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How Do You Handle Your Keys?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the try-a-stylish-sporran dept.

Security 763

arisvega writes "I lost my backpack some time ago, but was lucky enough to have left my laptop at home that night, and my cell and keys in my pocket. The inevitable habit-change that followed was to start strapping my keys on my pants, so at least I would still be able to get home (as long as I kept my pants on). But I realized I had a lot of keys: one for the outer door, two for the inner, three more for my girlfriend's place, one for the office, one for the postbox, one for my bicycle, the car, the motorbike and the roof. ... Plus, I keep a tiny Swiss Army knife on my keychain that I really wouldn't want to part with. Needless to say, this makes a jingly bunch that eats through my pocket. I ask you, Slashdot people, how do you carry/safeguard a hefty, pronouncedly jingly bunch of keys? What are the alternatives? Any suggestions on clothing or technology? Would having 'The One Key' make things better, or worse?"

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News for nerds. (2, Insightful)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118354)

Stuff that matters.

Re:News for nerds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118436)

Next we'll be seeing slashvertisement reviews of Italian-designed manbags...

Re:News for nerds. (1, Insightful)

marky_boi (1427845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118756)

sound like a question for a social network..not relevant here

Re:News for nerds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118674)

You must be new here...

Re:News for nerds. (0, Offtopic)

koh (124962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118772)


saves time and money! (5, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118356)

move in with your girlfriend, that will save you 3 keys right there

Re:saves time and money! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118404)

move in with your girlfriend, that will save you 3 keys right there

And replace them with so many chains.

Re:saves time and money! (5, Funny)

Mycroft-X (11435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118420)

move in with your girlfriend, that will save you 3 keys right there

Or dump two of them.

oops, this is slashdot

Re:saves time and money! (3, Insightful)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118456)

Exactly; our home uses the same key for all the doors. Also separate key rings based on activity. eg. I don't need my bicycle key when I use my vehicle.

Re:saves time and money! (0, Redundant)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118632)

But your bicycle is a vehicle, which belongs to you, which makes it your vehicle.. so why would you not need your "bicycle key" when you use it? Why do you even have that key? *head asplodes*

Re:saves time and money! (5, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118586)

Alternatively, stop carrying around pointless keys. Don't carry around the key to the roof of your house for example, leave it in your house. Taking your car? Leave your bike keys at home and vice-versa...

I would have thought this was pretty obvious.

Talk about intelligent people and lack of common sense >.

I don't really worry about it. (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118832)

I think submitter needs to start carrying *MORE* keys. Then get rid of the ones he doesn't need. His pocket will feel *so* much lighter!

Get rid of anything large and bulky on the keychain. That means the swiss army knife. Replace it with a proper Leatherman or Gerber multiool with a leather case on a leather belt. Same goes for car keyfobs. Keyless entry is nice, but you still need the ignition key anyway, and the keyfob will just run out of batteries someday.

Talk work into getting badge access instead of having yet another set of keys. Badge readers are probably more secure for that kind of thing (two-factor authentication and they can disable lost badges right away). Then you can keep your badge in your backpack with your laptop, since you'll probably be pretty useless at work anyway without your laptop. I used to forget my badge in random pockets once in a while, but with a little discipline you learn to keep it with your laptop. And getting locked out of work once in a while isn't so bad, and you can always check out a temporary badge for the day.

Some day we'll have a smart programmable RFID chip in a badge or phone or wristband (like in spas and nudist colonies) that store all of our authentication tokens, that will work on vending machines and credit card machines and cars and home doors and act as a license and passport and student ID. Probably in Japan first. But for now, my wallet is thin enough and my keyring slim enough and my Leatherman useful enough not to spend much time worrying about it.

Re:saves time and money! (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118784)

move in with your girlfriend, that will save you 3 keys right there
Or get one who lives in a safer neighborhood. What kind of DMZ do they live in that they each need 3 keys to get in??

