How to Tell if Someone has Gone Through Your Stuff

by Anthony Oster

Imagine if you will, coming home from work and noticing that something is out of place. Perhaps your sweater is on the kitchen counter despite the fact that you remembered last seeing it tucked away in your room. The sense that your privacy and personal space have been violated can create distrust and suspicion among coworkers and roommates, writes psychologist Carl Pickhardt in, "Adolescence and Stealing from Family," published on the Psychology Today website. If you suspect someone has gone through your things, take basic steps to determine whether you are right.

Gathering the Facts

Arrange items in your room or office in a specific pattern. Align your books from largest to shortest or neatly fold your clothes before placing them in your dresser. Look for subtle variations, such as your shirts being ruffled or items moved from your desk. Documenting instances where it appears that your stuff has been rummaged through can be helpful, especially if you intend to report these actions to an authority or pursue legal action, writes Dave Crow, in his column, "Tenant Troubles: My Landlord Went Through My Closet," in the San Francisco Appeal.

Safeguarding Possessions

Whether you caught the perpetrator in the act or simply want to protect your belongings, taking the proper precaution to protect your valuables is a good habit. Lock jewelry, small electronics and other items in a small safe or lock box when you are away from your room. Password protect your phone, computer and other electronics. If possible, lock the door to your room or office.

Photo Credits

  • Jen Siska/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.