Managing car keys/fobs

ratherbesewingApril 3, 2014

We are a family of 4 with 4 vehicles. The kids will be home soon from college and I need to come up with a way to organize the car key situation. Hopefully, once schedules are known, we will be able to coordinate the evening parking so that the first one out in the AM will not involve moving vehicles (probably a lofty goal). Can anyone offer a suggestion or their system? I am hoping to avoid running thru the house searching kids rooms to locate keys to move a car.

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Fortunately we have a driveway where 4 cars can park with no one behind them. Don't mistake it for a 4 car garage, only in my dreams. lol.

But what I do is keep a little bowl in the kitchen cabinet with extra keys to all the vehicles in it. We're always using them for one thing or another, and it's a good idea if you were to lock your key in your car.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:46AM
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We have 4 cars. We have the cars arranged most of the time so no one has to move another car but it doesn't always work that way. We keep extra keys in a desk.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:27AM
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We make the kids park in the street unless it will be snowing and the plows will be driving by.

If they are home with you, they come in late, and never remember to put their keys where you can find them. Then you are scrambling, late for work, trying to talk to a mummy about where their keys are so you can move their car!

In fact, when DD1 was staying with us for a recent extended stay between school and work, we only had 2 rules. One was not to park in the driveway. Other involved her not eating what I was planning to take for my lunch LOL.

And with new smart keys, it is expensive to have an extra set just for standby.

If they can't park on the street, then in my experience, it will take a lot of management by you to get them to put their keys where you can find them in the morning.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:42AM
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Question- why does it have to be you who has to figure out the solution? Is it really only your problem? Not trying to start anything, just asking you to think about letting the creators of the 'problem' solve it.
My parents had rules. They left for work at 7AM if I didn't want to be awakened at 6:45 to go out and move a car I had left blocking theirs then I didn't.
Also, won't they be more receptive to the solution if they come up with it? With my tweens at home, and my twenty year old interns at work, I find 'I have an issue with this, what do you suggest is an alternate approach" a lot more effective then "I have a problem, here is the solution I came up with please do this."
Tell them what you need, ask them to figure out how to make it happen. See what happens....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:09AM
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If I'm not mistaken, you're asking us about keys specifically, not about how to manage the cars in the driveway. Why not just hang 4 hooks by the back door (or whatever door everyone uses) for the 4 sets of keys? That's kind of what we do here, although we have only 2 cars. The keys are ALWAYS by the door so there's no searching for them.

You could even be cute about it and put a picture of each car above the appropriate hook, or color code the hooks according to the color of the car.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:18AM
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In my opinion, keys should never go further into the house than a few feet from the entry door.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Either way, keys or parking, things become an issue when one car has to park behind the other. We also have four cars,and three drivers in our home.

Someone always has the potential to be blocked in. I have three of the four cars that we are currently using on my key chain. It will be a matter of moving one car into the street to get my car.

As soon as we can, we do start parking in front of the house which alleviates the problem.

I think it is more trouble constantly juggling cars. My daughter is more spontaneous and comes and goes more often than we do. To me it's just easier to move her car in the morning. I like to be early and so Im not one to rush around and feel I will be late if I move a car. Also, it's easy to just look out the window and see who is parked where.

I agree to have spare keys in a common area, Kids, (or young adults) however might not put them back, or leave them in a different pocketbook etc so extra, extra spare keys are very helpful. Just sayin'.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:40AM
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We have a board with enough shaker pegs just inside the door we use for vehicle keys. It really helps me since I'm a bit distracted sometimes and forget where I have set down my keys. We also have spare keys in the kitchen junk drawer.

I agree that the alternative to remembering to leave the keys in the appropriate spot is getting woken up.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:50AM
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This is something I would have never thought of/dealt with LOL. Only the two of us and two vehicles. Our cars are always kept in the garage and one smart thing we did when building was to have a "turn around" added when we had our driveway put in. Our driveway comes uphill. To the left side there is a little additional area where you can pull into and turn your car around. It's also a good place for an additional car to park. We are in a somewhat rural area (not to mention that our driveway is a ways from the road), and cars do not park on the street.