Re:saves time and money! (5, Informative)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118836)

If you live in an apartment building with a single entrance (think movie style with the stairwell in the middle), you have the main apartment building key, the door knob key, and the deadbolt.

Three keys, designed for increasing levels of individual safety (insofar as locks are not designed to keep you safe, but to make it noticeable when someone is actively violating another persons safety ~ or however that gets said)

Ask yourself: WWGFD (5, Funny)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118366)

And then carry around a crowbar, just like Gordon Freeman. It's the universal key!

RFID (3, Interesting)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118374)

Haven't owned a traditional key since 2005

Re:RFID (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118462)

Really? How many different places do you routinely need access to?

Re:RFID (0)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118518)

Read the title of his post. He uses RFID keys.

Re:RFID (2, Funny)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118648)

Main entrance to work, Office, Garage, Car, Front door of my house. I can also track my pets, kids and wife throughout the house. It's just one piece of my Orwellian dream.

Re:RFID (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118806)

"Haven't owned a traditional key since 2005"

Really that's not hard. If your work doesn't have a lock (or uses a card access proximity reader), your car uses keyless entry and push button start (almost all hybrids and luxury cars are push button), and you have a garage door opener, then it would be easy to get rid of all your keys.

I myself carry two keys, one for house and one for car, and the house key really isn't necessary since I go through the garage.

reduce key count (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118376)

2 car keys, 1 house key.

why do you need 3 keys for your girlfriend's place? You have 3 girlfriends?

Re:reduce key count (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118496)

why do you need 3 keys for your girlfriend's place? You have 3 girlfriends?

* The lock on the front door
* The lock on her bedroom door
* The lock on her chastity belt

Re:reduce key count (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118738)

* The lock on her chastity belt

The key to that lock is metaphysical.
Or a plasma cutter.

Depending on your burnt-flesh-stench preferences.

Re:reduce key count (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118534)

I think it's kinda weird that he has the keys to her dwelling in the first place. There must be a lot of trust(or insecurity) in the relationship.

The only girlfriend who offered me the keys to her dwelling insisted that I had to don a ski-mask and visit her uninvited to violate her at random. Ahh, those were the days...

Re:reduce key count (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118762)

The only girlfriend who offered me the keys to her dwelling insisted that I had to don a ski-mask and visit her uninvited to violate her at random. Ahh, those were the days...

You miss your mum, do ya?

Re:reduce key count (1)

anglico (1232406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118924)

Why is that weird? I've had plenty of girlfriends give me the keys to their place after dating for a while. If they were working later than I was I could meet her and leave from there to a movie, if they forgot to do something like let out the cat/shut off the stove, check on her place when she went out of town to her parents.

Re:reduce key count (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118634)

Why does he have keys to his girlfriend's place? In case he wants to be there when she isn't? Creeeeeepy.

Re:reduce key count (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118814)

Why does he have keys to his girlfriend's place? In case he wants to be there when she isn't? Creeeeeepy.

Use your imagination.

It's so she can lay in wait for him, (mostly) naked, with dimmed lights and romantic music playing, posed provocatively on her bed. All while trusting that only he (holder of the Sacred Keys of I-Gave-You-Unfettered-Access-Where's-My-Ring) can enter her abode and ravish her.

Having the girlfriend's housekeys can lead to all kinds of laying-in-wait-for-him goodness, very few of which involve a blunt object and a trip to the hospital.

Re:reduce key count (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118834)

How is that creepy? If a couple's been together for any length of time, they'll run into situations where it's much more convenient to not have to wait for their partner to unlock or lock the door for them. Before we moved in together, my girlfriend lived over an hour away. If she came to visit and I wasn't home from work, her having a key made things much simpler.

Re:reduce key count (1)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118892)

Have you guys really never had a girlfriend? It's pretty normal to have keys to her house... In case she's in the shower when you get there... she's in bed.... she's not home and you have to pick up something you left there.... or maybe you want to get there before her and cook her dinner before she's home (yeah, right). If you don't trust your partner with keys to your house, there is something seriously wrong with your relationship!

