We’ve seen from movies where the unsuspecting person gets locked out of their house during the worst possible time (like a thunderstorm or when someone is inside, they need to get to). The truth is, it happens more often than we’d like. Having a spare key outside of your house can be a security threat or a great idea as long as you know how to hide it.

To hide a spare key outside of your house, you need first to choose a good spot that is inconspicuous. Make sure the key is free from weather elements, so it doesn’t get rusty. Most of all, don’t forget where you hid it in the first place.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to hide a spare key outside of your house safely and securely.
  • Tips for hiding your key so others don’t find it but so you always can
  • The best and worst places to hide a spare key outside of your house
  • The best product for hiding a spare key when taping it isn’t quite enough.
  • Reasons why storing a spare key outside of your house is a good idea when done with care and a bit of creativity.

Hiding a Spare Key Outside of Your House

Hiding a spare key outside of your house takes a bit of finesse. You can’t just hide it anywhere! Hiding a spare key badly is worse than not having a spare key at all. Far too many places are all too easily identifiable by potential thieves.

That said, an adequately hidden key can be one of the best things you do for yourself! It can save time, heartache, and money should you ever find yourself locked out of your home. Knowing how to hide a spare key is the “key” to ensuring you not only have a way back into your home should you become locked out but that burglars do not have a way into your home when you want to keep them out!

Here is how to hide a spare key outside of your house:

  1. Make sure you’re hiding a spare key. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it might be tempting to hide your primary house key outside of your house. After all, not having to grab your house key each time you head out the door can seem appealing. It’s not a good idea, though. Make sure the key you’re hiding is spare, and keep your original key in close proximity.
  2. Choose a place you’ll remember. Scavenger hunts can be super fun, but taking an accidental one to look for your spare house key might not be the game you wish to play.
  3. Store your key. Think about using a container of some sort to add an additional level of safety and security. This might be a better option than taping your key to a surface where it might fall or get lost.
  4. Remember the weather. When hiding a key, especially if you don’t hide it in a container of some sort, be sure it’s not subject to weather elements that may rust your key, making it unusable when you need it.
  5. Safety first. The single most important factor to consider when hiding a spare key outside of your house is safe. You and those living in your home should remain protected, and hiding a spare key can be dangerous. The safety of you and your loved ones comes first. Be sure only to hide a key if you have a safe, appropriate place to do so.

Top Places to Hide Your Spare Key

Having a few possibilities for hiding places is a good idea when considering how to hide a spare key outside of your house. Here are a few good places to consider:

In a Lockbox

Lockboxes provide an extra level of safety because they require work to open! The caveat here is, of course, that YOU need to remember the lockbox code you set!

If you’re looking for a good lockbox, the RUDY RUN Key Lock Box for Outside provides a safe option for storing your key just about anywhere!

On a Tree

This one sounds far-fetched, but it makes sense. If you have a lot of trees outside your house, choose one away from the house a bit and nail it to the backside of the tree, maybe under a thick branch. Most thieves aren’t going to take a tree tapping journey to see if you have a key hidden.

In a Fake Sprinkler

Thieves might expect a fake rock or plant to hide a key, but few will suspect a fake sprinkler! The key is to make sure it sticks up out of the ground enough for you to remember where it is.

This Vantasii Hide a Key Cash Hider Sprinkler Head is a great option if you’re looking for a fake sprinkler head for your spare key. As a bonus, it’s big enough to fit some spare cash as well!

In a Dog House

True, a burglar might look here, but it’s definitely not one of the top places thieves assume you’ll hide a house key. And if you have a dog in that dog house, your chances of safety increase even more.

Under a Grill

As long as you hide the key far enough back that it’s not easily findable, hiding your spare key under your grill can be a potential option for a safe and inconspicuous hiding spot.

With a Neighbor

This is perhaps the safest place of all to hide a spare key outside of your house–by not actually hiding outside of your house at all! If you go this route, you will, of course, want to make sure you leave the key with a neighbor who is frequently home. This isn’t the time to hit up your frequently traveling neighbor for a favor; you’ll be calling a locksmith instead!

Places to Avoid Hiding Your Spare Key

Knowing where to hide your key is important. Knowing where not to hide your key is equally important. Hiding your spare key outside of your house in an overly predictable space or too easily seen can be downright dangerous. If you’re taking the time to hide a key, be sure to hide it cleverly.

There are some places you definitely should not hide your key. Here are a few that burglars will be expecting:

  • Under the doormat. This is (hopefully) a no-brainer. You don’t want to hide your spare key in the number one place a burglar will look.
  • In (or under) a plant pot. It’s close to the door, it’s convenient, and it’s obvious.
  • In a porch light. Again, it’s too close to the door to be inconspicuous.
  • On a door ledge. Need I say more? If you were looking for a spare key, wouldn’t you reach above the door ledge just in case? So would a burglar.
  • In your wallet. If you hide your key in your wallet alongside your driver’s license, you’re telling burglars who you are, where you live, and inviting them in, literally.

Mailboxes, fake rocks, and stepping stones are also listed places to avoid hiding a spare key. They’re a bit less obvious than the other choices, but they are still a bit too easily spottable to be considered safe choices.

If you just can’t avoid a good fake rock for hiding a spare key outside of your house, the RamPro Hide-a-Spare-Key Fake Rock is one that does look pretty real. Check it out!

Why You Should Hide a Spare House Key Outside of Your House

In short, life happens. And when it happens, it’s not usually when you have time or energy for it to happen. Losing your keys often happens at inconvenient moments. With a little planning, a mistake doesn’t have to become a disaster.

Hiding a spare key outside of your house ensures you or those you live with can access your home when you need to. It avoids the inconvenience of calling a locksmith or waiting for your home to open when you need to be inside. When placed and hidden properly, a spare key outside of your house can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing you’ll never be locked out of your home.

Here are some great tips for hiding a spare key outside of your house:


Hiding a spare key outside your house is not necessarily considered a wise idea; however, it might be argued that it is necessary! Locking yourself out of your home can result in the need for a locksmith, time and money. It is possible to hide a spare key outside your house safely.

Here is a rundown of the post:

  • Resist the urge to choose the most common hiding places.
  • Be willing to be creative when choosing a hiding place for your spare key.
  • Remember that a well-hidden key is an asset; a badly-hidden key is a liability.

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