's my to my favourites. This is after losing my phone 5 times in 3 years. 2 have come back to me. The rest never to be seen again.

    • profile image

      paulmattus 7 years ago

      Hello here, I've just ordered cell phone lanyard from Mother Ducker. They are looking good and stylish and the main thing is: it will help me not to lose my cell phone again.

      Just bought this one:

      I found image of it here at Flickr:

      That's my favourite but there are many more that looks really good. Tough job to choose one.

      Hope this tip will help someone.

    • worldbuilder lm profile image

      worldbuilder lm 7 years ago

      I would have to go into mourning if I lost my BlackBerry. I've been lucky and have never lost my cell phone for more than a few minutes, thank God. However, I do regularly lose my mind...

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Oh the stories I could tell you! Blessed by an angel today ( )

    • FunGifts4All profile image

      FunGifts4All 7 years ago

      Nice lens and great tips.

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 7 years ago

      My cousins are always losing their cells. I think I will send them the link to this lens as a hint. You've got some perfect tips, great job!

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 7 years ago

      It's good to know that if I lose my phone, the phone company still has my data.

      OK, it's also a little creepy. But the convenience factor is worth it. Thanks!

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