When your boss posted the new shift schedule at work, you couldn't help but feel concerned. Now your shift starts right before your children arrive home from school.
Although you could give your children a key to use on their own, you worry that they may lose the key on their way to and from the building. So you think you should hide your keys near your home in a place your children will remember.
But stop! Don't put your key in that fake rock by the front door. And don't stash it under the flower pot either. Many burglars and thieves will find your keys just as easily as your children will, so your spare key will become a risk rather than a helpful tool.
If you need a few creative places to hide your spare key, try some of the following.
If you have a grill sitting on your porch or in your backyard, use it to house your spare key. Look for a nook or crevice not visible from a normal standing position or within easy swiping distance. For easier storage, glue a magnet to the spare key and attach the key to the inside of the grill or on the side of a leg.
2. Vinyl siding
If your house has vinyl siding, place the key underneath a panel. Most panels have a lip on the inside that can support a key without any problems. If possible, avoid using the siding on the front of your house, just as an extra deterrent for thieves. To help your children remember where you hid the key, use a corner, gutter, plant or some other object to mark the spot.
3. Dog house
Most burglars stay away from homes with dogs, especially if the dogs bark frequently and loudly. If you have a dog, hide the spare key in the doghouse, or even on the dog's collar, to keep it safe from unwanted attention. When your children go to retrieve the key, they'll look as though they simply want to play with their furry family member.
If you have a shed or detached garage, you have more than enough hiding spots. For example, you can stash the spare key in the woodpile or in the toolbox. Or you could tuck the key in an old watering can or beneath your worn-out garden hose.
If possible, try to hide the key in such a way that your children (as well as potential thieves) have to dig around for a few minutes to find it. Additionally, stay away from seasonal tools. Although the lawnmower may look like a great place in the winter, you don't want to damage your machine (or lose your key) when you need to cut your grass in the summer.
5. Fake sprinkler
If you have a sprinkler system, purchase a fake sprinkler head identical to your real sprinkler heads. Then, install it in an easy-to remember spot, preferably in the side of your yard or backyard. This technique lets your children retrieve the key without your neighbourhoods seeing the hiding place.
With these hiding places, you never have to worry about your kids locking themselves out of the house again. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about would-be thieves finding your key and walking into your home unobstructed.
When you have your new spare key cut, discuss your situation and goals with your local locksmith. He or she will give you the option of different colours and shapes for the key to help your kids distinguish it from any others you may own. And your locksmith may even have more ideas and options of places to hide it.