It starts with a rushed morning. The kids woke up late, the coffee pot didn’t start, and now you’re running out of the house late for work. And then, you discover your keys are missing. The panic starts, pillows, toys, and furniture starts flying until – sigh of relief – you find them in your two-year-old’s toy box.
I’ve been there; A Monday morning ruined by anger and stress, and anxiety caused by a lost set of keys is a common occurrence in my house. Or, they were until I figured out how to find lost keys at home.
Generally speaking, the fastest way to find lost keys is by making a list of places you been to, and systematically search each place. As a general rule of thumb don’t try to remember where you left the keys, because your mind will play tricks on you.
If you are interested in smart key finders scroll down.
Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Keys The Old Fashion Way
So maybe your Smart Key Finder hasn’t shipped yet, or perhaps you don’t have a Smartphone. What do you do when a Smart Key Finder isn’t available for your use? Locating keys the old-fashioned way can be a horrendous, frustrating affair.
Plenty of shouts have been heard at my house when keys are lost – no one is judging! But there is definitely a smarter way to look for keys than the traditional “pull-your-hair-out” method.
Step 1: Take A Breath
Being a parent on a busy Monday morning can be, well, a nightmare. Kids are screaming, breakfast is burning, and of course the keys are missing! No wonder you feel like chucking everything in sight until you find the darn keys! But don’t.
Keep in mind that forgetting is a human thing. As we age, forgetting is easier to do, but even a 20-something has memory blanks at times. As parents, we get easily distracted by multitasking, which reduces our ability to recall events clearly.
Countless studies show that frustration reduces your ability to concentrate. Plus, when you’re frustrated, stress levels in you and the kids will rise, making for a rough morning. Before starting the key hunt, give yourself a minute to relax and collect your thoughts. A calm mind will make finding your keys a whole lot easier.
Step 2: Don’t Ask Your Memory!
Perhaps the most annoying part of losing your keys is knowing you just set them down! Or even worse, knowing you put them down in a safe place! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our mind isn’t always the most helpful thing when it comes to finding keys.
Our memory is happy to make up details to fill in blanks, especially when we get asked leading questions like “Did you have them in the car?” or “Did you leave them in the kitchen?” These types of questions prime your brain to make up or snatch an old memory of leaving the keys in the suggested place.
Step 3: Retrace Your Steps.
Instead of asking yourself, “Did I leave them xyz…” phrase your question as an open question like “When did I last see the keys?” and start retraining your steps from the last moment you remember without priming yourself for a specific location.
Retracing your steps while focusing on what you were physically doing, feeling, or who you were talking to at the time triggers “context reinstatement,” calling back rich details of exactly where you last saw and used your keys.
Step 4: Look Up, Down, and Around – Systematically!”
Retracing your steps does not always work. Sometimes you just can’t remember where you last had the keys, or perhaps an errant toddler or “helpful” spouse has placed them somewhere else. In this case, you need to start looking for your keys in a logical, systemic fashion.
Start by looking for your keys in the place they are supposed to be. Granted, this may seem futile and frustrating. However, there is a phenomenon called domestic drift that states particular objects never end up placed more than 18 inches from their determined place of belonging. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s an excellent place to start.
After checking the usual place where the keys end up, start systematically checking the house, a single room at a time. Search high and low with the kids and your own actions in mind, keeping these common “key hiding” locations in mind:
- Couches – between and under the cushions.
- Potted plants – who knows what kids are thinking?
- Toyboxes – kids may be playing “clean up.”
- Diaper Bags – it happens more often than you may think.
- Under pillows, blankets, and decorations.
- In the cupboards, fridge, and storage bins.
Do not wander between rooms repetitively searching the “same old spots.” Once you have searched a room, move on and search another room entirely for an efficient search.
Prevention Is “Key”
You can take proactive measures to prevent lost-key scenarios by working with yourself and your children to instill smart “key” habits.
With The Kids
Teach your children that keys are tools, not toys. Remind them that all keys have a special place they go, and let the children “help” put keys away to practice. If your children like to play with keys, get them their own set, and have them store them in the exact location you do to enforce good habits.
A good rule of thumb is to have a designated key location for all keys in the house. Utilize a key rack or drawer and consistently put them away there. Additionally, keep the counters, shelves, and storage areas of the home clutter-free to reduce the chance of keys getting misplaced in a pile of confusing clutter.
Smart Key Finders That Break The “Lost Keys” Cycle
Technology has infinitely improved the lives of parents everywhere. Between Bluetooth baby monitors, speakers, and GPS, parents have never had as many helpful pieces of tech around. But for the longest time, when keys went missing, the only way to find them was to search under nooks and crannies. Enter the Smart Key Finder.
