03 July 2008

Never lose your car in store parking lots again

Rebecca, my kids and I thank you. I'm terrible about "losing" my car.

I hope I'm not the only one who comes out of a store and thinks, "where did I park?" It's bad enough when you're by yourself, but when you have children that you've just dragged through a store, it's even worse. So I came up with a plan--I choose a favorite parking row at each store and ALWAYS park there. It's really not worth driving around looking for a closer parking spot and then having to search for your car when you leave. Just park in that row and get in & out!

This is especially crucial for me to do at the mall--more than once I've walked through the entire mall to get to the exit I thought I was parked at, only to realize I was actually on the other side and have to walk all the way back. Not much fun with tired, cranky kids! So now I just pick a row (or a mall entrance) and I know where to go!

Related: Park your car near the grocery shopping cart return area

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I tend to use the camera in my phone to take a shot of the row number/location, then if I forget I've got a handy reminder with me!

I usually do this at the mall out of habit now and not really thinking about it. I started doing it right after I got a new car because I was just sure I'd forget what vehicle I drove there in. lol.

I agree with Dave - using a cameraphone to take a picture of the row/store/entrance where you parked is great for helping you remember where you parked - not only because it gives you a reminder, but the very act of taking the picture helps my mind focus on remembering where I parked when it might usually gloss over the surroundings. I find many times after taking the picture, I don't even need to look at it (much like the process of creating a cheat-sheet for a test removes the need to use it).

No matter what mall we go to, we park near Sears. Every mall has a Sears, and if it doesn't, it is pretty easy to remember where we park because we make a big deal about not finding the Sears!

I do the same thing ... makes life easier.

Another tip: in parking decks, particularly at hospitals and the like, if there's a below-ground parking deck, go to the lowest level. There's almost always a space near the elevator/stairs available.

I've done this so many times - great ideas here.

My husband travels a lot, and he always does this at the airport.

Has anyone ever used their key fob before? As in pushing the lock car button, which confirms with a single beep, or the alarm button? I've done it once or twice when I was desperate. *grin*

Personally, I walk away from my car. I then turn around and look back. I then say to myself 3 times a description of where its parked. Works like a charm.

I try to park in the same area too but sometimes (like at disneyland) you can't choose...so I make it a kind of game for my children. I say, "so, Goofy 3E, how are we going to remember that everyone?" It's amazing how clever everyone is in thinking of something. We often crack up at the ideas shared but BEST OF ALL, we always remember!! or at least one person does at the end of the day. As for Goofy 3E, my daughter says, "okay, so it's GOOFY if we don't remember that 3 and E are kind of the same as each other but written backwards." Does that make sense? Or one time, she said to remember "Mickey 5D", "Mom would turn absolutely Mickey if she had 5 daughters!" Sometimes the thought doesn't even make sense but just that fact makes it even more memorable.

One time I forgot to do this and my friend had to take us in her car and drive up and down the entire lot until we saw our car!! Not fun with small children and a stroller...

Oh, I forgot one more trick: at the mall, we try to look at a landmark and talk about it over and over to imprint it in our memories. i.e. "ok, there's a tall tree right next to the letter "N" in Nordstrom. walk straight down that aisle and we are on the left side...what side did i say? which letter?" Kind of silly, but it really does work. When we are looking for our car, the exact words always come to my head.

I agree with another parent, I use my key fob all the time. When I come out of any store, I keep pushing the lock button which makes my car honk/lights blink.
This will actually also work in a parking garage. I have been on the wrong floor of the garage and hit the fob repeatedly until I hear where my car is. It's a bit obnoxious but it works!!!

"Has anyone ever used their key fob before? As in pushing the lock car button, which confirms with a single beep, or the alarm button? I've done it once or twice when I was desperate. *grin*"

Oh yeah - echolocation has saved me more times than I can count!!

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