If you are unfamiliar with memory palaces, go ahead and read my post on them first!
It is inevitable in any memory palace user’s journey that they start to run low on places to put their images. For most users, they start with their house. Next they move on to other familiar places such as schools and past homes. Then they go to less familiar places such as local parks and public buildings.
This guide is going to focus on what you can do when you start to run out of locations you are familiar with.
Explore For Your Palaces
This is the first thing I believe you should do when you start running low. Get out of the house and go find somewhere. When looking for a location, make sure it is diverse and interesting. A house is going to be better than a parking garage because a house changes a lot from room to room, but a parking garage is pretty similar throughout the whole building.
The best areas to start out are public places that you have easy access to. In these places, you want to be able to see in most rooms and walk easily through the buildings. Some buildings that would be good to start out with are libraries, museums, and big stores. Just walk around in them and place your memories.
Some other good public places are parks and nature reserves. A plus for these places is they are very calming as well. In places like this, you may have to spread out your locations more. Even though these places are diverse, they are less diverse than something like a house or a building that changes fast. Place your locations at signs, benches, bridges, birdfeeders, distinct trees, playground equipment, water fountains, or anything else that is notable.
Make sure to actually get out of your house and do this! You will be surprised at how many places you can discover near you for storing your memories. Also, you will be astonished at all the places that you never knew were around you. If you are unsure where to look, just google: parks near me, museums near me, or stores near me. You will find a great list of places near you.
From experience and talking to other memory palace power users, I have learned that the most effective memory palaces are the ones where you can actually walk around and place the images. Yes, you can make a memory palace from a place in you recall. However, it is much more effective if you can actually walk around in these places because you are able to much more easily solidify the images.
One time I was storing two-hundred plus images, and I ran out of room in palaces that I had easy access to. So, I decided to use locations from my high school. I tried to imagine what the building looked like, and I could get the gist. But I had a lot of trouble remembering each location and placing the images there. Sometimes, I would find myself debating whether or not some desk was there or not, or whether or not there were closet doors in the hallway. When you have a palace, you want to be certain about the locations that you are storing images. Eventually, I was able to create the palace, but it took a lot of work. Additionally, I was not completely certain whether the locations I chose were accurate. When I finally walked through the building in person, I noticed that I misplaced some things and placed some things that did not even exist! Luckily I could easily correct these images, but it was a lot more difficult than it needed to be. I would have had a much easier time if I had just went to a local place, and then placed my images there while walking around.
As an added bonus, when you are walking around alone, deep in thought, you are in a much more effective state for memorizing information. You will probably go into “flow,” so you will find the memorizing to be much easier. Grab some green tea for added relaxation!
When You Can’t Walk Around
Now, I do acknowledge that it is not always possible or easy to walk around. For example, last year I was snowed in and looking to memorize some new things. Obviously, I could not get out the house and walk around some nearby places. So, I had to make do with what I had. I decided to use a familiar store that I went to a lot. To start, I imagined walking through the store on the journey I wanted to follow. Next, I kept on going over the journey until I was sure, I had gotten each significant location (it’s fine to miss insignificant ones). After that, I drew out the store and labeled each location along the journey. Then I went ahead and created images for each thing on my list and then placed them at each point along the journey. Now, this is never going to work perfectly, as you could have forgotten something, but this is as good as you can get when you cannot walk around somewhere.
A week later, when I went to the store, I made sure to go along my journey and imagine each thing at its location to really solidify the images. This last part is crucial. If you couldn’t get to that location for some reason, you will eventually need to revisit it if possible.
Now, these are the best options for creating more memory palaces after you have run out of obvious locations. In the future, I will cover some more complex options such as using video games for memory palaces, using television shows, using painting and your own drawings, and even creating your own memory palace from scratch. However, these are more complex things, and I choose to use them only in specific scenarios.
Thank you for reading, and if you have any question, just comment below!