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How to Memorize a List of Items

Being able to recall a list of items from memory is something that appears impressive. But it isn't that difficult. All you need to do is learn a simple memory technique.

Almost everyone who is able to memorize large lists of items using a technique, so this isn't cheating!

The Memory Technique

In order to memorize the list, you need to attach it to something that you already have in your memory. The easiest thing is simply a route that you've walked or driven a long. Along this route, you need to pick out 10 objects or landmarks.

For example, if you were walking along the street, there might be a large tree in someone's garden, then a postbox, then a sign to another street. Pick out 10 of these.

Attaching the items to your Memory Route

Now, when you are given a list of items, take the first item and mentally mix it will the image of the first item on your route. For example, if the first item is "rope" and the first place on your route is the grass outside your house, you could imagine the rope as a snake weaving through the grass.

To memorize the list of items effectively, you have to be imaginative in how you combine the items with the places on your route.

A major benefit of this technique (and one that adds to the impressive nature of it) is that you can also remember the items backwards. Just imagine walking back through your route.

You can also scale the technique up - once you are comfortable memorizing 10 items, try memorizing 50 items... or even memorizing 100 items!

Use all of your senses

Don't just think about memory as something you "see". The more senses that you use (also hearing, smell, touch and taste) the easier it will be to recall.

Test Time!

Once you have your route ready, try memorizing these 10 items in under 2 minutes. Wait another 2 minutes, then write them all down.