How to Memorize Pretty Much Anything

Today we will focus on mental mapping, which is perhaps the overarching principle of employing different types of memory techniques. The following 4 steps are part of two-time USA Memory Champion, Ron White’s memory training course:

1. Select 5 rooms in your home or office.

2. In each room, number 5 large items. Number these items 1-25. The first item in the first room contains items one through five, the second room has items six though ten, the third room has numbers eleven through fifteen, and so on.

For example: 

Bedroom: 1) desk, 2) bed, 3) TV, 4) dresser, 5) Computer 

Bathroom: 6) Toilet, 7) window, 8) shower, 9) sink, 10) towel rack…etc.

Remember, this is just an example. You want to select the pieces of furniture in the way they flow around your particular room.

3. Practice saying these pieces of furniture and their corresponding numbers over and over until it becomes second nature to say them forwards or backwards. We will refer to these pieces of furniture as “files.”

4. Now whenever you wish you to recall something, turn it into a picture and imagine it interacting with this piece of furniture.

So, say you want to memorize all of the Super Bowl champions. Let’s start with the first 10 winners.
Your list would look like this:

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New York Jets
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Baltimore Colts
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Miami Dolphins
8. Miami Dolphins
9. Pittsburg Stealers
10. Pittsburg Stealers

First, you must select your files (pieces of furniture or home d├ęcor) and memorize them.

The next step is to turn whatever you desire to recall into a memorable mental image. When dealing with teams, it is easy to turn them into mental images. For example, for the Green Bay Packers you could imagine someone packing. The Jets-an airplane jet of course! For the Chiefs, you could imagine a Native American chief. For the Colts, you would picture a horse, and so on.
Now we must link the images with the items in the room you have chosen. Let’s say you chose your bedroom. Imagine someone packing up a box on top of your desk to remember Super Bowl winner number 1, the Green Bay Packers. Next, for file number 2 imagine someone packing a box on top of your bed. File number 3 could be a jet crashing into your TV set. File number 4 could involve you opening up your closet and seeing a Native American Chief standing there. You would repeat this process with all the teams.

Ron White suggests selecting 5 items for each room. Here is his reasoning:

“The rationalization of 5 in a room, is that if you want to know what the 15th Superbowl winner was, it might take a minute to figure it out if you had 4 files in one room, 6 in another, and 9 in another. However, if there are 5 in a room, it is very easy. All you need to do is mentally jump to the 15th file in your home, or the last item in your third room, and you will see it getting raided by bandits, and this tells you the Oakland Raiders won Super Bowl 15.”


When you want remember the entire list of teams, you perform a mental walk through of your home, imagining yourself looking at each piece of furniture-and its matching team-as you pass from room to room.

The more ridiculous, unique, and interactive your mental images are, the easier it will be to remember them.

Try it out and see how much you can remember!

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