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What to do with old keys

Do you have old keys lying around your house? They may be in a drawer or cabinet. Maybe some are resting unnoticed on a dresser or table. Everyone seems to have these older, mostly forgotten keys. They might be at home, or at your workplace. They might be in your car’s ashtray or glove compartment. Why do you save them? Why not just throw them out? The reason is pretty much the same from everyone; they just might be needed someday! Here at Reliable Locksmith & Safe we’ve heard all kinds of reasons to hang on to these once valued and productive keys. Who doesn’t remember trying key after key in a lock to see if this particular mystery key is the right one for it? It’s so odd that a key that was once used so much is now almost gone from your memory (but not your dresser drawer!).

The origin of old keys

Old keys were not always forgotten and near-useless pieces of metal. They were once used, useful, and on your key chain, going with you wherever you went. They may come in all sizes, materials, colors and shapes but now when you put them all together, they look like a hodge-podge of forgotten misfits that have no use or purpose. Old keys come from file cabinets, mailboxes, front doors, cars, motorcycles, desks, cabinets, office doors, bicycles, laundromats, vending machines and thousands more! When you think of how many old keys there are here in Miami, FL it staggers the mind. In fact, every year there are over 400 million keys that make it to local landfills and this huge amount does not include the many more that are still in people’s possession!

Why not throw away?

So, why haven’t you thrown your old keys away? Is it because you just haven’t taken the time or effort to round them all up and “toss them?” Or, does a little voice in the back of your mind tell you that you just might need one or more of them someday? Don’t worry – the Miami, FL trash department won’t mind if you actually do something creative or useful with them after all!

Run them through again!

It’s kind of like key re-birth. We are talking about recycling your old keys. They might come back as a different kind of key, or maybe not a key at all; how about part of a table or dinner fork? Recycling is becoming a useful and popular way to help our planet while getting rid of items that are no longer useful or needed. Whether you live here in Miami, FL or elsewhere in the world, your local area should have recycling guidelines – just call your local municipality and inquire as to what yours are.

Old keys for good food!

Did you know that there is a little known way to use your old keys to feed the less fortunate? This unique way to dispose of your old keys also serves another purpose – educating school children on the less fortunate and how to help them. The name of this great program is Key For Hope. This organization collects old keys from donors all around the country. They sell the keys for scrap metal and donate the proceeds to the food bank of your choice! On average it takes about 50 keys to equal a pound of metal. This program is very popular and thousands of keys pour into their location from all over the world. Key drives in local schools are sponsored by Key For Hope and the school children work excitedly to gather keys from home while they learn about both recycling and helping others with food.

Sell crafts

While making and selling craft items doesn’t appeal to all, it can be a good hobby for some. E-bay and Etsy are great places to sell your craft items as well as to friends, family members and at yard sales and flea markets. Many people are surprised to find that old keys can be used to make useful and unique items that actually sell. You can search the online shops above for ideas on how to use your mystery keys in this way and turn them into fun and now profitable items. Don’t copy people but do use their own craft creations for inspiration and ideas.

Old keys are handy around the house!

It’s true – mystery keys can be morphed into curtain weights and tablecloths. If sown into the hem, they act as the perfect weight and balance to keep the drapes and table linens from flapping about in the breeze or sliding off.

Many ceiling fans and lights are missing the small knob on the end of the light cord. You can use one of your old keys to replace it. You can decorate the key to match the lamp or leave it “key-like” if on a vintage item. Also keys can replace the ends of zippers on backpacks, suitcases and other luggage type items. They are big enough to grasp but flat enough to lay against the surface and be too noticeable or cut anyone.

Get your neighbors involved

Do you know your neighbors? Would you like to? One nice way to get more involved with the other folks on your street is to run a key drive of your own. Use the recycle program with Key ForHope and let your neighbors get involved too. It’s a nice way to “break the ice” and do some good for others at the same time. You can do on online search for them and get additional details on how this program works and how it helps the less fortunate. There are millions of keys that are no longer being used, not only here in the greater Miami, FL metro area but all over the country. If you put your mind to it, you can give these mystery keys a new life and so a little good at the same time!