Essentially, the method uses visualization and spatial memory to organize and store large amounts of information. You choose a familiar area and associate it with the items you need or want to recall later. It further engages the senses. In fact, the more senses you engage through the process, the better.
How to Use the Method of Loci
How does it work? It’s fairly simple.
Use the following steps to apply this mnemonic method to your life.
Step 1: Pick a place you are familiar with — somewhere you know well. For instance, you could use your apartment or home space to remember your grocery list.
Step 2: Associate each item on your list with a specific location in your familiar space. Do this in a logical order. Let’s say your list consists of eggs, milk, oranges, vegetable oil, sugar, and bananas. Imagine walking into your apartment or house. You open the door. Now imagine breaking the eggs open on the keyholder or shelf in your entranceway. Walk through to the next room and imagine pouring milk all over the floor by the doorway, and so on. Use a route that makes logical sense through your spatial area.
Step 3: Engage as many senses as possible through this process. Think about how gooey the eggs feel and how it feels and sounds as you crack them open one by one. Visualize yourself sliding through the milk mess on the floor. How does that feel? You can even imagine the smell of the milk here as well. Once you’ve slid through the milk, imagine throwing oranges at a target in the room. Feel the weight of each orange in your hand. And imagine the smell of the orange as you throw each one. You turn and walk into your bathroom. Visualize pouring vegetable oil into your hands and spreading it across the bathroom counter. You would continue down your list as you go through your spatial area — associating each space with an item and involving as many senses as you can. Try to think of the most outrageous scenarios — you’ll remember them better.
Step 4: These familiar spaces re-jog your memory. When you want to remember your grocery list, you simply imagine going through the familiar spatial area. You’ll be able to recall items easier, and you might even be surprised with the long lists or points for a certain speech that you can remember.
Try The Method of Loci Today
The Method of Loci has been used for thousands of years. And surprisingly, this method doesn’t only improve memory — but it has the potential to improve overall brain functioning. All it takes is practice!
Try this method next time you need to remember something — whether it be a grocery list or a big speech. Unleash your potential brain power. What can you remember?