Solution: (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118378)

Everybody I know keeps their keys and trinkets around their neck on a lanyard [] along with their badges.

I prefer to use two keyrings: one with the bare essentials(1 key for car, 2 keys for house) and a big one for the more obscure keys that I could go pick up from home if I had to do something special. I also make backup duplicates of all my keys.

Hollow rocks and magnetic key holders are also good places to store backup keys in case you lock yourself out of the car or house.

Re:Solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118596)

Hollow rocks and magnetic key holders are also good places to look when breaking in...

Re:Solution: (1)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118928)

Or you could just break a window, it's really quite a bit easier than checking every rock on the section to see if it's hollow.

Re:Solution: (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118868)

>>Everybody I know keeps their keys and trinkets around their neck on a lanyard along with their badges.

How can that possibly be comfortable?

If the OP is uncomfortable with having his keys in his pockets (you know, the place that's designed for keys), how could a lanyard be better.

UNLESS, he's actually a girl, and is forced to wear all those impractical female clothings that don't have pockets. (But that's what boyfriends are for, you say? Remember, the OP has a girlfriend, or maybe three.)

The only time I don't carry keys is when I go on an airplane. Seats are uncomfortable enough without having a handful of sharp pointy bits digging into your thighs.

Easy! (4, Funny)

Megor1 (621918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118384)

All those keys can be replaced by a few lock picks or if you are lazy a small amount of bump keys will go far.

Re:Easy! (2, Interesting)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118682)

Exactly what I was going to say. Make 'em yourself from a coat hanger and an allen key, learn to use them, and you'll really go places. Of course, you might have trouble explaining yourself to the neighbours until you learn to do it fast.

just 2 (1)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118386)

One for my house, one for car
Other work related keys are in a briefcase (with travels in the car or back at home/office)
Other keys stay in the house (for the garage, etc...)

Re:just 2 (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118870)

Briefcase is violating the man's recent backpack theft bag carrying aversion. Try to keep up, and at least RTFS next time, mkay?

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118390)

three more for my girlfriends place

One for each keyhole.

Girlfriend? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118396)

three more for my girlfriends place

Why must you turn the internet into a house of lies, Ralph?

Re:Girlfriend? (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118652)

three more for my girlfriends place

There goes "as long as I keep my pants on"

Re:Girlfriend? (1)

hemlock00 (1499033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118908)

Set him straight! Show him the Big Book of British Smiles!!

Prioritize and partition (5, Insightful)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118408)

Put your "disposable" keys like the key to your bike, mailbox, the roof, and your gf's place on one key ring and keep it in your backpack, while keeping just your "essential" keys like car and front door strapped to your pants.

One suggestion (3, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118414)

Get flat copies of your keys [] , and keep them in your wallet.

The only key I actually need to keep with me is my car key; I use the garage door remote to get into the house. But that is a non-issue anyway, since all your keys should be on the same keychain!

Re:One suggestion (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118698)

The only key I actually need to keep with me is my car key; I use the garage door remote to get into the house.

This. Carry your car key; use your car as a giant key storage container, for all other keys.

Re:One suggestion (2, Insightful)

AkiraRoberts (1097025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118826)

Because then when your car is stolen, you can be super fucked. Why not up the ante, and use your car as a giant filing cabinet for all your important documents as well?

Re:One suggestion (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118852)

Get flat copies of your keys, and keep them in your wallet.

I'm not a big fan of this. If I lose my wallet, then someone has access to my house along with a nice laminated card telling them where I live. I wouldn't want to tempt fate (or a prospective burglar).

The kids these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118424)

Some are storing their key rings inside those stretched out earlobe thingies. You might want to consider a mouth plate for storage of the swiss army knife.

Pokepantsu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118446)

Anybody want to invent business casual cargo pants? I'll buy..

Re:Pokepantsu (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118690)

I don't know about pants but 5.11 Tactical [] has some pretty convincing shirts with hidden pockets

Re:Pokepantsu (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118922)

I've seen 'em. Eddie Bauer has them this season. Although it'd have to be a slightly loose interpretation of "business casual".

