WFMW-How to Find Your Car in a Parking Lot

Today's WFMW is, perhaps, a small glimpse into an ordinary day of being me. 

But, people, I am not proud and I'm happy to pass along a few tips for finding your lost car. Or to be more precise, the whereabouts of the car you parked, but forgot where, because you were totally engrossed in Target's red-ticketed clearance section for well over an hour.

Not that I would know about that. It's just a for example.

First off, park in the same space every time  you visit your regular stores. This does not mean drive the wrong way down an aisle and cut in front of the elderly gentleman who has been patiently waiting for his spot to open up. *You know who you are.* If your spot is taken, park in the same row every time.

But if you forget, and you have a key fob for your car on your keychain, press the alarm key. It works every time. (warning: You will be stared at, but you won't have to walk home.)

Thank you for joining me for WFMW! {You can read the guidelines here.}

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Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Ok, my friend - this one cracks me up!! And to think...we're still young. What will happen when we're old. :)

Kristi_runwatch said...

LOL - oh, that's funny. Been there! I like it when my 3 yo asks me where our car is and I act casual as though we are walking right toward it.

Hoosier Homemade said...

Funny! I have actually used my alarm before, and yes I do park in the same row, most of the time, but out of habit more than anything :)
Thanks for hosting!

Sharon said...

Sadly, I've had to use the Car Alarm technique. Humiliating for sure, but very effective.

Unfortunately, I've also learned that this technique only works when you have the right set of keys. I spent 30 minutes walking through the parking lot looking for my car, until I finally remembered that I had borrowed my mom's car.

Yeah, I'm good like that.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I try to always park near a cart return, helps with returning the cart and at least narrows down the potential places to look for my car!

melaniet42 said...

I'm with you on the key fob alarm and parking in the same place each time! When I park somewhere long-term, like the airport, I use my cell phone camera to take a picture of the parking spot number and the section, so after a week long trip, we can find the car. Because we've NEVER spent an hour looking floor to floor on a garage for our car after a vacation. Not us. Never.

Kara@ Creations by Kara said...

Unfortunately I know all too well what it feels like to wander aimlessly in a parking lot looking for my car. Makes ya feel like such a dufus! Another tip I use is to take my 5 year old with me. He always remembers where we parked. ;)

Patsy said...

I am not at all ashamed to say I use the alarm to find my car at least every third trip to the store.

Lisa Anne said...

LMAO. I so need these tips. I'm always losing my car. I get so excited at the though of actually going to the store that I park and have not idea where I even parked. The alarm thing never works for me cause i'm usually in a huge parking lot.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one losing my car. LOL

Alea said...

LOL! And there is the added benefit of embarassing your teens, ensuring that in the future THEY will remember where you parked the car!

e-Mom said...

LOL, a very funny post! I like to park in the same row/spot at my regular stores too. Works for me!

Happy WFMW! :~D

e-Mom @ Susannah's Aprons

JanMary said...

I use the camera on my phono to take a picture of the row number or letter or level of where I am parking somewhere new!

Justbeingamum said...

That is great, I always worry about losing the car, so I do try to park in the same row every time, but it doesn't always work.
Lets face it we have to many other things on our mind to worry about where we parked the car.

SJL~ said...

We did that this past Christmas when we spent the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We were there all day and everyone was tired, so nobody wanted to spend anymore time wandering around the parking lot. I told hubby, "Hit the panic button" He looked at me like I was crazy, but did it. We found the van in no time!

The Happy Housewife said...

Ha! I do the same thing! Pathetic isn't it! Can't wait until we are old!

Stephanie said...

My 1 & 1/2 year old always seems to hit the alarm button on my key chain... it's the red one. So I, sadly, am used to being stared at. Or at least I like to think that is the reason I'm being stared could be something else. This made me laugh this morning. Thanks

se7en said...

I would never in a million years have thought of this!!! I am about 59 and a half million weeks pregnant (I am not kidding - this kid has forgotten to be born!!!) and for the last three months every time I get in the car the "bump" hoots the hooter about five times before we settle in. At which stage the security guards in the garage always dash over to check we are ok... "FINE thank-you!!!"

Melissa said...

We've seen people using the car-alarm technique, too. Our car has an antenna in the back, so we use an orange star-shaped antenna topper to help us find the car.