Thanks to the modern technology of Smart key finders. lost keys are a thing of the past. Additionally, Smart Key Finders partner well with a few “smart” self-practices like an established “key hunt process” – featuring a calm demeanor, organization, and strategic search methods.
Touting Bluetooth technology and plenty of bells and whistles, Smart Key Finder brands have grown in popularity over the last few years. Most models attach as a “keychain” to the keyring.
Pioneers like Tile and Esky continue to provide various models ranging from a slim “sticker” design that attaches to phones, laptops, and keys to wallet-friendly options designed like a credit card.
How Smart Key Finders Work
Smart Key Finders utilize either Bluetooth or GPS for locating keys and other items. Generally, most Smart Key Finders are Bluetooth-enabled and not built-in GPS because Bluetooth is lighter, requires less battery, and easy to install. However, GPS finders have a more extended range than Bluetooth and show connected devices in real-time.
Smart Key Finders locate a missing object by initiating a Bluetooth connection or identifying a GPS satellite location. Many Smart Finders come with an app required to trigger the alarm or sound to help you find the phone.
Smart Key Finder Tracking Technology [Bluetooth Vs. GPS]
GPS Smart Key Finders
A GPS key finder utilizes the power of satellites to locate your keys anywhere in the world. Like GPS navigation systems, GPS Key Finders use several satellites to calculate the real-time location of your phone anywhere on Earth. However, their unlimited range comes with a much higher price tag ranging between $100-$200 plus monthly membership fees for utilizing the satellites.
Bluetooth Smart Key Finders
Bluetooth connectivity is excellent for at-home use. Bluetooth Smart Key Finders seamlessly connect to your SmartPhone for ease of use. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy, with most models ranging between $25-$100 for a single unit.
Keep in mind that most Bluetooth connections utilize the phone battery and are useless without a charged phone. Therefore, if the phone is missing, a Bluetooth connection may not work. Additionally, Bluetooth finders have a limited range, generally around 100-400 feet. If you lost your keys outside that range, the finder would not locate them.
Exploring Popular Models of Smart Key Finders
1.Tile Pro (Price Range: $30-$55)
It is a little pricier than the average Key Finder but well worth it for folks who want a replaceable battery and further range than the average model.
- 400 ft range.
- Replaceable Battery.
- Voice compatible with Google Assistant.
- App offers optional tech support and location history.
- Requires a subscription to Tile Premium for out-of-range alerts.
- Location history requires a subscription.
- The 80-decibel alarm could be better.
- More expensive than average models.
The range is above average, though not stellar at 200 feet, but it comes with a handy “out of range” vibration feature for connected phones.
If you’re an eco-friendly conscious buyer, you can buy the One Ocean model made from recycled fishing nets and plastic for around $5 more than the One model.
- Extremely loud alert.
- User-friendly phone capabilities.
- “Out of range” vibrating alert from your phone.
- Recycled option.
- Unimpressive 200 ft. range.
- Hard to find battery replacements.
The Cube Pro Key Finder poses a decent competitor to the Tile flagship models. Its 200 ft. range is average, but the Cube App comes with free location services and an alert system for when you travel out of range.
It is also completely waterproof, as opposed to water-resistant, and cheaper than a Tile Pro.
- Replaceable battery.
- User-friendly app and location features.
- Economical price.
- The range is average.
- 100 decibel sound could be better.
The Orbit Keys model comes with plenty of bells and whistles and a dozen colors to choose from on the Orbit site, including azure, pink, orange, silver, and green. The model is waterproof, works with Alexa and a separation alarm.
As a bonus, the app is both Apple and Android compatible. The Orbit Keys model also features a “selfie-remote” mode, making taking pictures a snap!
- Replaceable battery.
- Separation alarm.
- Last Known GPS location map.
- 6-month battery life is average.
- The 90-decibel speaker isn’t great.
- 100 ft range isn’t great.
The KeyRinger finder is ready to use straight out of the package; you do not need a smartphone or app! This tracker exudes simplicity, coming in a set of 2 trackers that communicate with each other to emit a loud alarm to help you find your keys.
Though the KeyRinger is sans accessories or bonus programming, it does have an exceptional range of 300 ft. The KeyRinger uses audible technology; when one keyringer chirps, the other responds with a similar chirp provided it is within range.
- 300 ft. range
- Ready to use immediately.
- Can connect with multiple KeyRingers.
- The battery lasts up to 18 months and has a low battery warning.
- Decently loud alarm.
- No app for location functions or phone syncing.
- Not water-resistant.
- Annoying “chirp” alarm sound.
A Closing Note On Lost Keys
Lost keys happen – it’s perfectly normal! Give yourself a break when you find yourself searching for the car keys, and remember that a calm search will find your keys faster than any frustrating digging around the house. For the ultimate “smart” solution to the “lost key problem,” consider investing in a Smart Key Finder to take some unneeded stress out of your day.