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Label it!

 
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We are dealing with a very unexpected death, and learning a lot of things that we need to be doing too. I have been doing or updating mine, I suggest considering this....

Label or list your keys!

I made a list for my main key ring as it’s difficult to keep labels on keys that are always in your pocket.
Example:
From the truck clicker: Truck ignition; truck tool box; truck spare tire lock (under the back end); house front door; house back door; barn front lock; barn side lock; trailer lock; trailer hitch lock; 4 padlocks that I move around on the property; Tony’s gate; Tony’s barn; Tony’s snowblower;

Label any keys that hang around your house!
Diana’s house; Not sure if these went to the lock I cut off; Dad’s shop; my old house in New Mexico; Ford truck copies

Ideally list where your keys are kept if it’s not obvious:
Tractor ring: sunshine fob; tractor ignition; tractor padlock.  Kept in my purse or hooked in the kitchen.
Mower ring: joy fob; mower ignition; mower padlock.   Kept in my purse or hooked in the kitchen
Dodge truck: praise fob; door; ignition; truck box; gas tank; house front; house back.   Kept by the red chair or on the brown shelves by the back door

What this will do is if someone has to figure out what you have, they now know things like the keys to the house in NM are sentimental, and none of them need to be tried on the padlock on the gate. And if the truck is sold, the spare tire key and the copies go with it. And which of those weird fobs are to which tools, I know, but now it's down someplace.

What else in your life might need a label?

That weird cut piece of wood that is required to clean the chimney? Label it!
The wrench that shuts off the house water? Label it!
 
master gardener
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Great idea.  My wife and I are going through this issue now.  It extends to papers, the contents of storage boxes,  and the numerous special purpose items that are on a homestead.   And yes, keys.   I would also suggest and annual relabeling day.   New items appear.....and labels do fall off.  
 
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Sorry to hear about your loss, Pearl.
Listing the keys is a great idea.

If you have lots of people with keys to the same thing, especially padlocks (we have 3 padlocks to get onto our property, all made by the same mfr with the same kind of keys), we've had luck painting same-colored spots with nail polish on each padlock and its specific keys. The labels don't fall off, it resists weather, and we can give a set of keys to someone who comes to feed our dog when we're away and they don't have to be fiddling around in the rain trying to get in.
 
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One of the things I'm working on is a map to label where my perennial herbs and veggies are. Fruits too. A lot of them don't even look like food if you don't know what they are.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Leigh Tate wrote:One of the things I'm working on is a map to label where my perennial herbs and veggies are. Fruits too. A lot of them don't even look like food if you don't know what they are.



Yup, me too. I prefer food that doesn't look like food to others, makes it creative to find plants sometimes.

Check this thread of mine too:  Owner's Manual for odd lives  All kinds of neat ideas in there.
 
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One of the handiest items that I have found for this:



https://www.amazon.com/Key-Caps-Tags-All-One/dp/B00HCS8D4I/

If you make a list and hang it on the wall where it is easy to see it would be easy to say something like:

Green key: front door
Red key: back door
Orange key: truck ignition
Purple key: storage building
 
pollinator
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So sorry Pearl.

I too have some order to my daily keys, a carabiner clip with a main ring, then sub-rings on that. On the house key ring, the most frequently used are nearest the main ring. There's also a business key ring, padlock ring, and "other people's keys" ring.

The house key ring is the most trouble however... two work keys, house key, two keys for rental, and two more...house keys... to mom's house???
So Mom's house is the trouble, years of changing locks to keep my brother out, wear and tear, new doors... I'm sure I don't have (carry?) a key to all the doors... 7 doors, only two keyed alike. (One other happens to be keyed same as our rental, so some savings?) It's madness. Oh, and I don't have a key to our own front door.

Simplifying the keys by having all the doors to a house keyed alike, especially if there's more than two, can save a lot of hassle.
We have a storage unit that I lost the key to, because it was just a padlock key, NO ring, NO fob, NO clip. Going to have to pick or cut the lock one of these days to get our stuff out. A single, bare key is trouble.
Labelling is a start for sure, especially for the "spare copies of all the keys" ring, or for the single keys like for the tractor. A colorful fob can mean easy instructions, or a quick search, a jingle bell could alert you to a dropped key in the moment.

