We’ve all locked our keys in the car from time to time. It’s frustrating, it’s a bit embarrassing, and it’s never convenient. If you’ve made a bad habit out of locking yourself out of your vehicle, home, or any other space that is under lock and key, we understand. After all, we’re locksmiths, and we’ve truly seen it all.

So, you may be asking yourself: “How do I keep from losing those dang keys?” Well, we’ve accumulated a few tips that you might not have thought of. Here’s our two cents:

Use a Keychain & Lanyard

This one’s simple: You’re less likely to lose your keys if they’re attached to something that’s hard to lose. Put your keys on a keychain, and attach a lanyard or something fairly large — something that will be easy to notice. You can also opt for a bright keychain, or anything that will make your keys stand out. You’ll have less of a struggle if you bury your keys in your purse, and you’ll be more likely to remember where you last set your keys if you put them down recently. Plus, if you should ever lose your keys while you’re on the move (perhaps they simply fall out of your pocket while you run to catch a plane), they’ll be easy to identify. That’s great news if you have to scour the lost and found at the airport, or if you lose your keys into a pile of leaves.

Start Good Habits

When it comes to setting your keys down, it’s best to make a good habit of placing your keys in the same spot day after day. Often, folks keep a bowl for their keys and change by the front door. Or, you could hang up a fancy key holder — again, the front door is a prime location for your keys, since it’s always the spot where you get ready to head out, and the spot where you pop off your shoes after a day at the salt mines.

In addition, you can make a habit of making a mental note every time you leave the house or close the car door. Try to be extra wary of these moments, since you’re liable to lock yourself out if you don’t bring your keys with you. Here’s one strategy you can employ: Every time you touch your car door handle, think to yourself: “Keys.” You can even whisper it to yourself to further concretize the habit in your mind. Do the same with the doorknob of your front door, or make it a habit with any locking door, if it helps you to keep from forgetting those precious keys.

Copy Those Keys

It’s always a good idea to keep a spare set of keys handy. Copying standard keys is quick, easy (simply head to your local hardware store or call your local locksmith — they can help you out), and cheap. It only costs a few bucks to create a new metal key. If you’re copying a key fob, you’ll have to shell out a few dozen dollars, but that cost will be worth it the first time you lock your keys in the car. If you prefer, you can keep a few sets on hand.

Be sure to store your extra keys where they’re convenient, yet safe. If you find that you lock yourself out of your car while you’re at work, keep a set of keys in your desk. Or, if you’re constantly losing your keys when you visit family, keep a set at their house.

Give a Key to a Trusted Friend

You can always leave keys with a trusted friend or family member as well. Leave a house key with a trusted neighbor (again, we stress that you should be certain that this person is wholly trustworthy, since they’ll have access to your belongings). Or leave a set of keys with a friend that lives nearby. You never know when that extra set will come in handy, and you’ll only have to “phone a friend” if you happen to misplace your keys. Do you have a family member in the neighborhood? Family is (usually) a great option, since they’re there for you whenever you’re in a pinch.

Remember Your Exit Strategy

This one goes along with those good habits that we mentioned earlier. It’s best to think about your keys before you head out the door (or slam that car door shut). Strive to think ahead, and plan how you’re going to lock your doors. Think: “Did I bring my keys with me? Or did I leave them in the bag in the passenger seat next to me?” “Are my keys in my pocket? Or did I leave them on the kitchen counter again?” Establish a thought-out exit strategy, and stick to your game plan. You’d be shocked at how often folks simply lock their keys in their car, even in plain sight. Why? Well, they didn’t plan ahead… They just turned on “auto-pilot” as they grabbed all the things that they’d need for the day, stepped out of the driver’s seat, locked and shut the door, and then realized that the car keys are on the dash. A bit of foresight can save you from a major headache, so give yourself an exit strategy that won’t leave you stranded.

If You Can’t Remember Your Keys, Remember Our Number

Some of us are more forgetful and frantic than others. That’s just how things go. When you find yourself in a pickle, we’re here to help. We’ll swing by, unlock that lock, and let you get back to your day to day as soon as possible. Now, if you’re the kind of person who constantly loses their keys, there’s one more step you should take to make your life more convenient: Put our number in your phone. That’s 509-362-9582. Do it right now while you’re thinking about it. Houdini Locksmith proudly serves folks throughout Spokane County, and we’d be ecstatic to help you when you’re in a bind. We hope that our advice has helped!