How to manage an unwieldy keychain
August 29, 2004 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I have the key to get into my apartment. The key to open my apartment complex's gym. The one for the pool. The remote to open the gate to the complex. The mailbox key. My Albertson's Preferred Savings card. My car key. My car remote. My office key. Two random keys that unlock things I'm not sure I even own anymore, but other than that, I use all these keys on a daily basis. My keyring currently composes half the bulk of my outfit on any given day. Please help me.

How do you organize your keys, or keep them to a manageable size/shape? Is there a device that does this? It honestly wouldn't be that bad if not for the two remotes, which are both huge and indispensable. Do I have to start carrying a man-purse?
posted by grrarrgh00 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
posted by i_cola at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2004

Well, do you ever go to your apartment complex's gym or pool directly from anywhere other than your apartment? You could probably put those two keys on a separate keychain, and only use it when you're going to work out or swim. And get a duplicate of your apartment key and put it on the gym/pool keychain too, so you don't need to bring two sets of keychains with you.
posted by lisa g at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2004

Why not leave your gym and pool keys at home? I assume you go to your apt. to change first. And why should your gate remote leave your car?

When I go out, I only carry two keys - house key and car key. And I keep my money and credit cards in this, which is very slim and easy to carry in my pocket.

If you have a briefcase, stash your office keys in there. If not, carry them in your hand (or in your car) until you get to the office then leave them there for the duration of the day. In short, carry only the keys you need to carry, when you need to carry them
posted by vacapinta at 11:39 AM on August 29, 2004

I'll make an assumption that you pass your mailbox in and out of your apartment and on your way to the gym / pool. Group your gym / pool keys and your car / car remote / office keys and your aparmtent / mailbox keys. Keep everything but your apartment / mailbox keys in your mailbox. Oh, and keep your car remote in your glovebox.
posted by xammerboy at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2004

Try this. I love mine and am able to take just the keys I need with me when I go certain places but it quickly can become the whole set again when I need that.

Although I do occasionally find myself frantically looking for my keys when I am out drinking and only have the single ring with two keys on it.
posted by geekyguy at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2004

I use a non-locking carabiner with smaller rings that have the keys grouped by use. Very fast to add or remove. You can get them at most outdoors stores.
posted by smackfu at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2004

Also, I say screw all those little cards you have. We have almost a half-dozen food stores, drug stores and co-ops around here, all of which have their own little cards which I have signed up for under various aliases. I tossed them all, signed up for new cards using the same fake phone number for each of them, and then noted the numbers down on a post-it in my wallet. If someone asks for it, I say I've lost the wallet but here's the number. It's a teeny bit of work but I have lots more real estate in my wallet and on my keychain. Works for library and video cards in most places as well.
posted by jessamyn at 2:06 PM on August 29, 2004

Also, I've noticed that almost every store with the savings cards has an "employee card" that the cashier will scan for you, if you ask. It's better for the store to simply give you the discount than it is to have an upset customer. Just say "I forgot my card" every time, and leave the cards at home.
posted by vorfeed at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2004

Is there a programable key yet? (as in, a key reader and a key that can change shape)

I don't care about the security risk aspects of such a device, but does it exist?
posted by holloway at 5:48 PM on August 29, 2004

Nice, geekyguy. I'm gonna get me one of them...
posted by meech at 7:37 PM on August 29, 2004

I leave the mail box key in my apartment and not with my regular keys. Granted, I live on the first floor, so mail runs are sixty seconds, tops.

(I have the War Amps key-return tag with lost keyrings arriving in the mail. And if the mail box key is among the keys returned through the post, you'll need the hammer-and-flathead-screwdriver mailbox key.)
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:22 PM on August 29, 2004

Supermarket "club" cards are often keyed to the telephone number you provided when you signed up -- I know this is the case for Albertson's and Safeway -- so ditch the card itself and just offer the phone number when asked for it. The cashier will either punch in the number or just swipe a spare card.

This doesn't solve the whole problem, but it should at least get one more unnecessary item out of your inventory.
posted by majick at 8:23 PM on August 29, 2004

My father had a wee leather wallet, with keyhooks lined up inside on a rail. Kept at least half a dozen keys inside it, flat, and it didn't bulk much more than the credit card-sized minifolder I use for my id and stuff now.

I have an aversion to wallets, but that thing was perfect, and if I carried more than 2 keys, I'd use one as well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on August 30, 2004

i carry (currently) 19 keys for work, on one big ring hooked to a carabiner. (i need to get into a lot of rooms in three different buildings. it sucks.) i keep my personal keys (car, 2nd car, house, bike) on a chain in my pocket. the carabiner is a lifesaver. keeping them out of my pocket is good for a start, and when i go out on weekends all i have is my personal keys.

if it gets too tricky, use a small clip to temporarily hook two sets of keys together. works for me.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:46 PM on August 30, 2004

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