Keys in pocket (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118448)

I always carry my keys, lighter, cellphone and a few other things in my pockets, but then I always wear baggy pants with lots of pockets.

Back when I was in to street BMX riding I had everything in a backpack to minimize the risk of damaging anything (including myself) or losing stuff when I fell. The trick in those cases is to always keep track of your backpack. I can't really say I understand how some people manage to constantly misplace bags, I've had several girlfriends who would put their bag/purse down the moment they went indoors or sat down and then they'd be surprised that they'd miss 2/3 of all their incoming calls... If you have something important in your bag you make sure to keep the bag with you all the time (when sitting down on buses, trains and in other public places it's advisable to put one leg through one of the straps to make sure anyone who tries to grab it fails, it's hilarious when someone misses that little precaution)

Re:Keys in pocket (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118796)

Yeah, I really don't get how people can randomly lose their keys and phones. I do leave my phone out around the house, but not in public places. I always keep my keys, wallet and phone in my jacket when I'm out and about, and if I switch jacket I simply switch everything into that jacket.

When I'm not wearing a jacket and going out without the car I'll just take my house keys and debit card or wallet depending on how happy I am to have my pockets full of crap at that moment in time. If I'm out without a jacket but have the car then I'll leave any unnecessary stuff in the car.. this guy could probably leave stuff like his gf's keys in his glove compartment.

I used to get holes eaten in my pockets (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118452)

When I was using a key "wallet" in my back pocket, and when I first started carrying them on a key ring in my front pocket. It got better over time though; once I realized how much damage they were doing, I started being more careful to arrange the keys on the key ring pointy side up before putting them in my pocket, so the part of the ring touching the bottom of the pocket was just the round loop and the soft tag. I haven't had a hole since then. Also makes for less of the whole "stabbing myself in the thigh" problem. A pen or pencil inserted pointy side up can still form holes if you sit down wrong due to the length and the sharp point, but unless you've got really long, really sharp keys and/or really shallow pockets, keys shouldn't cause the same problem.

S-Clip (1)

Coffeesloth (669850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118476)

I picked up a small S-clip binder similar to a D-Ring and clip it onto the bag I'm carrying at the time. Its noisy but it doesn't tear a hole in my pocket. I also pare the keys down to the bare minimum, if you need 3 keys for the girlfriend's place that must be a bad neighborhood.

I for one dont carry them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118484)

I for one do not carry all the keys at once. I only carry the necessary keys with me, I got two house door keys (two apartments I frequent often), mailbox key (if Im checking mailbox when going up to apartment). The keys for roof, bike, motorbike, car are in a box next to the door, I simply add one of the keys I need on my keychain (I got a mountaineer carbine hook) and go out. Why would I want to bring keys for my bike, motorbike and roof with me if I a'int going to find the bike, motorbike or the roof at my work or at the cinema? Also the cost would go down significantly if I lost the keychain, I wont have to replace ALL my keys, only those which were lost and their corresponding locks.

Lord of the Rings Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118502)

One key to rule them all...

Easy Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118514)

Become a beach bum, no keys needed!

Carry Them (3, Interesting)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118526)

I got tired of wearing holes in my pants from keys in general while moving PCs/servers while at client sites, so now I just carry everything except my wallet. Cell phone and keys in hand, so that I always know I have what I need. When you really need to, they go into the pockets of course, but getting in the habit of literally having them in hand means you always know where they are. It also forced me to reduce the keys I have by figuring out what I really needed to have _all_ the time, and what was just 'nice' to have.

Inept Failures (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118528)

Is slashdot so full of socially and practically inept failures that we need to discuss how to hold keys?

You put keys on a keyring.
If you have a lot of keys, you have separate keyrings. [My Keys], [Work Keys]. Have even more? [My Keys], [Work Keys], [My Keys I Don't Use Much].

