There isn’t a more commonly frustrating phenomenon than missing keys. It somehow happens over and over again without any thought or effort—then again, maybe that’s the problem. Minutes of frantic searching and worry are spent every single day looking for keys, and you’re already running late!
We can’t promise that you’ll never lose your keys again, but we’ve put together some clever solutions for keeping your keys findable. Losing keys can be a serious security breach, because they open the main barrier to all of your belongings. Keeping them in a safe and locatable place is a practice in home security.
Bulk Up and Stand Out
Consider adding some medium-to-large-sized keychains to your key ring, especially ones with bright colors or unusual shapes. This makes them stand out when they’re trying to hide on a messy table or in some cranny on the couch. Easier to spot means a shorter find time. This also gives you something unique to specifically look for when searching.
Many people opt for a lanyard rather than a bright keychain if they don’t want their keys to look too flashy. Most people aren’t using it to hang around their necks (though you could if you wanted to), but it still brings a noticeable element to your keychain. It also makes it easier to hang.
Give Them a Home
Whether you want a key box, key hooks, or a bowl, put something near your most frequently used entryway so that your keys can have a home. Even if they don’t find their way there every single time, at least you know where they should be; it’s a place to start looking. Placing them in the right place every time you come back home is a habit that you can build, and it’s a concrete thing that you or another household member can be reminded of.
Stop and Think
Every time you’re about to put your keys down, stop for a second and think about where you’re putting them. Is this someplace that you want your keys to sit? Will you remember it later? Might it get stolen or easily lost here? Is this where they should be? After quickly going through these questions, you might decide that it would be a better idea to reach over and put them in your bag instead, or clip them to your pants (if you have a carabiner on your keychain). It takes only a fraction of a second to run through these thoughts, and if you make it a habit to check yourself right before you leave your keys, you’ll find yourself losing them a lot less.
Putting personal information on things is always a tricky call. Obviously, you don’t want to put any information about the location of your home, the make of your car, etc. But some people like to put their phone number and maybe their name on a tag on their keychains so that if it ever is lost, someone who wants to return it to you can call your number.
These are just some basic practices for getting into good habits so that you’re boosting your everyday memory skills and keeping your keys easily locatable.