2 sets keys in 2 different places?

usafarmerNovember 8, 2007

I distrust my keyrack. More specifically, I distrust the fact that my first and backup sets of keys are in the same place. I went through a devastating loss of my primary set of keys, finding that my house front door that I was sure I had duplicated, existed nowhere, even though I was sure I had just made 4 copies when I installed it 2 months earlier. So I went through 6 weeks coming in through the garage because I couldn't get in the front door.

I thought I'd straightened it out, that I had a complete set of keys, only to find out my first set was still deficient. Now I've got a new idea. Have two different sets of keys in two different places, and use them on alternating days, to exercise the use of both sets to make sure they really are complete. I'm thinking of finding a box and labelling each, or even a box of jars and labelling the lids. Can anyone comment on this or report a better system?

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and use them on alternating days, to exercise the use of both sets to make sure they really are complete.

Can't you try each set out, when you first assemble it? I always test every key I have made, right away.

And, I carefully check each extra set I assemble (which I do right away). But I only need to do it once.

I've never had that problem, or at least not repeatedly. We changed one lock, and it took me less than a day to get all the "buddy" sets updated. Then I had to remember all the neighbors and the bldg super and my MIL, who had copies, and get them updated; that took a little more time (and as I think about it, I'm not sure my MIL's set is updated; I'll take the extra key w/ me and check her set against mine).

Because I have checked all the extra keys right away, I can just add them to the set without worrying about whether they work (because I know they work).

But once it was done, it was done. I don't need to keep using them over and over to be sure they're good.

I've never had a key stop working, unless there was something wrong w/ the cylinder itself, and then NO key would have worked in it. And I've never handed someone a tested set of "buddy" keys and had them not be able to use it.

I keep all the extra key sets in a tin in a drawer. The tin isn't labeled, but each set of keys is; I put a P-touch label on the key-chain fob, or I wrapped it around the ring itself. I keep my spare "buddy" sets in there, the keys to the fireproof box, the keys to my neighbors' apartments, and the extra copies I got of the key for the new cylinder. I think having labeled jars inside of a labeled box is overkill. Label the key ring, and dump them all in the same, safe, designated place.

I also have many more than a single set of keys.

I have my set, DH's set, and DD's set (pretty soon I'll need a set for DS). My MIL has a set; the building super has a set. Upstairs Neighbor has a set; Downstairs Neighbor has a set. I have two "buddy" sets that I give to people who come visit us, so they can come and go on their own.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:12AM
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I went ahead and created a separate box for the backup sets of keys. Sounds like you already are using a compartmented box in a drawer, that sounds like you are doing it the way that will surely work. I used a 12-pack box of canning jars, I used blue tape and pen to mark on the cardboard above the jars what the key was, then dropped the key into the canning jar. This certainly helped me sort out my keys, today I'll use just the backup keys when I leave the house, to test the keys. Using the backup keys will cause me to notice missing keys so I complete the set. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 11:15AM
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no, I'm not using a compartmented box in a drawer; I have a single tin, and everything goes in there.

Unless you count the label on the keys as a "compartment."

And it's not that it "WILL surely work"--it DOES work. When I need keys, I can find them.

And I think you should LABEL THE KEYS, not the containers. And you're not even labeling the container; you're labeling the space ABOVE the container!
Talk about a recipe for disaster--if those keys don't go right back in that jar--and in fact, if the jar ends up in another spot--you have no idea what the key is for.

The "what to label/ where to label it" idea is something I feel very strong about. You label the THING ITSELF, whenever possible. And you label the container itself. Labeling the shelf (or the outer box, in your situation) only is effective when you're trying to tell people not to put the wrong thing in that spot.

Actually, my vote would be, label the key ring, and nothing else.

Can't you just set your backup keys next to the real set, and count them off? That will tell you whether one is missing faster and more accurately than using the spare set will.

Bcs, will you go to every shed, barn, front or back door, etc., in a single day? I know I wouldn't.

It just feels like you're making this much more complicated than it needs to be.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 1:30PM
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OK, things aren't quite as bad as I wrote:
I put each key on a small ring with a label.
If something [like a labelled key on a ring] has a little cubbyhole just for it, if its missing, it shows up right away on inspection. If having all keys mixed in a box works for you, that's all you need. Me - I'm stressed, have ADD, involved in defending myself in a court case - I think I need that extra bit of a jar for each key. If I had just two rings, I'd carry keys around with me I didn't use for months. I have a carabiner and put on it just the keys I'm going to use that day. I really appreciate your help, talley_sue_nyc. I'm' definitely a guy who needs help before I lose my keys and then possibly my mind right after!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:26PM
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We never have keys on a key rack. Too many fix-it guys and neighborhood kids in our house for that.

We always get all of our doors done so that only a single key is needed. It can be a bit pricey at times, but it's well worth it to us to only deal with one house key for every enterance.

Our back-up keys are in an ugly 1970's green Tupperware cannister in a kitchen cabinet. It doesn't look like anything special. We purchased those inexpensive key rings which have room for you not write on a label. That makes it really easy to jot down what the key is for.

Other keys which are seldom needed, like the key for the bank lock box, are kept in a different location in the husband's office. We don't want to sort through those if we only need a vehicle or house key.

For us, the main thing which works is having as few of numbers of keys as possible. We purge the key container whenever something changes (usually a vehicle.)


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 3:29PM
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I use Gloria's method. All house and garage keys are the same. The DH & I each have a key for the two vehicles. Our son has a vehicle at university, and we have a spare key for that. I do have keys from 2 neighbors.

Our keyrings have the house/garage key, two car keys, and the DH has 2 other keys to places he needs to visit weekly.

All other keys live in a box - all are labeled, so there is no confusion. With the son away at university, I feel no need to carry that key. If he's locked out and it's an emergency, well, that's what our AAA is for. If it's not, he can wait the hour or so for one of us to get there.

I totally get the ADD issues, but I do think you're investing a bit too much time on key organization. Breathe deeply and trust that you'll be able to unlock the door! You will!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:51PM
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We recently bought a catr.l It came with four keys and two remotes,these electronic gadgets yoou press "click" and all doors open. DH and I each took one remote and two keys. I put the remote and one key on a keyring. And I put the other key on the ring on the keyring with my housekeys. I carry both sets of keys at all times, either in my coat pocket or my purse. NOwhere else. I used to hang my keys by the front door but other family members helped themselves to MY keys.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 5:59PM
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For years we have maintained a "master" set of keys in addition to the ones we carry. Any extras go there too. The case we have looks like a VHS cassette box, & I found it at the Container Store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Key Cassette Case

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 8:38PM
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