(or stop looking for shit that other people have lost)
Every mother needs a secret stash of her own. Not of chocolate, booze or fireman calendars, but of something much more precious...
THE SHIT THAT NOBODY ELSE PUTS BACK!
You know the drill- no matter how much scotch tape you have, or how many pairs of scissors, no matter how many times you remind and threaten and beg- those things wander away and never come back.
One Christmas I thought I was doing a brilliant thing- instead of candy and dvds, I filled my husbands stocking with a stash of his own- scissors and nail clippers and chapstick, ect. I told him 'now that you have your own you won't need to borrow mine and lose them'. Yeah that lasted a week. He lost his... then went on to lose mine as well.
Eventually I wised up. I bought ANOTHER stash. But this time I kept it a secret. The communal stuff is all there for him (and eventually the children) to use and lose, but whenever I need something I know I'll find it in my secret box.
I keep my own copies of these things hidden- nail clippers, stamps, a pen, chapstick, scissors, a calculator and a glue stick. It's generally a combination of office supplies and grooming/toiletry items, but it varies for everyone. The important thing is that it's something you need and can never find because someone else has borrowed it and not put it back.
Now the most important point.
NEVER LET THEM KNOW ABOUT THE SECRET STASH! Not the contents, not the whereabouts, nothing. It does not exist. When you need something you quietly grab it when nobody is looking and then put it back. Let them think you're using the same scissors as everybody else. Do not give into the whining and begging when they can't find their own. Tell them to keep looking. It's not your problem. Eventually if they have to keep wasting their time looking for their own scissors without you magically procuring them they might start putting them back.
Ha. Yeah right. But you can dream...