What happens when my memory palace is full?

(Christian) #1

I’ve made my first memory palace, my own house with 50 spots and 20 already occupied. Now I want to memorize a new list of things but the first 20 spots are already occupied! So how do I proceed now? I don’t want to lose the first 20 items and I don’t want to mix them up with other memory items! So does that mean that I need a new memory palace for each new list? Or maybe I have to search new location in the same memory palace? And what about a large list to memorize, let’s say 500 words!
Thanks for helping in advance…


You just find more locations… you can use google maps / street view if you run out of spaces that you visit frequently. This is here is one way to do a long list:


It’s actually easy to make 10 spots per room: each corner and wall (that gives eight), the ceiling for the ninth, and the floor for the tenth. If you have 10 rooms to go through, you already have 100 places.

(Christian) #4

Thanks for the answer. So I really use each memory locus only once? Or is it possible to use the same place for two or more memories? I mean imagine a medical study with a tenth of thousands of memories to store. Or is there a system to create an undefined number of loci?


Some people use different methods for these, like imagining the room in different environments, like on fire, or in water, or frozen in ice, etc. Others use different memory palaces, like 1-100 are in one building and 101-200 are in another building, etc. Many use a route across the city for 1000 or 10000 loci. It’s really up to the individual. Some people reuse routes to remember different information if they find they don’t confuse the two, but others don’t. As a beginner, I’d recommend repeating your memory palace route for different items to see what works for you. As a test, try a grocery list.

I doubt you’ll be needing to memorize an infinite list, so I’d just go up to what is needed if I were you.

(Christian) #6

Ok, thanks for this recomendations. I will try it out.


That depends on what you mean by memory. If you do a deck of cards and use one location per card you’re gonna need 52 loci. If on the other hand, you use a PAO system and thus place 3 cards per location you’ll only need 17 loci. If you consider the composite image of three cards multiple memories then… sure.

Also, not all information needs a palace forever. Say you want to learn a language and use a palace to drill some vocabulary quickly. After you’ve used said vocabulary a few times in conversation you won’t need the palace anymore and you can reuse the locations.

(Christian) #8

Thanks for that answer. I’m beginning to understand.

(Andreas Eriksson) #9

My first memory palace was 26 loci inside my apartment, for memorizing a deck of cards that I use for card magic. I then re-used it and expanded it for pi digits, and they don’t interfere with each other.
I can still recall the two cards or the 9 digits of pi on each of the 26 loci.
I also started with 6 digit images for pi and switched to 9, i.e I changed every image again!
I haven’t had any issues at all, but I’ve heard of “ghosting” images.

Edit: I should mention that the deck of cards was already very well rooted before i started using it for Pi, that probably helps. Otherwise you might get them mixed up.