Keyrings stay in your front pocket.
Keyrings should not be attached to backpacks, belt loops, or anything else that results in them being exposed or visible.

Carry [My Keys] with you all the time.
Carry [Work Keys] when going to work. Need to always have access? Keep duplicates in a place secured by [My Keys], such as your car. Carry [My Keys I Don't Use Much] only when necessary.

Worried about losing keys? That's what locksmiths are for. In fact, there's a wide range of real-world crafts and services that can solve just about every problem you, the anxious, paranoid, hypochondriac nerd can dream up.

You do not want a skeleton key.
You do not want something digital to replace your keys.
You do not need technology to solve this non-problem.

Re:Inept Failures (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118650)

Exactly. I've always wondered about people who lose important things like their keys, wallet, etc. That never happens to me, nor to any of the people I consider my friends. I have seen it happen a lot to people I consider incompetent though, and there is no tech to fix that one.

One ring, no extas... (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118530)

I think that the old saying about the wise adapting themselves to the world would be a better way to go. I have never been able to bring myself to use fancy key chain decorations.

I'm in the same leeky boat (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118538)

Keys, plus a Swiss army knife and a couple of key cards. Invariably they eat a hole in a pants pocket. I tried wearing a photographers vest with rugged Velcro, lock down pockets but found it overly warm and bulky. I tried wearing the clutter around my neck, but again it was awkward, especially as a just so length to the necklace was never amenable to a Goldilocks' Solution. It even prompted me to look into the market for a type of light weight yoke with removable features like pockets and clips (ammo and otherwise :)). If you factor in all the wifi gear it's begs for a geeky, money making solution. I really think a pliable, extensible yoke with an extended capability for addons would be a good solution.

CDO Key Habits (5, Informative)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118542)

I keep my keys in my front right pocket. They don't go anywhere else. They're always there unless they are in my hand and I'm unlocking something. If I do set them down, I usually notice that they are missing (and also am in the habit of patting myself down to make sure they are there before leaving the house etc). The same goes for my cell phone in my other front pocket and my wallet in my back pocket. that's where they go and I simply don't put them anywhere else except for unusual situations. That usually solves my losing things issue and when people ask me how many times I've lost my phone, I can say 0.

For too many keys, since I didn't want to change my system, I eventually had to split up my key rings. One for every day, always have keys. Another for the car. Another for my photostudio. Another one for work keys. The work keys go on my lanyard at work and the others I only pick up and put in my pocket when I actually use them. They actually do fit better on different key rings rather than all on one. Otherwise, they sit in the same coffee mug on my desk at home.

Re:CDO Key Habits (2, Funny)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118886)

Otherwise, they sit in the same coffee mug on my desk at home.

That's one way to hide them, I guess, but doesn't the coffee taste a bit odd?

I keep mine in my coat.. (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118558)

Because i hardly ever need my keys when I'm sitting in front of my TV...

Also my house key is on a longer chain than my other keys so i can easily find it in the dark and while drunk....

Also if I'm ever chased by an mad axe-man I won't have to fumble around to get the key for my front door...

Carabiner (2, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118574)

Hang it on my belt.

Work key - big old thing
GF's car key on a key ring with brass Iguana fob
GF's car remove in key ring that has a Forza 3 fob
House key on key ring
Truck keys (2) on three key rings with a Chevrolet key fob

Easy... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118602)

get a manpurse.

Re:Easy... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118882)

here in the U.S., among straight men, that's just crazy talk.

linux, of course (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118624)

I run Linux on all of my locks and use a smart card reader to read my single key.

The best part is, I can ssh into my lock and see how often it has been used. If I ever lose my key, I just use a remote ssh exploit to crack my lock.

I had a power outage, once. But power backups saved the day. A simple hydrogen fuel cell located in each door will keep things running for decades!

3 or less (2, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118636)

I rarely have more than three keys on me at any given time. One for the house (all locks keyed the same), one for the vehicle I'm driving (SUV, Car, or motorbike), and optionally the mail key. Work is all proximity card readers, and there are precious few other locks that I ever use.

