How To: Never Lose Your Keys Again

It never fails: You’re running late, and right before you’re about to head out the door you realize you can’t find your keys. You search and search, and you finally find them buried in your purse—or worse, someplace weird like the freezer. If you’re constantly struggling to keep up with your keys, check out this list of proven strategies and solutions to help put an end to that frenzied, last-minute scavenger hunt.

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Paint Your Keys

Instructables via ttay24

One effective way never to lose your keys is to make them stand out, even in the dark of night. Swatch your keys with glow-in-the-dark paint and they’ll become much easier to see, especially when they’re all aglow in the front yard on a dark winter’s evening—or at the bottom of your crammed and chaotic gym bag.

Related: 8 Organizers for the Little Stuff You Always Lose

Get a Smaller Purse

You would think that the larger the purse, the easier it would be to keep it organized, but that’s usually not the case. If you’re constantly digging through your purse to find your keys, swapping it for a smaller bag may very well solve the problem. 

Related: 10 Best Ways to Spend $10 at Target

Digitally Track Your Keys

The tech world has tackled many of our everyday problems, and now it has come up with a way of keeping track of our belongings. If your keys (or any other easy-to-misplace items) are tagged with the handy little Tile and within a 100-foot range of your phone’s Bluetooth connection, you can easily find them. Even if the tagged keys are out of range, as long as the Tile app has been running in the background, your phone will remember where they were last seen. And if you can’t find your phone, just double press a Tile to make your phone ring. Available on Amazon; $44.99 for two. 

Related: 50 Great Gadgets for a Smarter Home

Have a Place for Everything

One of the top reasons we have trouble finding things in our home or at the office is that we ignore the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” To keep track of your keys (or your wallet, phone, or anything else important), have a designated spot for each item. For your keys, for instance, that spot could be a hook by the door, a decorative dish on an end table, or a magnet attached to a light switch right by the front door.

Related: Start Fresh: 10 Essentials for an Organized Entryway

Make Your Keys Bigger

If you carry just a few keys instead of a big set, they can be more difficult to find, especially when they settle into the crevices of the couch or your office chair. Make it easier on yourself by supersizing your keys with a colorful and fuzzy pom-pom or a decorative key chain. Not only will your keys be more visible, but they’ll also add a dash of pizzazz to your morning routine.

Related: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Beat Clutter

Retrace Your Steps

It may have been annoying when your mom always asked, “Well, where did you see it last?” when you were looking for a lost item, but it turns out she was right. Re-creating the exact experience you were having when you last remember seeing your keys—including details like the time of day, location, and what you were doing—will help you form a mental image of your keys’ likely whereabouts. 

Related: 10 Things Always to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

Repeat the Name of the Object As You Search

It may sound a little goofy, but saying the name of the object you’re looking for while you’re searching for it can actually help you find it. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that participants in one study who repeated the name of an object they were searching for found it more quickly than those who kept completely silent. So, the next time you lose your keys, don’t be afraid to chant “keys, keys, keys” as you scour the house.

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Keep an Extra Set with a Friend

This may technically be cheating, but if you have a penchant for losing your keys, it may not be a bad idea to keep a spare  set with a friend, spouse, or family member. This way, you’ll never get locked out of the house, and you won’t get stuck with an expensive locksmith bill.

Related: The Most Cunning Secret Hiding Spots We’ve Ever Seen