But back to the keys questions - I agree with keeping keys close to the entry. Coming through the garage door an on into the kitchen, we have a hoosier cabinet on that wall. Spare keys are kept in an upper area of the cabinet. Hubby usually places his keys on the cabinet counter area. My keys always go in my purse, but I usually have it sitting on a little child size chair in that same area. It's all right there on the way in/out the door.

This thread has made me think of a question. . . I'll start a new thread for that.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:51AM
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We have a keyhook in the kitchen, just a few feet from the backdoor, and we insist that all carkeys are hung there. They've forgotten occasionally, but we always let it be known that it was a mistake they shouldn't repeat, so they take it pretty seriously.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:49AM
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We have hooks in our mudroom where we keep all of our keys. Our cars each came with two sets of keys so the spare keys are always on the hooks. My kids are not yet old enough to drive (next year will be my first one!) but I'm hopeful that since they have grown up using the hooks for keys, they will be somewhat trained to continue using it once they start driving so we aren't having to chase them down to find keys. However, that wouldn't solve the problem of having to move cars every morning, it only means we don't usually have to look for someone's keys.

We currently do have a bit of a scramble as dh just bought a new car but hasn't gotten rid of his old car. Our driveway is short but wide, so we can fit two cars across but to park a car behind one, the butt of the car sticks out a wee bit. While we could park on the street, our street is narrow with no curb. There are only two other driveways on our street (it's a dead end) so we don't get much through traffic, but dh continues to pull his car in behind the other two every night. Several times now he has had to move his car in the morning if I leave before him. So it will be interesting to see how this all works out if/when we have a third car permanently for the kids to use.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Here's where I keep my keys: in my pocketbook, in the pocket of whatever coat I wore last, hanging in the outside lock, under the bag of groceries I brought in, on the seat of the car (thank heavens for spares), on the powder room sink (had to pee so bad!), and -- rarely -- in the basket by the back door which is where they are supposed to be.

When everyone was home, the kids parked in the street and were in charge of their own keys.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:07AM
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We have three cars for two of us. Two cars have remote keys so those keys are left buried in my purse, always. Robert's new 'baby' needs a key. We are busy retraining ourselves how to use a key but it's still kept in my purse.

Car parking is a strategy here when we host. We can park up to 12 cars but we need an attendant to direct where to park. Kids who park without thinking pay the price. I specialize in talking to Mummies. I can wake the dead if needed.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:03PM
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OP here...I thought this was such a simple question. I read some responses feeling like a over-managing mother :0. I honestly was curious how some people handle the jumble of keys. I park 2 cars in the garage and 2 sit in the driveway--no parking on the street overnight. Extra key sets aren't possible with those super expensive key fobs. Hooks for each set of cars sounds like a plan. Thanks for your ideas.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:01PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I know rather be sewing has checked in but needed to throw in my 2 cents worth! We have a key hook thingy hanging inside a cabinet door at my desk in the kitchen. The extra keys are all out of sight that way. It concerns me that some of you have keys hanging out in the open. I would be worried that a set would go missing that way.

I have tried to use the inside of the cabinet doors at my desk as a way to stay organized. Schedules, phone lists, etc are tacked up out of sight but easily accessed there.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:15PM
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We have a basket on a table in the foyer. The keys always go there. We always know where they are in an emergency. It's a great habit to have and I've done it most of my life. Funny, even when friends come over that's where they throw their keys.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:15PM
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Tannatonk, my parents have always had a plaque with four hooks in the same place in their kitchen for the last 48 years where they keep keys. I got in the habit when I was a teen driver using the hooks and carried that same method into my own home. And still to this day, when I visit my parents, I put my own keys on their kitchen hook...always know where they are when I'm ready to leave!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:45PM
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We will swap cars at dinner time depending on who needs to leave earlier in the morning. Many days we leave around the same time. We also have 3 cars for 2 people. If I want to take the Mustang out--which is usually parked in the back, we have to do a complete musical cars, which involves parking on the street.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:28PM
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I didn't bother reading the other responses - we are in the same position as you with four people and four cars.

Right inside our front door is a table with a basket and all keys must be put in there which they are. My DH and sons know that I don't mind moving one car but I won't move two of them. (Our driveway is long enough that it will fit three in a row) and they know which days I leave early (7 am) and they know if they don't want me to wake them up they had better leave my car free.

The rest of it is a free for-all between my sons and my DH and they know to leave me out of it..

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:26PM
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