How Do I Organize… Keys?

how do i organize keys

One thing that seem to be floating around in almost any home I organize are keys! As people move, change jobs, buy and sell household goods, keys seem to accumulate and be tossed into random bins and drawers. Here are a few quick tips to help get them streamlined and organized.

  • Toss
    • First, gather up all of the keys that you can find. Test them out where you think they might work. If you find ones that are to old locks (i.e. you’ve had the locks changed) or to vehicles that were totaled or sold for scrap parts, go ahead and toss them. They don’t have a function and are just taking up space!
  • Return
    • If you find keys to old offices, to homes of friends or relatives that you no longer need, or to an item that you gave to someone you know, go ahead and send it their way. This will make their lives easier and yours, too.
  • Donate
    • For locks that come with keys that are no longer needed, go ahead and donate them. Perhaps you had a storage locker where a lock was required, and you no longer use it. Donate the lock + key so that someone else can use it. This is the same for combination locks. Just make sure that you include the combination!
  • Label
    • With the remaining keys that you’re keeping, label them! I’m a big fan of these key tags from Avery, since they are durable and easy to use, but you can use whatever you’d like. Clearly label all of the keys, from spare ones to your home and car, to the one for your bike lock, so that you will easily be able to identify them going forward.
  • Store
    • There are so many ways to store your remaining keys, but here are my two biggest tips:
      • Only keep the keys you use every day in your key bowl or on your key rack or console table. Store the rest in a place that is accessible but out of the way. This will make things feel much more streamlined and also help you to find your everyday keys more easily!
      • Use a binder clip to keep the rest of your keys organized. We use a large binder clip to store all of our spare keys. You can easily pop off the metal arm, slide keys on or off, and then reattach it. This way if you quickly need to get a spare key, you can grab the binder clip holder and go!

What about you? How are you keeping your keys organized? I’d love to hear! Also, please let me know if you have any other trouble items that you’d like tips on how to organize.

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