Too Many Keys?

Has this ever happened to you?  My keyring is massive.  I have tons and tons and tons of keys that honestly, I have no idea what they go to.  I know what the car keys are and the house keys, but otherwise, I have no clue what the vast majority of them go to.

I know exactly how this problem started though. At our last house, we received a huge ring of keys.  Supposedly, they went to something.  We had no idea what though, so we never threw any of them away.  What if we found the lock that could only be opened by this one specific key?  So they just sat there on my keyring, in the off-chance that we might stumble across the lock they go to.

Except we never did.  In fact, over time, we replaced every single lock in the house.  Those keys, the ones we knew no longer worked, went into the trash, but the rest?  They just stayed, just in case.  And then we moved to a new house, after 17 years, and you’d think that I would have immediately gotten rid of the keys that I no longer had any use for, but I didn’t.  Mostly, it was because I forgot about them.  I was so used to having them that, even though I knew in the back of my mind that they were useless weight in my pocket, I didn’t bother.

It went on that way for months until I came across a bunch of padlocks that I used to use, but hadn’t been necessary at the new house.  I knew I had those keys on the keyring so I took them off and zip-tied them to the padlocks so they’d be together.  And as long as I was taking keys off the ring, I started looking through the others.  I had, after the padlock keys, 17 keys that I had no clue what they went to.

The problem is, I can’t throw most of them away.  Some can go, but there are some that might be important.  I don’t remember if my mother or my sister gave me keys to their houses.  If they did, and they very well might have, I don’t know which ones they are.  They don’t remember if they gave me keys so I have to wait until I get over to their houses to try all of the keys and find out.  Seriously, I think I have keys to my mother’s old house that she moved out of 4 years ago.  I just don’t know which ones they are and I moved out of there nearly 25 years ago.

Luckily, this has led me to recategorize all of my keys so I know exactly what goes to what.  The blue key is the front door, the green key is the back door and my shop gets the red key because it’s the color of blood.  I will eventually re-key all of the house keys to the same key and that will be another key off of the ring.  Once I can figure out what keys don’t go to anything, I can start to slowly remove them and get that extra weight out of my pocket.  I am never again going to let keys get this out of control.  I’m kind of embarrassed that I did this time.

So what about you?  What do you do with your keys to keep them in check?  Let me know in the comments.

 

2 thoughts on “Too Many Keys?

  1. I don't keep anything on my keyring that I don't absolutely have to have with me at all times. My problem is that I have to carry several keys that all look exactly alike for work every day. I've repeatedly tried buying colored key toppers to help me organize them, but they never last more than a month and I need more of them than I've been able to find in a pack. How have you been color coding yours?

    1. That's how I've been doing it and so far at least, it's worked. I haven't had to replace them, but Lowes only carries a pack of 4 colors and I'm already using all 4, so I don't know what to do if I need more. Maybe Amazon carries more, I haven't looked.

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