Why do I keep losing or misplacing my keys?
Common sense and science both indicate that you should have a dedicated place for important essentials such as keys, your wallet, glasses and passport.
Neuroscientist Daniel Leviten says there is a structure in your brain, the hippocampus, that is tasked with keeping track of the location of important things, whether it’s your favourite coffee shop or house keys.
“The hippocampus is really good for things that don’t move around much, but not so good for things that move around, so this is why we lose car keys and reading glasses and passports,” he says in a TED Talk. He suggests having a designated spot in your home for your keys, perhaps a hook or a particular bowl.
However, Victoria Police recommends keeping house and car keys out of sight and not in a bowl or on a hook next to a front door or window because that can attract potential burglars.
What’s the best place to hide a spare key?
Victoria Police says most burglaries are opportunistic and occur during the day when residents are not at home. While phones, computers, cash, jewellery and bikes are what burglars want most from your home, there are unusual things thieves want to steal as well.
Garages are a hotspot for burglary entry, especially as many Victorians don’t keep their garage doors closed or well maintained.
A welcome mat, pot plant or a fake rock are often the first places a burglar looks, in the hope that there's a hidden key under there that will provide access to your house. The safest thing to do is to leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour or family member.
You should also be cautious about where you leave your keys inside. Even when you’re home you should keep your door locked and secure your windows. Victoria Police says unlocked side and rear doors and windows are the most common entry points for burglars. If your house keys and/or car keys are in a bowl or on a hook near an entry point, they are easily taken.
A key safe – a strong storage box with a keycode – is a popular way of storing a spare key but it’s important to make sure you install your key safe in a discreet area that can’t be seen from the street.