Best And Worst Places To Hide A Spare House Key


How many of you keep a spare house key? Do you hide a key in one of the following obvious places?

The WORST possible place to hide your spare key is ANYWHERE NEAR THE FRONT DOOR!

DO NOT hide the key under the mat.
DO NOT hide the key under a flower-pot near the front door.

I hope you realize that every burglar knows to look for your spare house key…

  • on the top door-sill
  • anywhere in the porch light
  • in the mailbox
  • under the doormat
  • in the potted plant
  • inside the plastic fake rock near the front door
  • in a magnetic key holder that may be attached to something near the door

You get the idea… anywhere near the front door will be obvious places for a potential burglar to quickly look. Just don’t do it.

 Here are a few alternative ideas.

Where To Hide A Spare House Key

Keep a spare house key with your BBQ grill sitting in the back yard. Find an inconspicuous spot (inside the lower compartment?) and stash your spare key there.

If you have vinyl siding, you might find a lip where you can tuck a spare key. Just find a spot that’s not near the front of the house.

A fake rock would work, but be sure to put it in an area with other rocks, in the side-yard or backyard, so it doesn’t stand out.

( Here’s a nice fake rock for this purpose on amzn )

Place a spare key in a small zip lock bag (to protect from the elements and corrosion) and hide it under a larger rock or pavers stone, step stone, etc. somewhere in the back yard.

If you have an out-building or shed, there will be a multitude of hiding places inside. Maybe under a gas can, or under a stack of scrap wood, etc.

If you implicitly trust your neighbor, you might consider leaving a spare with them (be wary though, especially if there are other family members there who might be a risk).

An outdoor rated spare key lock box. I would still hide it out of direct view, though it’s safe for several spare keys.

( Key Lock Box for Outside )

How about somewhere in the chicken coop? Sounds like a good idea to me…

The point is, there are lots of possibilities of where to hide your spare key. Just don’t hide it anywhere obvious. And do not hide it anywhere near the doors themselves (front or back).

The key is (pun intended), pick a clever place and just be aware that no-one is watching you when you initially hide your key.

What are your ideas?

[ Read: Door Security Bar – Extra Layer of Protection ]

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  1. If you can get in your garage using the key pad for your garage door opener… put the house key into a binder and stand it on a shelf in plain view. Label the binder with words like RainBird Sprinkler System or Honda Generator Manual, then go to their website and print some corresponding product info to put into the binder to make it look authentic. In the middle of the paperwork, attach the key to one of the binders rings.

    It will look so authentic to even a thief that they won’t waste time searching it, plus you have an easily describable location to give to someone trustworthy who may need access to your house when you’re not there. A simple, “Grab the Sprinkler Manual off the shelf to get the spare key” will be easily done.

  2. How about somewhere in the garage? Lots of good hiding places there, especially if you’ve got as much gardening stuff in there as I do.

    1. Yup! That has worked for years. 50 or more clear view parts draws in a container mislabeled. Most important, only 3 people are aware!!!

  3. Have one door without a key, but a simplex lock, which is activated by a code number input. The lock is not powered, so electricity is not a concern. Door code can be changed at any time, if you keep the tool to do so.

    Good enough for government work…

    Go to and seek all the various locks and options. The bad guy cannot find a key, if there is no key.

  4. Maybe a great place would be under a rock at the base of a tree in the woods if you have or live near woods? Nowhere near the house though. I usually do such a good job with this that I can’t find it when needed.

    1. My parents have multiple rock gardens scattered around the house. Putting a fake rock with a key blends right in and no one will ever notice. Unless we tell exactly where the fake rock is, a theif /burglar could spend weeks going through piles of rocks in the flower gardens and then most likely still miss the key.
      The problem is not the burglar but wintertime. It was a pain trying to get the key when everything is buried in a foot of snow and frozen in place amongst other rocks. You practically need the garage key so you can get a rock pick so you can get the house key. Multiple layers of safety. I wonder, does 2 is 1 and 1 is none count here?

      1. Yeah, the fake rock hey box doesn’t really work if it is the only ‘rock’ to be seen. It’s like having a neon sign overhead with an arrow pointing to the ‘rock’ and the sign says “spare key”.

  5. Years ago, my next door neighbor and I each had “No Trespassing” signs on the gates to our fences that led to our back yards. We each hid our spare key taped behind the other’s ‘No Trespassing” sign.

    I used to keep a spare key on my enclosed front porch, but I got new security screen doors front and back, which I keep locked, so I can’t get onto my porch without a key to the front screen door. I have that front porch key hidden out back in a place no one would guess (pretty far from the back door, but that key doesn’t work in the back door — either the screen or the main door. If someone finds it, it only works for the front door.)

  6. I could tell y’all where we keep our spare key, but then I would have to kill ya , just say’n

  7. My neighbor has digital door locks. He also has a sign:

    Owner has firearms
    and a backhoe

  8. Of course you know that locking your house is to keep the honest people honest.
    If someone wants to get in, they’re going to get in.
    So many ways.

  9. I taught my dog to bark to sound activate the dog door so when I come home he brings the key ring he keeps under his well used Nancy Peloci chew doll.

    1. I am with you, old guy. I keep my spare key hanging on the collar of my very mean, big dog. He likes me….but no one else!