Be careful about labels that anyone could figure out, however, in case you lose your daily key ring, and someone figures out where you live. Like don't stamp your street/apartment number onto your key. Maybe the decorated keys are a good idea?
Security wonks, like "the Lock Picking Lawyer" (on YouTube) are even cautious about showing their keys, lest someone "decode" the cut of the key! As for that key that comes with the new lockset? if it has a 5 or 6 digit number on it, that's the code for the lock! and easier than a phone number to memorize!! (and cut a perfect key from) So it's safer to keep that key at home as your spare, and carry a duplicate from the hardware store...

As for other stuff... Labels help A LOT! So that special piece of wood, that does a special thing won't get used someplace else.
Another thing that helps, if you made a "tool" ...is to finish it! Sand it smooth, oil it or paint it, add a hole or a ring/loop of rope to hang it up (do that too) and it will be more apparent that it has a purpose, and will be saved.

 
Pearl Sutton
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I have a lot of keys, to lots of locks, that get moved around.
When I was labeling my tools I bought a set of pens for things that didn't just get painted hot pink (pink tools show up in deep grass when you drop them) and they are being used for keys now too.
I bought these:
Uni Paint Markers set of 12


I make a shape and color on a lock (like a white square) and the matching one on the keys that go to it. It helps me immense amounts, simply look at the lock, see it's mark, find the key. I've only got a few things that those pens won't stick to.

I  also, after this wake up call with a death, bought a package of this type of key tag things for tagging keys are that don't belong on my well marked rings.
tough plastic Key Tags I got all clear, they come in colors too.


This is what works with my head, your system will vary :)

:D
 
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This has been touched on, but I will point it out specifically:

There are places that sell padlocks in sets of 3 or 4 with identical keys for the lot. For people who know they will need multiple gates/outbuildings locked, I can't recommend it enough!

We have three gates, one shared, another that tends to be accessed by approved people, and a third that it would just be convenient for me if it was keyed the same, so I talked hubby into buying a set when they were on sale. I *wish* I'd asked for a set of 4 because although it wouldn't have an immediate use, I can see it coming down the pipe.

In fact I will start watching for a sale on a set - I so wish my bike lock was keyed the same as the gate lock!
 
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Pearl, I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. Here's hoping that you're getting some good rest during the chaos of dealing with everything.

Aside from labeling things, which I am famously bad at, I am just going to go with suggesting that everybody GET RID OF STUFF. All of the losses I have been close to have been massively complicated by the sheer volume of "stuff". Not only does it create more confusion and the emotional burden of deciding what to keep or toss, but it's just a hell of a lot of work. So I have made it my mission in life to keep fewer things and teach my kids to do the same. I am as sentimental as anyone, but I find that I am more connected to those around me when my life is not so cluttered by things. Not only does a less-stuff-y life make housecleaning an easier task, but it will also simplify things drastically for those who come after you. IMO it lends deeper significance to the things that you do decide to keep.

Last week I bought the most giant sparkly keychain to put on my truck keys, so I wouldn't lose them anymore. I lost them within 20 minutes. In my pocket. A bystander had to help me find them. I don't think labels are going to help me.
 
Kenneth Elwell
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Jay Angler wrote:This has been touched on, but I will point it out specifically:

There are places that sell padlocks in sets of 3 or 4 with identical keys for the lot. For people who know they will need multiple gates/outbuildings locked, I can't recommend it enough!



There are also combination locks. We have one on our machinery shed, and there is no key to lose or leave behind... just a combination to recall. There are cheap ones for kids school lockers, and then there are better ones that you can set/reset your own combination code.
A combination code can also be shared with a phone call or a text message to allow access if you are not there (repair guy, neighbor, friend). and a resettable one could be changed later, after work was finished to lock out the contractors then onwards...
One drawback is having light to enter the code on the lock, at night, you need a light or the full moon... whereas a key can be used in the dark quite easily.
 
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Marie Abell wrote:Last week I bought the most giant sparkly keychain to put on my truck keys, so I wouldn't lose them anymore. I lost them within 20 minutes. In my pocket. A bystander had to help me find them. I don't think labels are going to help me.



Labels might not help you. However, they help immensely when you're getting assistance from others in an emergency or not. I've been in the role of outside assist and sometimes it is difficult and time consuming.
 
echo minarosa
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:
One drawback is having light to enter the code on the lock, at night, you need a light or the full moon... whereas a key can be used in the dark quite easily.





