A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Lost Something? a Guide to Finding Your Lost Items 

It’s everyone’s nightmare: you go along your day, innocent and happy, and then it hits you like a brick- where is my phone? It could also be your wallet, OV chipcard, keys, whatever. The point is, your day is ruined. But is all hope lost?

No! no matter what you lost (or where) there is still hope of finding it! Let this article be your guide in those dark times…

My tragic story

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and I (being the hardworking student that I am) headed to the library. Innocent and non-suspecting, I unlocked my bike and left the keys in the lock, as I usually do. I then went on my way, heading to the library. The thing is, my lock is a chain one, which is not built for holding in heavy key-chains. Admittedly, not my brightest moment. It was only when I arrived at the library and looked for the keys to lock my bike that I noticed they were gone.

Naturally, I went back the same path (5 times, honest to god), but to no use. The keys were gone. That’s when panic kicked in. My house keys were there, too (again, not my brightest moment). At that point, any hope for studying that day was lost. I went to all restaurants and cafes on the way to ask if someone found keys (no), asked by-passers (no) and went to the library and the police station (also no).

Just when I was about to, well, cry, a friend came to my rescue with some feel-better-chocolate and renewed energy. And that’s when the real hunt began…

Lost & Found websites

The first action to take is to go on the most popular lost & found websites: and you can filter your search to the area where you lost your item (i.e. Leiden) and look for it in the listed items.

Police? Not in Holland

When I lost my keys, many people suggested that I go to the police station for help. Now, like everyone, I prefer to avoid the police when possible. Not that I’m a criminal, god no, but it’s just a natural tendency, I guess. But. Really wanting my keys back, I gathered the courage went there. And that’s when they told me that they send all of the collected items to the Stadbouwhuis.

Bottom line– don’t bother.


Go to Stadsbouwhuis, where all the collected items from the police are brought (on a weekly basis, so no point in checking every day).

Address- Langegracht 72, 2312 NH Leiden
Opening times- Monday to Friday: 8.30 am – 5 pm

Facebook, be my savior!

Members in Facebook groups like “Leiden expats”, “Leiden housing”, et cetera sometimes post on found items, so you can try your luck there.


  1. Don’t leave your keys in your bike lock if it’s not made for it. Just don’t.
  2. That pictures of your belongings so that if you lose them you can prove ownership.
  3. Don’t panic.

As annoying as it is to lose something, there is still the hope of finding it, if you know how to look. I hope you find your lost item! On another note, if anyone sees a keychain with a green cube attached to it lying somewhere, please contact me 😉


~For more instructions on what to do if you lost (or found) something, go to


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This entry was posted on April 30, 2019 by in Leiden, Maya, Practical Stuff.

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