Having to put up with a stuffed keychain seems like a minor inconvenience — unless you have to feel and carry them every single day. Here are some chain-reducing ideas from readers of long-running tech blog Slashdot, as well as our archives.
A man with a whole bunch of keys asked Slashdot for tips on handling lots of keys. Following this were a whole stream of jokes, pot shots and criticisms of how minor this poster's problems must be. Among the chatter, though, were a few handy tips and ideas.
Reader mlts suggested ringing up the local locksmith, setting as many household locks to one key and ensuring future re-keys are cheap and easy:
If you are going to a locksmith, you might consider getting deadbolt and other locks for your house that uses SFIC cylinders. This way, you can not just have a rekey job in the future be insanely easy (pick up the new cylinders from the locksmith, use the old control key to slide out the old cylinder on each lock, and use the new control key to slide in the new ones), but you can also change brands of cylinders. If you want to change from Best to Medeco, or from Medeco to Schlage Primus, it can be done very quickly.
Get flat copies of your keys and keep them in your wallet.
This is something of a mixed bag needing a bit of thought, though — if someone lifts your wallet, and your driver's licence is current, they get keys to a house they can locate. So perhaps it's not your wallet, and not your main front door key, but keeping spare, plastic copies of keys somewhere else on your person is a workable idea.
tantaliz3 picked up on another commenter's idea and offered a simple consolidation scheme:
I use a similar system. I have one Master Ring with a big ring on it, and each of the sets are on tiny carabiners. When I need that particular set, I attach it to the Master Ring. Otherwise, they hang on the wall by the door.
And mbkennel offered up a suggestion that's smart for those keys you only need once in a while, but secure enough that a thief would need to pry steel from concrete, and then crack a secure metal safe, to get access to:
Those well-known geniuses have figured it out in between the hair salon and the notary. It's called a keybox.
We've tackled the topic of key consolidation in the past 'round this blog before, too, and can recommend a few ideas for those feeling like all the rings, sub-rings and different sized keys are ripping up their jeans and making sitting down a precarious ordeal:
- Compact keychain: Using just washers, a rivet and your keys taken off their chain. (Original post)
- Combined compact keychain and money clip: Building on the washer-and-rivet concept by mounting it to a slim money clip.
- Swiss Army/Leatherman Keys: You'll want to try this with a spare set of keys before committing to it, but if you've got the time — and access to a grinder or metal cutting tool — your keychain can be fit into a single shape and form, and likely consolidated a bit, too.
How have you slimmed down and minimised your own bundle of keys? We get geeked up reading clever ideas — and see pictures — in the comments.