The Classical Room System

Before moving on to two of the more major Peg systems, you shall have a light and easy day's work with a simple little Room system.

In the section dealing with the history of memory, I mentioned that the Romans accepted without question the theoretical ideas of memory introduced by the Greeks. I added that one of their major contributions was the introduction and development of memory systems.

One of their most popular systems made use of objects in a room. Such a system is easily constructed. Try to imagine an enormous room with a door. Now fill this room with as many items of furniture and other objects as you wish—each item of furniture will serve as a link word. Don't make a mental rubbish-dump of it, though! Your objects should be very precisely ordered.

For example, you may decide to start on the immediate right of the door as you enter the room, placing there a finely carved coffee-table, on which you might put anything from a statue to an attractive lamp. Next to this you could have an antique sofa, and so on.

You can see that the possibilities are almost limitless—but make sure that your objects are memorisable and that you can keep them mentally placed in the right order.

How is such a system used? When you are given a list of objects you wish to remember in order (it being not necessary to remember reverse, random, or numerical order), you simply associate the items to be remembered with the objects in your room. Suppose, for instance, that your first three items were 'oil', 'insect', and 'girl'. Using the examples given, the oil could be imagined flowing all over the coffee table, the insect could be enlarged and perched on top of the statue or could be flying around the lamp, and the girl could be draped seductively on the sofa!

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