Today when I woke up I couldn't find my keys (car + car alarm + house + job + key chain, all together).

I know that they should be somewhere around my house or garage, because last night I returned home driving. I always try to leave them on my desk, but couldn't find them there.

I searched like crazy in the morning, but with no success (was stressed out and running late). What alternatives do I have to effectively search and find my lost keys?

I already plan to search everywhere again with calm mindset, and try to recall where they could be, but I wonder if there is a more effective or efficient way of doing it, as I am short on ideas (taking advantage of the fact that they are metallic/electronic, perhaps).

What do you suggest?

Note: I also thoroughly checked inside my car (luckily the window was halfway down to open it), but no success again.

  • Btw first post here :) great to know this SE site exists.
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 11, 2017 at 2:47
  • try to search you car especially under the seat OR mostly they are inside left pocket of your jacket. and also check washing machine or the bucket you put your dirty clothes.
    – melic
    Nov 11, 2017 at 22:52
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    @melic thanks I did, luckily I could open my car without my keys, otherwise it would have been impossible.
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 12, 2017 at 1:46
  • Last time I lost mines, they where in their usual place, but they had fallen BEHIND the furniture, so try to look in those places Nov 14, 2017 at 10:32
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    Adding to the idea that prevention is better than cure, I help make my keychain be bigger by taking out my somewhat large wallet at the same time. So then instead of looking for a relatively smaller thing (keys), I can get by with looking for a larger "thing", which is the group of wallet or keys. Finding either works well.
    – TOOGAM
    Nov 19, 2019 at 22:47

6 Answers 6


Someone I know would advise you to look in the fridge first. (And if you are a hot drink drinker, around the kettle or coffee machine.)

Seriously, walk the way through the house as you would have done when getting out of the car after the last time you had your keys.
Look at all surfaces you pass, that is also on the floor, each of the tables and chairs and if you put away shopping the shelving those are stored.

If that first walk does not work, get down to get your eye at floor level and look under the furniture, take a strong flashlight and shine on floor level. It works best if you have someone helping you, as a person away from the source of light has a different view which can be very helpful.
And feel between and under the cushions on your sofa and comfy seat, under your dining chairs and so on.

And if you have someone in the house with you, ask them to do a tour of your walking route as well, with all the extra looking on the surfaces.

Your walk that day ended (most likely) with you stepping in your bed and under the bed and between the bedding is also a great place for keys to hide. So do not forget to look there.

  • Thanks :) found them. What helped me most was to "simulate" entering my house to find them. Turned out they were hidden on the floor near my desk lol. I'll wait a bit before accepting your answer to see if other users have their saying here.
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 12, 2017 at 1:45
  • My 2¢: Shining a light "at" floor level is correct when discussing position of the horizontal beam from a flashlight in this situation.
    – Stan
    Oct 28, 2019 at 15:28

You don't have to come to that if you choose a specific place to put your specific keys, that way wouldn't lost it at first place(unless you're very much drunk). You can buy LED key ring so that it will glow when you switch off light. Apart from this I don't have any idea. Stripping sound buzzer would be costly idea but would save some time.

  • Yeah, I always place them near my desk, that is why I got baffled when they were not there (I did had one beer that day, but was sober enough to safely/legally drive back home). What is that sound buzzer you suggest though?
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 14, 2017 at 1:50
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    Search Whistle Beeping keyring, thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mmZZMwKoulnFfxniRz5FdQg.jpg is an example. You whistle and it beeps and flashes. Would at least narrow down any future search.
    – TiO
    Nov 14, 2017 at 10:18
  • I always put the keys in their place. At home this is a row of hooks in a little key cupboard. In the car there is a place under the hand brake. At work they go in a special compartment of my bag. If I always put them away, they are where I expect them to be.
    – RedSonja
    Nov 16, 2017 at 11:51
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    If you read the comments on the other answer you see that the OP also always put his keys in the same place, only this time they fell off that table and disappear under it.
    – Willeke
    Nov 16, 2017 at 17:39

Try looking underneath things that you recently touched and may have put down on top of your keys.

Try looking at or above eye level in case you set them on top of something higher than normal.

Try the cracks of cushions.

Think whether you might have bumped them off a counter into a trash can.

"Clean until you find it" often works. You may find it under something you clean, you can search more easily when there are more bare surfaces, and simply spending time in the area while you clean gives your brain time to wander around the area and think where they might be. Plus, it's so much easier to clean the house when motivated by missing keys than just because it's messy!


Purchase a Tile and attach to your key ring. They work brilliantly. See https://www.thetileapp.com/en-us/

  • +1 Whoa, what a great gadget!! Thanks for the suggestion. Too bad I missed Black Friday :'( guess I now know what I want for Christmas.
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 3, 2017 at 7:33
  • @DarkCygnus The tile finder is overpriced. My keyfinder that uses a remote instead of my phone was $13 on Amazon. No waiting for Christmas needed. Jul 10, 2019 at 17:42

I used to misplace my keys all the time. I haven't lost my keys in over 3 years, because I installed a key hook near the door. The very first thing I always do when I get home, is put the keys on the hook. Simple habit & problem solved.

  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion Jamin. However, the thing is that (1) I was asking on tips on how to find a misplaced key. Your suggestion prevents one from misplacing them, but what if one does? and (2) as stated in my question, I "always" put them on my desk, as that is their "designed place". This would be equivalent to having a key hook... but what if even though somehow the keys were not in the hook? (which brings us back to point (1))
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 12, 2019 at 23:16
  • The bold question was "What alternatives do I have to effectively search and find my lost keys?" This suggests a strategy to be much more effective in being able to search.
    – TOOGAM
    Nov 19, 2019 at 22:54

I'm often terrible at finding items, but one thing has helped me repeatedly with finding my keys, which is to keep the keychain very easily visible.

I once went to Les Schwab, and they attached a 3 inch long loop of soft yellow plastic to my key ring. When they gave me my keys back, I was simply lazy and didn't immediately take off the 3 inch long loop of yellow plastic. The result rewarded me well. Granted, this plastic loop does serve as a bit of an advertisement for them, which has been a win for them. But it has also been a win for me, because by not removing the plastic, I have something long and bright yellow which I can often notice more easily. This bright yellow object has been far more eye-catching than the dull silver and black plastic found elsewhere on my key ring.

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