6 Non-obvious Places to Hide a Key

A hidden key.

It’s a good idea to keep a spare key hidden somewhere outside of your home in the event of a lockout. That’s not something that ever happens intentionally, but unfortunately, it’s something that does accidentally occur from time to time. Having one hidden is also a good way to ensure that family members and loved ones can access your home if they need to and you aren't around.

Regardless of who ends up using the key, it can be tricky to find the perfect place to hide one so that it’s readily accessible, yet in a subtle enough spot that it won’t get into the wrong hands. Roughly 33 percent of burglars enter a home through the front door, and you don’t want to give them the key to waltz right into your home, right? Below, learn some of the most clever spots to hide a key to ensure that you’re never stuck outside with no way to get into your home.

1. With a Neighbor

This isn’t necessarily hiding a key, but if you have a neighbor you trust, ask them to hold a spare key. This is a great solution to protect yourself against an accidental lockout that doesn’t require leaving a key outside where it can be found by the wrong person.

2. Inside a Birdhouse

A birdhouse is not only a great spot for birds to enjoy, but it makes for the perfect spot to hide a spare key. Use the opening or door of a birdhouse to open it up and place a key, perhaps even affixing a hook on the inside of the structure to hold your key.

3. Behind a Thermometer

A thermometer on the side of a house.

It’s a normal thing to have a thermometer affixed to the siding of your home so that you can stay in the know regarding the weather. Besides serving that purpose, this device also makes for the perfect spot to hide a spare key. Simply affix small hooks to the back of the thermometer, which is likely open enough in the back to rest a spare key on a hook and still flatly place the thermometer against your home.

4. On Your Dog Leash

When you take your dog for a walk, you may run the risk of forgetting your key and locking yourself out. Mitigate that risk by attaching a spare key to the leash so that even if you forget your regular set, you’re covered. Keep the leash in the garage in case of a different lockout to make this a dual-purpose trick.

5. Behind a Door Knocker

A door knocker on a red door.

Sometimes the best place to hide a spare key is closest to where it will actually be used. The inside of a door knocker is a good hiding spot. Simply attach a magnet to the inside of the door knocker and use it to hold your key so it’s there when you need it.

6. Under a Pinecone

Okay, this one may sound a bit outlandish, but it actually works. Take a pinecone and hot glue it to the top of an empty pill bottle. Then, put the key in the bottle and seal it up. Bury this bottle.

Places Not to Hide a Key

There are also places that are not so clever and that should be avoided in order to keep your home safe.

1. Under the Door Mat

A hide a key under a door mat.

It may be tempting to place a key under your doormat for those lockout emergencies, but it’s way too obvious of a spot to use safely.

2. In a Flower Pot

Potted plants were once thought to be a clever spot to hide a spare key in, but that idea has been used too often, making this hiding spot a big no-no.

3. Under a Rock

A hide a key under a rock.

Hiding a spare key under a rock is another too obvious spot that should be avoided. Even rocks that are meant to be “hide a key” spots are iffy, so try to use a more creative idea.

Hide your spare key well and creatively in order to ensure that your home stays safe and you don’t get locked out.