  10. I keep my spare set of keys (House, truck, jeep, garage, so on) after all I might not want to get into the house if I’m suspicious of intruders.
    I keep them…. ohhh wait a minute……
    Ahhh what the heck, I keep them in a Stainless steel water tight box about 2 feet inside the Compost bin.
    Figure if I’m stupid enough to lock myself out I deserve the need for a shower once I get them.

  11. Best yet never need to lock a door , at the big ranch I don’t have locks on the doors of the cabin or the trading post ,never have and doughtever will ,now the little place has locks on the doors but I can’t remember the last time was locked , but we have two Anatolian shepherd dogs. Most folks tend to wait to get out of there truck ,a locked road gate tends to keep trouble out ,1/4mile driveway 1 1/2mile dead end part one lane road
    Trading Post has a safe. And good people around,
    Tea with a touch of rum and bed

    1. When I was younger in the 70’s, we almost never locked the doors. When we left to make a run to town or some such, we would just close the inside door which would signify we weren’t home. Family friends were trusted for the most part and did really worry about whether anything would be missing when we got back home. Then again, we were pretty poor back then so we didn’t really have anything of value worth stealing.

      Fast forward a few decades——the front doors are locked even if we are at home in the back yard. Can’t really trust anyone today.

      1. Then again, back in the 70’s we did have a dog. He was a crossbreed mastiff pit bull with some other dog. He looked like a mastiff pit but was about four times bigger than a regular pit bull. Family and friends would all laugh when we would sit around in the back yard and watch him chew on car tires. That was probably another reason why no one went inside when we were gone

        1. @ inprepper, yup. Know what you mean. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, very seldom if ever locked our doors on the farm, now I lock the doors when I’m in the house or out in the yard working, my car and pu are locked when they are in the garage or left outside. My dad was the same way, until the state police showed up at his door one night asking about his pu, it had been used in an armed robbery. He never locked anything up either, until that happened.

          1. When I lived in Texas, my boss had a bunch of stuff stolen out of his garage-tools, lawnmower, small air compressor, and other stuff. The garage door was open. Him and his wife were both home working in the back yard just behind the garage at the time. This was in broad daylight as well.

  12. At the farm, we always used to leave the keys in the vehicles. Some fidnt even have keys. The ignition crapped out and afterward it would just be a push button to start.
    Again, fast forward a few decades—–the keys get removed after the ignitions getting stolen a couple times. Since the ignition was not high tech as they were just regular grain trucks, anyone could have taken them. After removing the keys, the ignitions never were stolen again.

    My, how times have changed!

    1. INPrepper,

      When I first moved from Colorado to Wyoming I was surprised at how many people didn’t lock their doors. I got a job at the local newspaper and the first week I worked, our editor came into the office and asked if he could borrow a car as his was in the shop. The lady at the desk next to me said he could borrow her truck and told him where it was parked (about a block away and around the corner.) He headed out the door. I asked her, “Don’t you have to give him the key? ”

      “Oh, it is in the truck,” she said.

      Since then I learned there was a saying: “You know you are in Wyoming if you leave your keys in the car and the car is still there next day.”

      15 years later, I am not sure that is still true, but every winter there are still many people who leave their engines running to keep the car warm while their owners are in the store shopping.

      1. I saw that quite a bit when I lived in Wyoming. I would be at the gas station fueling up and getting snacks at 5:30 in the morning. There would be about half a dozen other vehicles running with no one inside. They were all in the store getting ‘food’ for the day on the drilling rigs. Myself, when I lived in Rock Springs, I never left my car running unattended.

      2. My uncle gave my father a very used old car , we were poor, it had only one tire and didn’t run. He got up the next morning and low and behold someone stole it. This was in Staten Island New York.

  13. After we mounted a metal garden hose holder to the side of the house, it became the perfect cover for a key in a magnetic holder. I also like the idea of an outdoor socket cover (the kind with a hinged door) installed on exterior wall or shed wall.

  14. I know the spare key to the house is in a lockbox in a locked file cabinet. The key to the lockbox is in a locked desk and the key to the file cabinet is under the file cabinet. The key to the locked desk is in the toolbox. All this is locked in the garage. There is a garage door opener in the locked car in the backyard. The battery for the garage door opener is locked in the trunk of the car. The keys to the car are locked in the shed. The key to the shed is under the front door mat.
    A burglar needs to break a window to get in, but not me! You only forget your key once…..

    1. WOW Sam
      Do you have a flow chart hidden somewhere in a locked place telling you the correct steps to unlocking everything?
      Me, I’d be lost after file cabinet and just go grab a brick. Hehe

  15. Growing up in the 40s & 50s, Conn. & Mass., rural areas, Nobody locked their doors !

    Unheard of today.

    What’s next ? Fortresses ?

  16. A friend of mine had a garden gnome in the flower bed by his back door, key was in a little compartment that looked like a barn door on his azz

  17. We had some neighbors in Alaska who were Police. They never locked their door because they said if someone wants to get in they will. This way they won’t have to replace their doors or windows.

  18. Very long time lurker here to say I leave a few decoy keys outside under bricks and rocks near the front and back doors.

  19. I have put a screw in my fence post that is not obvious until you reach behind the fence post and feel the key.

  20. My mom is good at hiding keys, but she forgets where she puts them. On the window a/c unit, under the propane tank, inside the cat food container, under a cinder block in the crawl space. She lives in a place that doesn’t need locked doors usually, but a certain person thinks it’s his right to drink all of her liquor, so everything is locked up tight.

    I just dig a hole.

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