Do One Thing

Keep Your Shopping List by—or on—the Door

That feeling when you wander into the kitchen and forget why you’re there? You’re not losing it—there’s actually science to explain why and how this happens. Walking through a doorway messes with your memory by essentially segmenting it into “before the doorway” and “after the doorway.” According to researchers, your brain doesn’t see the process of you getting up to grab a snack from the other room as one continuous event. It loses its ability to connect the “before” and the “after,” and thoughts and memories go MIA. (Weirdly enough, just imagining walking through a doorway has the same effect. Read the article—it’s fascinating.)

And if walking through one entryway has that effect, what happens when you realize you’re out of olive oil while making dinner and go through the whole next day before you try to remember it again? Takeout, that’s what. Our solve? Put a notepad or dry-erase board on the inside of your front door. Update it as you run out of things—like, the moment that happens—or think of items you need, and then rip off a sheet or take a picture with your phone on your way out. From then on, any chicken tikka masala ordering you do will be a decision, not a penance. Oh, and: You still have to remind yourself to go to the store.