A thumb light on your key chain helps a lot in those situations.
 
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When we bought this house it came with a massive bunch of keys, I've never bothered to look at what they open. some are labeled but the labels are useless, as they named the doors and we don't know which door is named what.  We only use the front door (there's 3 lockable doors and 1 that has no lock) a friend has a key to the side door. None of the barn doors are locked (8 of them) though the padlocks are in general attached and the tractor key is in the ignition, it probably doesn't come out anymore.

To me your locks just sound to complicated if I throw you a key here it will open one of three doors Even if I don't tell you which door you will soon work that out. we have 1 car it has one key card, the tractor has 1 key (in it) the only other keys are the postbox and the padlock on the cash box on our road side stand, the "biggest" keyring we have contains the front door key and the postbox key, no one is going to have an issue working out which of those is which.
 
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For those in need of a bit more... security, shall we say. One may not want to clearly label keys on a ring. Also, if someone can't write small enough, or can't print out labels or whatever, you may not be able to clearly label keys and tools and various widgets and remain legible.

Labeling one's keys with "A," "B," "C," etc, and then having a master list available in an accessible-but-out-of-the-way spot may be called for.

This is what I've done, and it's a system that's provided a bit more peace of mind. Maybe it will work for you and your circumstances as well.
 
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Marie Abell wrote:P...Aside from labeling things, which I am famously bad at, I am just going to go with suggesting that everybody GET RID OF STUFF. All of the losses I have been close to have been massively complicated by the sheer volume of "stuff". Not only does it create more confusion and the emotional burden of deciding what to keep or toss, but it's just a hell of a lot of work. So I have made it my mission in life to keep fewer things and teach my kids to do the same. I am as sentimental as anyone, but I find that I am more connected to those around me when my life is not so cluttered by things. Not only does a less-stuff-y life make housecleaning an easier task, but it will also simplify things drastically for those who come after you. IMO it lends deeper significance to the things that you do decide to keep.
....


You are right Marie. And I think of that ('decluttering' when needed, doing my best not to have too much stuff). But my mother, now 91 y.o and her health is getting worse every day, she never decluttered! Until recently she lived in her house with three floors, all rooms filled with stuff, not only (old) furniture. We (her children) tried to help her tidy it a few times, but she didn't allow us to take things away that 'maybe will be useful one day or another'. And now she's in a home for elderly people and it looks like she won't return to her own house anymore ... there will be a lot of work to do in that house!
 
Marie Abell
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Marie Abell wrote:P...Aside from labeling things, which I am famously bad at, I am just going to go with suggesting that everybody GET RID OF STUFF. All of the losses I have been close to have been massively complicated by the sheer volume of "stuff". Not only does it create more confusion and the emotional burden of deciding what to keep or toss, but it's just a hell of a lot of work. So I have made it my mission in life to keep fewer things and teach my kids to do the same. I am as sentimental as anyone, but I find that I am more connected to those around me when my life is not so cluttered by things. Not only does a less-stuff-y life make housecleaning an easier task, but it will also simplify things drastically for those who come after you. IMO it lends deeper significance to the things that you do decide to keep.
....


You are right Marie. And I think of that ('decluttering' when needed, doing my best not to have too much stuff). But my mother, now 91 y.o and her health is getting worse every day, she never decluttered! Until recently she lived in her house with three floors, all rooms filled with stuff, not only (old) furniture. We (her children) tried to help her tidy it a few times, but she didn't allow us to take things away that 'maybe will be useful one day or another'. And now she's in a home for elderly people and it looks like she won't return to her own house anymore ... there will be a lot of work to do in that house!



Oh Inge, what a situation! I guess my insistence on getting rid of things comes from a fear that maybe someday if I am lucky enough to make it to 91, I'll be that lady still saving everything. I have that tendency, and I see it in my kiddos as well. I feel for your mom though, my dad was the same way before he died; I always thought it was because he didn't acheive quite everything in life that he really wanted to, but he did have his stuff. So if he had let go of his things, he would have lost a big chunk of his self-worth. I think for certain personalities things hold so much sentimental worth, and are connected to a person's feeling of usefulness--if they have useful stuff, then they are useful. Something like that. Anyways I guess I'm just trying to say that I do have sympathy for those stuff-keepers! But I hope not to put that burden on others in my future.

