Secret of Adulthood: Always Put Your Keys Away in the Same Place.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:


This is one of those little actions that, for me at least, ends up making a surprisingly big difference in the quality of my daily life. I really, really, really dislike hunting for things like my keys, wallet, phone, or sunglasses.

Do you have any similar Secrets of Adulthood — something as basic as this?

  • Susanne

    When I was in middle school we went on an overnight class trip. The tour guide instructed us to put our keys on top of the tv. Self-preservation, I imagine. To this day, keys in hotel rooms go on top of or in front of the tv. So helpful.

  • melacey727

    My secret of adulthood is if I am trying to adopt a new habit, I piggyback it onto an already established habit. It ups the odds of the new habit “sticking”. My morning routine is now this sequential chain of little habits, that if it gets any longer, will start creeping into the afternoon!

    • UpbeatMom

      I have the same issue with morning tasks taking longer and longer. I often have hope of getting really important tasks done “first thing”, before I get too busy. The obvious issue is that when you have too many really important tasks they can’t ALL be done first thing!

  • ben

    I just started a blog and am trying to get my name out there. I would love it if we could exchange guest posts on each others blogs. Feel free to check mine out and let me know what you think.

  • Blair424

    Here are a couple of my Secrets of Adulthood:

    If you’re getting out of your car or walking along or whatever, and you hear a funny noise, stop and look around. You might have dropped something.

    When people inconvenience you in some way (for example, they bump into you), smile at them. That way, they know it didn’t bother you. If you just have a blank expression on your face, they might take it to mean you’re annoyed, and they’ll think, “What a jerk!”

    By the way, my cat likes to play with small things and not put them back where she found them. So I keep my keys, glasses, wallet, etc., in the microwave oven.

  • Grandma Honey

    Along these same lines, I always take my keys out of my purse and put them in my hand before leaving a store or where ever I am when it’s time to go home. That way I am never fumbling for them while trying to open the car door. I’m all ready to go. I think it’s safer this way, plus I have never left my keys anywhere.

  • Heidi

    I’ve never expressed it so formally, but my life is soooooo much simpler when I put my keys where they belong. (The hard part was deciding where they belong.)

  • Ha! So simple yet something so often overlooked. Understandably, my grandpa is the worst offender of key placement! I always leave mine in the exact same spot, next to the exact same things when I’m done. It’s become muscle memory to do it and find it there now.

  • I always park in the same row at the grocery store, so much easier to remember where the car is.

  • I also park in the same row at the grocery store, no more wandering around looking for my car.

    • Annie_R_H

      Ditto and for every place I park regularly. It’s too hot in Florida to be wandering around aimlessly with a shopping cart, flicking the magic button to find my car.

  • you already know your weakness by then. Making a mistake all over again if you’re an adult is stupidity already lol.

  • “Check your pockets”. I put wallet and coins in the front left pocket, keys and cellphone in the front right. If anything is missing, the weight feels wrong.

  • peninith1

    I recently moved my Mom in with me (she is almost 89) and this upheaval of my household has caused me to (temporarily, I hope) lose my grip on some of my most treasured and habitual patterns. After six weeks, I am starting to work to re-establish my old habits while incorporating consideration of her needs. I need, for example, to check more carefully at bedtime to make sure all the doors are locked. I need to make sure that I put my keys in their accustomed place more carefully, because now I am often making sure that she can come into the house safely when we’ve been out. Happily, I do HAVE habits that can be reestablished, and any parts of the routine that really remain my own are more to be treasured, because they are something that I can still say to myself that I own in the great loss of privacy that both of us are experiencing at the moment. I never thought these little habits and routines would come to seem special and spiritual, but they have.

  • Renee Howell

    I always put my camera in the same place – so when the kids, pets, weather, famliy “happen” I am ready to snap away!

    • Upbeat Mom

      Good idea. I’ll try this.

  • Leah Day

    I go even further than leaving my keys in the same place – I have a hook keyring that hooks to a loop on my purse. The keys are always on the purse, my wallet is always inside, even my glasses are inside because I rarely wear them in the house.

    I actually bought the purse BECAUSE it had the loop decoration on the handle so it could be used this way. I never lost my keys in the house, but I would lose them in the bottom of my purse or in a pocket or in the store and it always left me feeling disorganized and frustrated. Having it all in one place is essential for an easy start to every outing.

  • Randee Bulla

    After years of trying to find my keys and sunglasses, I finally made a place for them in their own drawer. And for the last several months, I can always go to the drawer and find them. The funny thing is, I am ALWAYS surprised they are actually there.

  • I think this is an extension of your recent ‘broken windows’ analogy (which I loved and referenced in one of my blogs, Losing one’s keys or not being able to do (or advance) the most basic of things can start me tumbling down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it’s the little things that keep the big things in check.

