The Roman room method is a very well known mnemonic technique that finds its roots in the Roman times, where ancient Romans tried to develop their memories with the help of their rooms. In their minds they would place as many objects as they wanted (in their room) and tried to associate those objects with the things they had to remember. They could use a number of versions (of their rooms) for remembering various things. If they needed to remember some ten items they would use a simplified version of the room. If they needed to memorize much bigger lists or other things they would use a more advanced version with a lot of things inside that specific room. You could do the same.
When I talk about room it does not mean that there should be only one room. It can actually be a house or a palace or your cottage house that you could play in your mind with in order to remember something. I would recommend you starting with a small simplified version of your own room with some ten objects in it. Start from the entrance into your room and place their objects of your desire one by one. Some of the objects that might be there:
- Leather sofa
- Two antique type chairs
- A beautiful rocking chair
- Nice coffee table
- An ancient clock on the wall
- A golden dragon or a dog (statue)
- Awesome Turkish carpet in the middle
- A huge vase from the first century
- An expensive piano
You can make your own list. This is just an example for you to see what I have in mind by talking about placing various objects in your mind. When you have decided which things you want to have in your room, it is time to take a sheet of paper and a pencil (or colors) and paint the room of your dreams. This will help you to see the room clearer in your mind and you will always be able to remember the details of it by quickly looking at it. After finishing it put the picture in some safe place.
Now let us imagine that you need to remember 10 things:
- Water your flowers.
- Buy coffee.
- Clean your car.
- Pay for utilities.
- Telephone Jim.
- Write an essay.
- Put an ad in a local newspaper.
- Do the washing up.
- Leave some money for your kid.
- Water the plants in your garden.
I have put here whatever came to my mind, so don’t laugh too much from me. You start attaching those obligations to the things you have placed in your room. Let’s say you enter a room and you see you neighbor sitting on your leather sofa with your flowers in his lap and watering them. He looks very happy while performing the action and even does not notice you. As you actually enter the room you see a package of coffee right on one of your chairs open and your cat smelling the content of it. What you see next takes your breath away, your car (alive) sits in your rocking chair and swings and says to you:”So darling, when are you going to wash me?”
I do not want to continue, but will allow you to play with your imagination and finish the story. As you can see the process can be fun. It depends whether you want to make it that way or not. The method is pretty similar to a journey method and if you are able to organize things in your imaginary room in some orderly way it can be almost identical to the journey method. This method is good for developing both sides of your brains.
Read my previous post:
Why we forget information