How to keep a doormat from being stolen?
January 9, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

How can I keep a welcome mat/doormat from being stolen? Our previous one was taken. We rent an apartment, so any structural modification of the surrounding area is probably off-limits.
posted by luftmensch to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Put something really gross under it, like a squished water bug that you found in the basement?
posted by milarepa at 9:16 AM on January 9, 2008

Why would someone steal a welcome mat? It's certainly not the sort of thing that I would expect to happen twice. But if you're worried, why don't you put the welcome mat right inside your entrance, so that when people step into your apartment it's onto the mat.
posted by amro at 9:17 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Attach a braided metal line to one corner of the mat and pass the line under the corner of the door nearest to the hinge. Attach the other end to a plate or rod that won't fit back through the gap. Voila! The locked door will lock your doormat in place.

Alternately, you could keep the doormat inside.
posted by pheideaux at 9:19 AM on January 9, 2008

How flush is the door with the floor?

You could get a heavy-duty doormat, and screw some eyelets into its thick rubber base or sew in a couple of canvas loops. Then attach some heavy-duty fishing line (or the thickest thing you can, based on how much room there is under the door) and run it under the door and screw/nail it to doorframe inside your apartment (not too much of a structural mod).

Sure, this won't stop those organized doormat thievery rings but it will probably stop the guy looking to nonchalantly pick up your doormat as he walks by.
posted by mikepop at 9:23 AM on January 9, 2008

Get a really ugly doormat.
posted by orange swan at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

I have a friend who kept getting her outside plants stolen, so she wrote little haikus about not stealing the plants and put them in the pots. Never had a problem after that.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2008

Doormats are cheap. You might find that it is better to run the risk of it getting stolen again rather than go to countermeasures that cost anything, or are time-consuming or annoying. I'd rethink this if it becomes a pattern.
posted by grouse at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2008

Put it inside the doorway instead of outside.
posted by msittig at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Get a personalized doormat.

That way, even if they steal it, you only have to look for a thief with your name!
posted by davereed at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

You mention you are renting an apartment, so I'll throw this out there- are you sure it was stolen and not just moved? I used to have problems with a disappearing doormat. Eventually I realized that the cleaning crew was picking it up to clean the floors in the common areas, and then they would just put it down in front of some random door, not remembering which apartment it had come from. So whenever my doormat disappeared, I'd wander around the building until I found it.
posted by ambrosia at 10:09 AM on January 9, 2008

Put a sign underneath it that says, "You are being recorded".
posted by FreezBoy at 10:09 AM on January 9, 2008

Put a picture of eyes on your door.
posted by logicpunk at 10:10 AM on January 9, 2008

Get a plain doormat, make a stencil, and spraypaint your street address (and/or apartment number) into the fibres.

"Welcome to apt. 6"

Pretty impersonal, but on the flip side, it could be fun if your apartment manager starts getting question from other tenants as to why they weren't given a numbered mat like you were :)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:12 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I know you said "no structural modification", but this is the definitive thing that I would do. Buy a rubber mat and use a silicon adhesive that will bond the mat to the concrete. That will be strong enough to keep someone from snatching it. When you move, you can just scrape the whole thing off with a spade or a putty knife; it will probably take less than a minute. I seriously doubt property management will notice a "stuck" doormat, and if they complain, you just scrape it off as mentioned. Other than that, I don't think there's any realistic solution other than not having a doormat or putting one inside.
posted by mr. creosote at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2008

Buy the super-cheapest ones on the market. Not the ones that say "Hi. I'm Mat." But just a super-generic one. If that doesn't work, try an insanely colorful one so you can scout around the neighborhood. Expect if this is turning into a "thing" that whoever is stealing it isn't actually using it, just messing with you. You may have to move your mat inside.
posted by arnicae at 10:44 AM on January 9, 2008

people steal doormats to be dicks. it's kids or drunk people.

just don't have a doormat. i'm not sure they serve much function in apartment buildings, unless you enter your apartment immediately from the outdoors (instead of going thru a hallway or whatever).
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:32 AM on January 9, 2008

Deploy cheap mats until everyone who wants a free doormat has stolen one. Then buy the one you really want.
posted by kindall at 11:33 AM on January 9, 2008

Spray it with cat piss. Whoever picks it up will put it right back down.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:02 PM on January 9, 2008

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