  • Cynthia Wilson

    I have a table near the door. As soon as I enter the house, everything that I need the next morning is placed on that table. During the evening as we finish homework, wash water bottles and add new things to the list, it is organized on that table so there is not running around looking for things the next morning.

  • I always put my camera in the same place – so when the kids, pets, weather, famliy “happen” I am ready to snap away! I find inspiration also in eco style like dvere

  • Ian Allan

    Oh! If I could only remember where I left my keys,
    Searching everywhere upon my hands and Knees.
    And when reading, I often lose my page,
    It must be sign of my ever-increasing age!
    Now I forget to remember the most basic things of all,
    Like where I left the phone when I want to make a call,
    But at least there’s one thing which I will always know,
    That you’ll forever be with me, wherever we will go.

  • Elise

    I love this Gregory and by the looks of all the likes so don’t a lot of other people:)

  • Always be charging. If there’s an outlet for your phone or iPad, charge ’em whether they need it or not.

  • Ronda B

    It’s amazing how such a simple thing can enhance your life. I have numerous corollaries to this, like putting things that need to go with me the next day next to my purse. One of the most important is my glasses, since I am blind without them. I have a policy that there are only a couple places in the house where I will lay them down. If they are not on the desk next to my recliner, then they are on the bathroom counter. Nothing more annoying than searching for glasses when you can’t see!

  • Sue

    Clean the toilet regularly – if you leave it more than a month you’ll regret it!

    Oh yes, and always put your keys away in the same place!

  • Leisa729

    I have a son with Asperger Syndrome he has a very hard time monitoring time and staying organized. This is one of the things we are trying to solidify in him if he can develop strong habits now he will maintain them throughout his adult life. Like others we made a special place for keys, sunglasses, and such. He is legally blind without his glasses yet you would be surprised at the places he leaves them when he is getting ready for bed. Then his vision is so bad he can see to find them….teaching him to always put things in the same place will relieve great levels of stress found when searching ….again for the same item!

  • Dave

    Gretchen, I found that tip funny. I remember as a kid my mother saying, “if you always put things in the same place, you’ll know where they are when you need them.” It seems like a little thing, but it’s very wise advice.

  • Lynnel

    I also hang the purse I am using by my keys- ready to go without wondering which purse has my wallet! Also, finding a home for my cell phone was crucial. Those are the 3 things I spent hours a day searching for! I’m a big fan of a sturdy row of hooks right beside the door.

  • Jennifer Kistler

    YES! to all the four things you said, they are always in my purse. Or at home during the day, my cell phone is out in a certain spot. And I put my purse in one of two places in the house. (And I only own one purse.) Same with coats and shoes when they are taken off. Knowing where things are, especially those kind of things, cuts out a lot of unnecessary stress! Highly recommend.

  • bill

    Thank you for sharing.I kept my keys in the same place too,but seldom realized it.I don’t like to read books that get dirty.So,I’ll always try to keep them clean,like to put each one in a plastic bag.The bookshelf gathers dirt too.So,it might be not a great sight to see books in plastic bags.But it helps to bring a much better reading experience.

  • Veronique

    The number of times I have bitten my tongue when my son is searching the house for his car keys, computer charger, iPad etc. I have told him a few times if you always put things away in the same place you will always know where it is but I think he has heard it enough times! One of my secrets of adulthood, Don’t offer advice unless you’re asked and even then offer it sparingly.

    • em

      I like your recommendation of not offering advice unless asked. I find too many people these days telling me what I should do without my asking. It makes my following my own voice very hard with so many opinions floating around. I have found myself, in turn, doing this to others. Taking a step back has improved friendships and relationships with family tremendously.

  • Ruskin

    I used to spend what seems like half my life staring into a fridge trying to think what to make for dinner. I now print out recipes from the internet and have a notebook where I write down all our favourites. Every week I write a menu citing a page reference for the notebook and order the ingredients simultaneously from the online supermarket. It takes about 45 minutes but it is an amazing feeling of liberation being able to know what’s for dinner and that all the ingredients are to hand. I cook for two adults and two teenagers lunch and dinner and we eat like kings!

  • Kate

    One little rule I follow is to clean out my purse & wallet about once a week. It’s amazing how much junk can end up in one or both. I don’t have a rigid schedule, but it’s such an old habit I just sit down and without really thinking about it, sort through and tidy both up.
    Makes daily life so much easier. And occasionally I find a dollar I didn’t know I had!

  • FlowerLady Lorraine

    This is one habit my dear husband tried to instill in me and one I am working on even now after he passed away in Dec. I miss him terribly, we were married 43 years. Your post about having a place for your keys, has motivated to get out a lovely shell and put my keys in it so that I will know where they are. Thank you ~ FlowerLady