I did see an instructable or the like that had a way to put a number of keys into a leatherman by removing the tools.

Cargo pants are nice. (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118646)

Do you really need all those keys on you? It seems to me that the *three* keys for your girlfriend's place are probably somewhat redundant. Maybe they're front/back/basement keys, in which case you probably need only one unless you're living there. Your roof key can probably be stashed at home.

Cargo pants are really nice, if you can wear them. In general, keyfobs aren't worth the hassle. If you need what they have--the SAK, for instance--take them off the keychain and carry them either in your pack, which you apparently have with you most of the time, or in some other pocket. Though the later doesn't reduce the total volume of hardware, it does spread it out, and is thus much more comfortable.

Re:Cargo pants are nice. (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118930)

It seems to me that the *three* keys for your girlfriend's place are probably somewhat redundant

Yup, there's an alternative []

small lock pick set (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118658)

then you don't need to carry all these different keys with you. you can have just one that works everywhere.
although the bank was a little annoyed when I tried to open my safe deposit box.

Stupid question, stupid answer (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118668)

I recently got my keys down to 1 house key, 1 USB memory stick, and 1 key/FOB thing for my car. I really wish my FOB opened my house door. The USB memory stick is optional.

Skimmed the blurb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118680)

I figure it's about keys.

I have a screwlock carabiner meant for keys on a thick nylon string (maybe 1.5ft long) attached to my wallet which lives in my front pocket.

Motorcycle key goes in right jacket pocket, always.

Simple? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118692)

Just don't lock anything. And leave your car key in your car's ignition.

I mean, it's still illegal to steal stuff, so no one's going to.

Seriously, though... when I had a mess of keys, I had the same problem. You've mentioned a couple issues that need to be addressed.

1. Emergency backup. One option is to make friends with your neighbors and give them a key if you trust them. Another is to have a backup key near your pad with a combination lock on it's case. You can also buy these for your car, you can attach them under the chassis. They also have ones you install behind a license plate -- you'll need some WD40 and a wrench to get at that one probably, but it's pretty secure.

2. Jingling mass of back-spasm inducing keys on a ring. To reduce jingling, get those plastic colored things that go over the head of the key. It'll help. To reduce the mess of keys, consider storing the infrequently used ones elsewhere. Like in a locked case in your glovebox, or somewhere at home.

What I did:

Installed new locks on my house, all part of a set. A single key lets me open any door, including activating the motorized garage door. If you rent, see if your landlord would go for it. It's not hard to install new locks, and a complete set might run $150-200 on the cheap end (my set was $180 four years ago). I have a lanyard with a house key dupe and my bike lock key on it. When I go for a ride or to run errands on it, I leave behind my other keys and grab the lanyard.

For emergency backup, I have a spare house-key in a combination-lock case hidden on my property, and the same for my car. Someone I implicitly trust, who is an emergency medical contact, also has a copy.

One other note... a fishing buddy of mine rigged a laptop strap with pockets that snap shut he sewed onto one side of the pad. Fashionable? Not remotely. But it allows him to keep his keys on him, jingle-free, when we're on a stream.

Only eleven keys? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118694)

Only eleven keys? Get a keyring and buy a better brand of clothes that use sterner stuff for the pockets. (Or learn to sew and patch.)
Seriously, eleven keys aren't all that much.

myself, I: (1)

cadience (770683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118702)

Have 2 carabiner clips - my usual configuration is:
clip 1 : my car key and my house keys (2 separate rings) - ad other rings if you require
clip 2 : an "inka" pen, a "utili-key", my RSA key, my work ID, and a lanyard

Usually the two carabiners are clipped together and I usually have that clipped to my pants. However, it's very quick to rearrange for the appropriate solution and keep at most 2 sets. The lanyard is handy as a quick grab/hang hind of thing. I typically have my keys around my neck when running out the house this lets me lock the door quickly regardless of all the other crud I'm juggling.

