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Losing keys is very frustrating. They are small, we always use them, we carry them with us wherever we go and we throw them carelessly in our pockets. It is not surprising we lose them all the time.
In this article, I share with you a quick and easy method to find your lost house or car keys if you lost them OUTDOORS.
This method doesn’t work INDOORS, In most cases, because there are many electromagnetic waves that will interfere with the tool that will help you find your lost keys.
I have a few tips at the end of this post to help you look for your lost items if you are certain that you left them inside your house or office.
However, this is not the focus of this article. It is meant to help find your keys if they disappeared in the grass, sand, water or somewhere outside the house.
If you follow this guide, I guarantee you’ll find them quickly.
Without further ado, let’s find your keys…
How do you find your lost keys: step-by-step
Freaking out will NOT solve your problems. It will actually make things worse. You will not be able to concentrate, which is very important to do the next step.
If you are not focusing, you’ll start looking randomly and go round in circles. The object may be in front of you but you can’t see it because you are panicking.
Retrace your steps
Remember when was the last time you saw your key fob. Where did you go before losing it? Was it inside your house, your friend’s house, inside the store, the parking lot, the sidewalk…?
Imagination is your friend. Recreate a mental image of what happened when you last saw the keys. Every small detail is important. Make the mental image as rich as possible.
Now, there are two cases:
*If you lost your keys indoor, read the last paragraph of this blog post.
*If you are 100% sure that you drop it your keys outside a building, then follow along…
Bring the magic tool
Keys are tiny. They will sink inside the grass and it will be difficult to find them with the naked eye.
Since they are made from metal, they can be found easily with a metal detector.
This is the tool that you need to bring with you to the location where you think you dropped your key chain.
There are three options to acquire this tool. Each option has pros and cons.
You can rent or buy a metal detector and locate it yourself. Or you can hire a professional detectorist and he will find it for you.
It’s up to you to weigh your options. I will help you to pick the option that suits the best.
Buy a metal detector
Metal detectors are not very expensive. You can get a basic and affordable device that will help you find your keys within minutes. For this task, I highly recommend the bounty hunter tracker 4.
The problem is that you are going to pay for something that you are going to use only once.
This can be a good investment if you are going to keep it and hunt coins and jewelry and join the detectorists’ community (welcome!). You can also sell it on craigslist or gift it to one of your loved ones.
You also have to learn how to use a metal detector (which requires only a few minutes) before using it to find what you are looking for.
Finally and most importantly, you can’t always find a local dealer that sells these devices. If you purchase it online, you will have to wait for sometime before receiving your package and you need to find your keys as quickly as possible.
This is the cheapest option, but you can’t always find someone who rents metal detectors. Some stores will ship it to you but the wait time is a problem just like buying one. And you want to find your keys as fast as possible.
Hiring a pro
The third option is to hire a professional who will find your lost keys within minutes.
In most cases, you can find a nearby metal detecting specialist ready to assist you. You can use the ring finders directory.
This directory is straightforward and easy to use. Select your country and your state and look for detectorists near you. You can find his contact details and how much they charge for their services.
If you didn’t find what you are looking for (and I really doubt it), you can contact metal detecting clubs.
Metal detecting clubs the US
Metal detecting clubs in the UK
Get your keys back
Regardless of the option you have chosen, you need to be systematic in your search.
You need to retrace your steps and scan the ground with the metal detector methodologically and narrow the search area as much as possible.
Don’t move to a second location until you have made sure the keys aren’t in the previous ones.
Few considerations to put in mind before using this method
This method is fast and efficient but there are few things to think about before calling a metal-detecting expert.
Detectors only work outdoor. If you are certain that you lost your keys inside the house. Don’t bother finding it with a detector.
This machine detects metal using electromagnetic waves. The problem is that the house is full of electronic devices that emit electromagnetic signals. The floor, the roof, and the walls have metal in them. Therefore the metal detector will emit many false signals.
There are certain areas where metal detectors will perform poorly, like spots that are infested with metal pieces (pull-tabs, nails…) or near high voltage cables.
The crashing majority of metal detectors have waterproof search coils. This means that you can use it to find your keys if you dropped them in shallow ponds or creeks (about three to four feet deep). Make sure water doesn’t reach the control housing.
If you lost your keys in a river or a lake. You have to use a waterproof metal detector. They are quite expensive. So, I recommend hiring a professional to do it for you.
Most standard detectors can work in dry beach sand but not very well with wet sand. Only specialized (and expensive) devices can operate in this environment.
So if you were jogging on the beach and you dropped your keys, call a pro to do the job for you.
Prevent that from happening in the future
Making sure things won’t get lost is easier than looking for them.
attaching your keys to a tracking device will help you find them easily without having to rent a metal detector or hire a pro to do the work for you.
These are coin-sized devices that you can attach to your keys or anything else that you don’t want to lose.
You download an app to your phone and use it to locate the lost item via Bluetooth. You can make the tracker ring or flash if it is in close vicinity for example.
The features depend from a brand to another, I think you are going to like this Bluetooth tracker.
Make it stand out
Pick a colorful keychain that can be distinguished clearly from the grass. Add a reflective patch to make it visible during the night.
Lock them in place
Attach your keychain to your pants. Use one with a retractable lanyard. Keys will be in place even when you are using them, they are not going anywhere.
Always place your stuff in the same known locations. Each item should have a specific spot. This way you know where the keys are if you don’t find them in your pocket.
Declutter your house and keep it organized. You can use the 5 S method for that. Losing your stuff is easier if things are in mess.
When the room is organized, you can find stuff that you lost a long time ago in addition to the newly lost item.
Few more tips
These tips along with the first steps of the method that I recommended previously will help you locate your lost items indoors and outside as well.
Walk-through all the locations where you have been since you last saw your keys.
If you followed the prevention tips in the previous paragraph, finding things will be easier. Just look for them in the spots where you usually put them.
Ask for help. Your family and friends will help you. Maybe one of them borrowed the item and you forgot about it.
Check the lost and found locations and forums. You can also use social media and lost fliers.