Houses as memory palaces - bad idea?


I have a potential memory palace issue I want to see if anyone else has dealt with. I have built several memory palaces around childhood homes. Growing up my parents were split and I lived in both homes, and my Dad and I built and lived in 3 different houses. Then I have my own apartments I’ve lived in and friends houses that I frequented. A lot of things I’ve memorized don’t need to be chronological or orderly so I use these more like roman rooms than a journey.

The nice thing is houses have natural breaks (rooms, areas, etc) that I can use to categorize information. Additionally I can get 100-500+ loci per house and I have 10 or more houses I am quite familiar with. So that’s a lot of Loci I have developed.

My problem is houses all have very similar items: Dining table - tv- couch- stove- etc.
I have only loaded one house so far with info. My concern is as I load more some of the info may blend together on common items. Granted, every house has a different dining table ( though houses I have moved to we have taken the same furniture with).

Has anyone had any issues remembering items that blend together in over done loci (even in different palaces)? Any possible solutions or do I just need to jump in and see how my mind does?

(Silvio B.) #2

I’ve never had any problems with that, even with very similar furniture. But I can see your point.

Yes :slight_smile: The more you practice, the more you see what works for you. Trial and error is part of learning memory techniques. Don’t give up when you encounter a problem, just try a different approach or technique :slight_smile:


I think an important (and often overlooked) aspect of the memory palace is it uses your sense of being there. I have a system that uses various elements of restaurants and hotels, including registration desk, bathrooms, etc. One bathroom looks pretty much like another, but my sense of being in this hotel versus that one does not get confused.


I think this is a very good point. The reason why memory journeys are so powerful is our innate ability to know where we are and how to get places. In real life I never get confused as to which dining table I am sitting at or what bathroom I am in. you’re always aware of your greater environment (adjacent rooms, house, building, city, state, etc)
Good point.


Loci’s should not look too much the same. Otherwise we could jsut use a very long staircase and place an phantasma on each level of that staircase. That would be just like learning everything in order without using memory palace.


Don’t just focus on 1 loci at a time.
Do that, but then also take some time to focus on an area, or a room, and how all those loci interracts together, or at least, the feel they give you by being next to another.

So if you have the same table in 2 houses, but in one there’s mario, next to the sink in house 1 with Trump in it;
Versus, the same table with Luigi on it, but next to the sink of House 2 with a Nun in it…

Well, yeah, the tables alone would be confusing to isolate, but the Mario-Trump combo versus Luigi-Nun combo would be much easier not to mix-up :slight_smile:


When I tried to make a guesthouse I visited a couple of times into a palace I got confused because every room was the same colour and had the same furnitiure. Even when I had a “blue print” of where furniture should be I still had problems with recall.

I use the house I live in with 100 loci which I know really well and have no problems. When I use locations that are very new or I have stayed in for a short period I need to make it more varied and vivid. For instance, a TV which is angry and will try and eat you in the Harry Potter room. If a room is a theme from a show that will add body to the location. Hope this helps.

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(ron arnett) #8

Hey, it’s your memory. Do what you want with it. Change the color of the table or the size. Put a sculpture on it or a pet from the house in question.

Do anything you want to make one loci different in a meaningful, obvious way from another similar loci. Just make sure your change is so vivid you don’t forget what the new look for the old table is. Every refrigerator looks pretty much the same as another. But not every refrigerator is on fire or upside down or has a naked woman leaning against it.

There are no memory police going to come around and say…that isn’t what the table or chair or whatever really looked like, you are changing things just to make it easy for yourself…

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(zahra) #9

فانتوم چیه؟

(Josh Cohen) #10

Are you referring to the word “phantasma”? I think it means “image” there.

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(zahra) #11


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I may be off-base, but it sounds as if you aren’t using memory palaces for distinct categories of information. For example, you know that House A is used for world leaders, House B for Best Picture winners, etc. Because if you know which memory palace you’re in, you’re not likely to suddenly stumble across information from another house.

But if you’re saying that the rooms and furniture are too similar within the same house, then either a) you’re overlooking key differences, or b) your memory palace is a generic furniture showroom. :slight_smile: Because it’s unlikely any human beings would live in a space with identical furniture in various rooms. But, yes, as has been said, you can adjust the furniture, wall color, lighting, floor coverings, ceiling height—whatever you want—however you see fit.

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