*whispers* I tend to take my ID carabiner + car key (leaving others in car) when flying. I've flown + 20 times with my utili-key and that hasn't been an issue.
I'm sure there's a Layer 1 thru 3 analogy in my keyring arrangement somewhere.

Get boxes for the other keys and store them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118712)

I have lock boxes with punch codes at my static locations. This reduces keys significantly. Items on the move, IE bike, motorbike, roof, etc. you kind of need on you. for vehicles I use a lock box with a magnet on the back and attach to the vehicle in a hidden location.

You could just bet a "bump key" and use it on the devices with a tumbler but that may not be as quick as the original and you look shady doing it.


Free at last! (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118720)

1. Move in with your girlfriend. -1 key
2. Get a front door with keyless entry. -1 key
3. Get keyless entry at work. -1 key (this should be a nobrainer anyway)
4. and so on.
5. Drop the army knife. Get a stainless survival credit card.

You are now down to a car key, and you can keep a spare hidden under the car.

Meh (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118728)

Just learn an Open Lock spell. They tend to be pretty universal in my experience.

2-3 keys for your house? Locksmith? (1)

DreamArcher (1690064) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118746)

What about your SecureID key? I need that with me all the time too. Besides that, 2 keys total on me. 1 key for my house (change all your house locks to the same key and your GF's too). 1 key for my car. All other keys are in my house or my car glove box. Sure I can forget them but they are not that critical so I don't need a key on me that I only use once a month or once a year.

You just need one key to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118750)

rule them all, One Key to find them, One Key to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Sorry ;~)

Danger! (1)

kachakaach (1336273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118770)

"How did you get in Rococo, you don't have a key."

"No only half a key. I had to split it with the sound effects man"

Wallet, keys, phone... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118774)

Seriously, don't you check that you have those wherever you go?

And why on earth would you be carrying around three keys to your girlfriend's place? Is the front door key not sufficient?

I suppose I deserve reading this, after complaining that there are too many iPad stories on Slashdot.

Take only what you need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118780)

I have all my keys on a Jaegermeister lanyard and only take the ones I need with me. I have a ring with the house keys, a ring with my car key, a ring with my friend's keys, and a ring with another car's key. I simply swap things out as needed, and have spares stashed in convenient places (like a spare car key at my friend's house). The lanyard, aside from being bad ass, acts as a cushion in my pocket to keep me from getting jabbed and making noise. My suggestion is to take less with you. I've never had my keys eat through a pocket, and I've never been caught without the right keys. I've also never lost my keys or had them stolen...

Pockets? (1)

aphxtwn (702841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118790)

isn't that why most pants have pockets? for keys and such? the only trick i do is i keep my phone in the left pocket by itself so it doesn't get scratched. everything else goes into the right pocket. as far as an alternative? i don't know. I don't want to keep it dangling around my waist hooked on, so I keep it safely stowed in a pocket. I wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable with a one-key-for-everything concept. Too many eggs in one basket for me, personally.

i have a sports wallet (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118794)

i bought it at paragon sporting goods on 18th st in manhattan

its on their website, made by a company called pacsafe, the picture describes the entire solution: []

i only have one key, so i store it in the billfold on a ring, so i only have to think and worry about a cell phone and a wallet when i leave the house, the keys are not a separate mental category

if you have a bunch of keys, you can still use this scheme, as the pacsafe comes with a chain (that i discarded but you would use)

now: if i can somehow put the cellphone in the wallet, i'm really happy. but the way cellphones are going, we'll probably be putting the wallet in the cellphone

in 5-10 years we'll probably be paying for everything with our cellphones (like they do in scandinavia already), so no wallet, and we'll probably be opening and closing doors with them too, so no keys

Locate some of the keys intelligently. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118800)

You probably only need to keep the house key and the car key one your person; in addition to the corresponding activity key.

