I hate when this happens…

Last night while watching a movie I started idly cleaning out my desk drawer for the first time in…um…

And anyway, quite to my surprise it contained not one but three rings of old keys…


And do I have the slightest idea what any of them go to? I think this one here might be to Ian’s gun safe, and this one looks like it might fit the powershed hasp lock, but as for the others…

And you know what’s going to happen if I just chuck them all, right? Even though they’ve been in the back of a drawer for a decade?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to I hate when this happens…

  1. Ben says:

    Key labels, you need key labels, and use them obsessively. You can make your own from strips of paper and cellophane tape. With labels you would know which keys to keep and which to toss. (And yes I learned that the hard way, but I sometimes still backslide.)

  2. Joel says:

    I inherited pretty much all of these, and it’s possible that some of them never did fit anything around here. So far I haven’t identified any of them.

  3. Robert says:

    Would it be rude to refuse to accept any inherited keys sans label?

    With respect to non-EDC keys, I put the O in OCD with Mr. Labeler. I hate hate hate looking at a key and wondering where it goes, knowing in my heart of hearts the instant I toss it…

    Had a friend give me a home-made art mobile of fifty key blanks. Sure made a pretty tinkling sound. Perhaps Joel could start a Desert Hermit Art Project.

  4. terrapod says:

    Yep, the first rule of keys is you never, ever, get rid of them. We have a very large tin with a tight lid, full of keys. Some I can recall, most I can’t but never toss them as this is when an emergency comes up and old man Murphy visits.

    One can while away a lot of time trying to find a match for a particular key on the chain when you need a spare.

    Metal rimmed label disks with steel spring hoop seem to hold up the best, the ones with string or stick ons do not.

    Labled ones go into the “emergency backup” box affixed to a kitchen cabinet or wall.

  5. Norman says:

    I’ll also plead guilty to OCDitis, especially with keys & locks; at first touch a key gets labeled, and locks as they are unboxed. Amazon sells 25-packs of dog tags, markable with letter and number punches; extra keys get those because stampings don’t fade but memory and ink do. Padlocks are embossed with ID numbers, dutifully recorded on the proper page in in the Household Critical Info Notebook along with the combination if of that type, and their ID numbers added to the keys’ dog tag to facilitate future matching if a keyed lock. This, while severely OCD, turns out to be rather important if one has collected several combination locks; it’s guaranteed that 6 months in the future one will not remember any combination associated with a group of combo locks (I once was gifted a very nice brass Master padlock, the kind with 4 rolling number wheels on the bottom, for which no combination was known. I figured it would make a nice diversion during boring TV shows and be a worthwhile addition to my collection of locks, so beginning with 0000 I embarked on the journey to 9999. I made it to about 1600 before it went in the trash).

    In a concession to human mental frailties I created a “WTF box,” for all those little things of indeterminate origin: “I don’t know what this part goes to, but it’s probably important so I’ll keep it someplace so I know where it is when I figure it out.” That box includes keys.

    I am somewhat disconcerted by the need to increase that box’s size annually…..

  6. Paul Joat says:

    Norman, look up on youtube about picking those master combo locks, it should take minutes to decode them.

  7. Jerry says:

    Key broken off for a loader. Wiggled out the broken bit with a paper clip.
    Whaddayaknow, found one that worked in the key box.
    But will still get another made the next time in town.
    Because Jesus made flowing wine from water, but he also said be prepared for the day you do not know when it will arrive….

To the stake with the heretic!