In the mid-80s, though, I drove a huge old Cadillac. (I'd bought it used for $500 and spent far more than that on repairs. Then I replaced it with a Pinto, but that's another story.) It was easy to find in a parking lot because the tail stuck out about two feet past any other car!

Teri Lynne said...

As soon as I saw the title I thought "the alarm button"!! Too funny ... I so do this. Embarrasses my daughter sometimes but this one works for me too!

Amy Lynn said...

Our iPhones have an app called "park me" that puts a pindrop EXACTLY on the map where the car is, and then takes a picture of it in the spot. LOL.

Erin @ Closing Time said...

Great tip! Also, for those who have an iPhone, there is an app that helps you find your car. I think you set it when you park via GPS, and it guides you back! (Not sure exactly, since I don't have an iPhone...but I've heard about it).

jennifertobler said...

When my husband leaves his car at the airport for a few days while traveling, he takes a picture with his phone of the parking sign with the lot # and row #. So when he gets back, he can look at the picture and know right where the car is!

Stefany said...

Yep, I have been known to set off the alarm too. :)

Rebecca said...

My mom-in-law tied a bright-colored ribbon to her antenna. Now, I'm not saying I'm ready to employ that idea yet...but maybe when I go over the hill, that will be the one to work for me. For now, yup, the alarm does the trick. And I used to have a Chick-fil-A cow on my antenna, which I'm sure you would condone.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Bad thing is, I had to do this BEFORE I ever had kids.

Amy said...

I thought I was the only one who used my keychain alarm to find my car-- LOL!

grannyann said...

Can't wait to read all the ideas.

Sarah said...

On a similar note, a friend of mine travels weekly, and therefore weekly has a different rental car. He was forgetting what kind of car he had, which makes it that much harder to find. I suggested he snap a quick pic with his phone. You could probably do that for your spot too.

Christy said...

My car doesn't have a panic button on the fob :( Most of the time I do okay in store parking lots... Disney is another matter! I have used the idea of taking a picture of the lot and row # there, though... works quite nicely!

Real Life Sarah said...

Oh, this is so me! Sometimes I make a voice note in my BlackBerry to tell me where the car is!

Anonymous said...

I don't always park in the same place each time but I always write the number and aproximately how many caars spaces from the end on my shopping list. If I don't misplace my shopping list "another story" then I usually can come close and have an idea where I should be going.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I have lost my car too many times to count. One of these days, I'll have to post my story about actually having to get a security guard to HELP ME FIND MY CAR! Soooo embarrassing!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Hee, hee! Not a good feeling when that happens! I do tend to park in the same row at the stores I go to so I usually do alright!

Chief said...

If it's dark, I flash my lights by locking and unlocking the doors. I have used the alarm many times!

Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy said...

LOL, I've actually contemplated doing that before! :) But found my vehicle before that point. My WFMW is how to fold a fitted sheet.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...


And here I thought I was the only one! I also do this at night when it is dark and I am alone. My goal is to scare the bejeebers out of anyone who may be hiding in the back of my SUV waiting to strike.

Is that paranoid? Or clever?

I haven't decided yet...


Amy McBride said...

I have to admit I lose my car in parking lots quite often and have used that trick. If it is dark sometimes I use the remote to just flash the lights.

The worst incident I ever had losing the car in a parking lot was when we were at Sea World and that was before we had a car with an alarm button. We had to wait until almost all the cars were gone before we could find it. It took almost an hour for enough people to clear out. The kids were tired, everyone was cranky... It was not a fun experience.

Britta said...

I came out of the mall with my nephew (then 7 or so), completely lost, couldn't remember where we parked and my nephew said: it's ok i remember you parked next to a white pick up..uhm yeah that helps..thanks : P

Raise Them Up said...

My grandfather used to have this great big wad of aluminum foil on the end of his antena! That was in the days when the antenas stuck straight up and were pretty tall. It used to crack us up!!

Anonymous said...

I always park in the row that is directly infront of the exit door. So when I walk out of the store, if I keep walking eventually I will get to my car - even if it means that I'm the last car on that row.

rachelizabeth said...

I do that, but I never thought of it as a way to find my car. I just do it out of habit. I also try ot always park next to a cart return. That way I'm not running all over the lot looking for a place to return the cart while my kiddos are waiting in the car. In addition, the carts returns DO make a good landmark for finding the car!

Hot Deals said...

i also don't like to wait my kids for a long time!! so i parked my car where i find a way immediately.