You might for instance keep the keys to the girlfriends place in the glove box of your car along with the keys to the office. Put them on separate light weight rings you can quickly join to the main ring that holds your house and car key. When you return the car remove the office or girlfriend keys and return them to the glove box. Make sure you stay in the habit of always doing this right away so you never forget and those keys are always where they should be.

The mailbox key could be hung next to the front door of your place (on the inside duh), so you just grab it when you step out to get the mail,same with the bike keys.

Two keyrings (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118804)

What about the keyfob for the car? Keep the roof key, postbox, motorbike and presumably bicycle on a separate keychain if that's at all an option. After all, you only take one vehicle per day, unless you're actively out biking, in which case you only need a house key and the bike key. Yes?

I'm curious why you and the GF each have two locks on the interior door needing keys, if you were able to leave off one of each of those, that would save you two more. So now you would be down to 2 (yours) + 2 (hers) + 1 (office) + 1 (postbox) + 1 (car) which seems slightly more manageable.

I carry 7 on mine, but I married the GF a number of years back, saving me two keys. My two new keys are old apartment (story in and of itself, but I need to keep it) and key to my fireproof box at home.

Next thought: Why the insistence on a pocket knife?

As for the "One Key" ~ No.

Small bunches on a Carabiner (1)

abhi_beckert (785219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118808)

I have my keys split into about 5 small bunches, clipped onto a large carabiner: []

When driving the car around town I take the car key off, and leave the other keys in the cup holder. I only take the car key itself when I leave the car (except at home). On my motorbike, I also take the bike key's bunch off, and clip the rest onto a belt loop on my jeans (or in my backpack for a serious ride). When I go for a walk, I only take the small bunch of house keys with me... etc.

... with my hands (1)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118822)

Keys are supposed to be secure. If you really need it, keep a few critical ones on a small keychain in your pocket and secondary ones on another in a less secure place such as bag, man-purse, etc.

Are you smarter than a Realtor(TM?) (2, Interesting)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118840)

Two sets (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118878)

I have two smallish sets of keys. One has keys for both cars and the front door of the house. The other has keys for the back door, garage, bike lock and my locker at work. If I am driving I can usually get by with the car keys. If cycling I use the other set and the car keys live in the bottom of my backpack. I have a gadget to connect the two if I want to carry both.

But my useless suggestion is not to lose your backpack.

"Use it daily" test (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118898)

I have four keys and the remote fob on my keyring

- Apartment building key, I use it daily
- Apartment key, I use it daily
- Car key, I use it daily
- Office key, I use it daily
- Lock/unlock fob for car, I use it daily

Let's take a look at your keys:

- one for the outer [apt] door - probably daily
- two for the inner [apt door] - probably daily
- three more for my girlfriends place - probably NOT daily
- one for the office - probably daily
- one for the postbox - probably NOT daily
- one for my bicycle - which do you use daily, car, motorbike or bicycle?
- the car
- the motorbike
- the roof - probably NOT daily
- a tiny Swiss Army knife - probably NOT daily

Trim your primary keyring to your apt keys, office key, and primary transport and you'll be down to 5 keys. Keep the others on separate keyring(s) that you can either keep in your backpack (girlfriends apt keys you want with you, but not pants pocket), or in your apt (roof key, postal key)

A key holder like a swiss army knife. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32118912)
Holds about 10 keys.

Hang them from your pants belt loop (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118916)

Whenever I have something that I bring everywhere and cannot put in a pocket and do not want to search through my backpack for I tie it to my pants belt loops.

Lanyards work well.

Attack to my Purse (1)

The Raven (30575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32118932)

I bought some quick-release key attachers and put one in, and one on, my purse. I keep one set of keys on the outside for easy access, and one inside for backup. I never forget my purse, so by proxy I never forget my keys... except when I forget to re-attach them. Like I did when I got home earlier today. Hooray for backups!

I am, by the way, male. However, I think the term 'murse' is stupid, as is man-bag. It's a fucking purse. Just because I keep a camera, portable tripod, and a nintendo DS inside instead of a selection of grooming products, doesn't make it not a purse.

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