Good luck to you and take care of yourself!
 
Jay Angler
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Marie Abell wrote:

Anyways I guess I'm just trying to say that I do have sympathy for those stuff-keepers!

I'm working on a friend or two that have so much "stuff" that it seems more of an anchor than a joy.  Some of it could potentially be sold for a little extra pocket money if they were willing. My biggest concern, which I've told them, is that if they don't, the people left with the task of removing it when they're gone will likely get a dumpster and it will *all* go to the land-fill. If they actually want others to enjoy and benefit from their collections, this is more likely to happen if they sell or give them away a few at a time. So far, it's not working, but I keep hoping!
 
Marie Abell
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Jay Angler wrote:Marie Abell wrote:

Anyways I guess I'm just trying to say that I do have sympathy for those stuff-keepers!

I'm working on a friend or two that have so much "stuff" that it seems more of an anchor than a joy.  Some of it could potentially be sold for a little extra pocket money if they were willing. My biggest concern, which I've told them, is that if they don't, the people left with the task of removing it when they're gone will likely get a dumpster and it will *all* go to the land-fill. If they actually want others to enjoy and benefit from their collections, this is more likely to happen if they sell or give them away a few at a time. So far, it's not working, but I keep hoping!



I feel your pain, Jay! LOL I am working on convincing my 3-year-old that life is not about stuff. It's not working. We recently did a major downsizing of his formerly-gigantic toy collection, and it did not go well. Every single day he reminds me which stuff I got rid of and how much he misses it. Maybe some people are born this way? He even saves bandaid wrappers. Maybe it is a long-lost foraging/stockpiling/inventing instinct of some sort. For now I'm trying to stand back and figure him out and maybe turn what I see as a problem into a solution...permaculture parenting! Hehehe
 
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:We have a storage unit that I lost the key to, because it was just a padlock key, NO ring, NO fob, NO clip. Going to have to pick or cut the lock one of these days to get our stuff out. A single, bare key is trouble.


FOUND IT ! ! !
OMG, I found it.
Right. where. it. was. last. seen.

(sort of)
In my truck.
(which I used to haul things to the storage unit)
Deep in the cupholder, underneath two small bottles of hand sanitizer, and among some drill bits placed there so they would not get lost or poke a hole in my pocket...

So, I "needed" one of those drill bits (turned out to be the wrong sizes, in fact) and in clearing out the cupholder, I uncovered the lost key! It must have been underneath a bottle or stuck to it when I looked before.
The key had one of those green grocery rubber bands, that get sticky after sitting in a hot car, tied to it.
 
Jay Angler
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:

FOUND IT ! ! !
OMG, I found it.

Congratulations! Does it have a better key ring than an elastic band now? My son is partial to carabiners and rings, because the biner can clip on his belt loop.
I'm partial to deep pockets which is a problem as women's clothing no longer has functional pockets in most cases.

When the children were little, I sewed their bike lock key to the strap of their helmet. They always took their helmets into the school, so it seemed the logical spot - very large key-ring on that little bike key and it never got lost!

There's no need to go fancy if you simply need functional or cheap!
 
Kenneth Elwell
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Yes, it does now, and it's hanging in the key area in the kitchen.

All my daily use keys are on some sort of carabiner or clip. I feel comforted when they are clipped to their usual beltloops, and really weird when they are not there.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Jay Angler wrote:Kenneth Elwell wrote:

FOUND IT ! ! !
OMG, I found it.

Congratulations! Does it have a better key ring than an elastic band now? My son is partial to carabiners and rings, because the biner can clip on his belt loop.
I'm partial to deep pockets which is a problem as women's clothing no longer has functional pockets in most cases.

When the children were little, I sewed their bike lock key to the strap of their helmet. They always took their helmets into the school, so it seemed the logical spot - very large key-ring on that little bike key and it never got lost!

There's no need to go fancy if you simply need functional or cheap!


I like my keys to have carabiners and rings too. Not to clip them to a belt. I just want my keys to make a sound if they fall down. The more metal things on them, the better I hear them!
Btw if one of my clothes doesn't have a pocket (f.e. leggings), I make sure I put on another piece of clothing with pockets (f.e. coat). My favourite garden working pants has six pockets (or even seven?), but I think these are men's pants originally
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