8 Clever Ways to Hide a Key Outside an Apartment

You just locked your doors and left the apartment when you have a feeling you’re forgetting something.

A quick check of your pockets and bag reveals that you have your phone and wallet. So, what could be missing? Your keys!

Well, it looks like you’ll have to climb through the back window again and hope no one mistakes you for a robber.

If all this sounds familiar, you must also realize how important it is to have a second key outside the apartment.

8 Clever Spots to Hide a Key Outside an Apartment

Here are some clever spots outside your apartment where you can hide your key inconspicuously but also within reach for when you’re in a bind.

Behind the Knocker

A door knocker is one of the easiest places to hide a spare apartment key. It’s like hiding something in plain sight.

While everyone might see it and use it even, no one would ever think that it’s hiding a key under itself. That’s why it makes such a clever yet easy hiding spot.

Choose a door knocker that has plenty of hollow space inside to fit a key. Then, instead of nailing the knocker to your door, use really strong magnets and glue them on the knocker.

Attach the knocker to your door using another magnet behind it. Slide the key inside.

The magnets should keep the knocker in place in case someone uses it. Additionally, with a little effort, you should be able to pull it off and take out your key whenever you need it.


The great thing about wind chimes is that it is hung high above. If someone is trying to break into your house by using your spare key, the chances are that they will search the places below and on the ground.

Few people actually think to look above and check the places there. Therefore, wind chimes make a great hiding place. Choose a wind chime with a design that can easily hide a key without disrupting its functionality.

Moreover, when you hang it, make sure it’s not too low, or it might defeat the purpose. But don’t hang it so high that it’s out of your reach as well.

Lastly, if you live in a place where it is actually really windy, make sure you secure the key properly to prevent it from blowing out of its hiding spot.

Temperature Patrol

A temperature patrol can help you kill two birds with one stone. It can inform you of the temperature outside so that you know exactly how many layers to take.

More importantly, it can be a great hiding place to keep your keys outside the apartment!

Most people will take a look at the temperature patrol but won’t think to look behind it for anything. So, you can safely store your key without worrying about it falling into someone else’s hands.

Furthermore, most temperature patrols are quite big, so you can even hide two keys behind it.

Behind a Fake Socket

Another clever spot for hiding a key outside your apartment is behind a fake socket. Sockets can be dangerous, so no one would be too excited to go near it, let alone dismantle and look behind it.

What they would not know is that the socket is a fake.

You can buy a simple socket yourself or purchase the special fake ones designed for this purpose. Make sure you install it in a seemingly normal place and then place your key behind it.

The only thing you will have to be careful about is someone accidentally discovering your hiding spot as they try to plug something in the socket themselves.

Under a Rock or Brick

If your apartment has a garden outside or even a brick wall, you can use those to your advantage. You can use a brick on the wall to hide a key.

Make sure you know which brick it is so that you’re not left fumbling around, trying to pull out random bricks from the wall. Similarly, if you choose to mark it, make sure it’s something only you can notice.

Alternatively, you can also use a fake rock if you have a garden to hide it in. There will be lots of other rocks and stones, too, so no one will bother looking for a key under each one.

Like the rock, you can opt for other things in your garden as well, such as a fake sprinkler or fake drain.

In Your Car

If you’re not comfortable leaving your apartment keys right out in the open like that, you can choose to hide it in your car as well.

You can place a spare key under the mats or seats. Essentially, as you go places, you will always have it with you.

Of course, this depends on the condition that you have your car keys with you. If all your keys are together and you forget them all, the car won’t be a very accessible place either.

At a Neighbor’s Place

One of the cleverest places you can hide your apartment key is outside your neighbor’s apartment.

Even if anyone happens across it, intentionally or unintentionally, they might use it at your neighbor’s door. But they will never think of trying it in your apartment.

Of course, you will have to get your neighbor’s permission first and make sure you never trespass on their property or cause them any trouble.

After taking care of all that, you can choose the same hiding spots as mentioned above but outside your neighbor’s apartment.

With the Apartment Manager

Another option is the apartment manager. Most apartment buildings usually have a manager or superintendent. You can hand them a spare key to your apartment for safekeeping.

Anytime you find yourself locked out, you can approach them for the key.

Often apartment managers carry duplicate keys themselves, so you might not even have to give them a key. The only problem is that you can’t go knocking at their door whenever you want.

If you happen to come extra late one night, it might not be appropriate to disturb your apartment manager for the key.

Forget the Key Entirely

If all this seems a little unsafe, you can go for a slightly expensive but much better solution to your problem. You can decide to forget the key entirely and install a more advanced, smart lock on your door.

Much like your phone’s security, this smart lock on your door will only work with a specific fingerprint or PIN code that only you will know.

This will not only be easier for you to access at any time but also much harder for burglars to crack and gain entry to your house.

Some Places You Should Not Hide a Key

While we’ve shown you some excellent places to hide a key outside your apartment, you should know that you’re not the only one who does this.

Lots of people hide their keys outside their homes, and there are some spots that are so overused today that they are not even considered a hiding spot anymore.

Other than that, there are some places that you would think are quite clever, but to an outsider’s eye, it could be a flashing sign, pointing to your hiding spot.

Here are a few places where you should not hide a key outside your apartment.


A doormat has become commonplace to slip a spare key under. It is one of the most obvious places.

Therefore, if someone is trying to get inside your house without your permission, they will probably look under your doormat first.

Similarly, a potted plant is another popular and way overused spot for hiding keys.

After the doormat, a burglar will probably check under your pots and plants, especially when there is just one potted plant outside your door.

A Brick or Rock in a Hallway

We know we mentioned a brick and rock above as clever hiding spaces. However, that is only when you have a brick wall or garden outside your apartment.

If you happen to live high above in an apartment building with smooth concrete walls outside, rock or brick outside your apartment door will make no sense at all.

In fact, they’d just signal unwanted people to check it out and find your key in the process.


If you find yourself locked out of the apartment several times a month, it can be a bit of a problem.

Locksmiths aren’t always available, and they aren’t cheap. So, what you really need is a spare key that you can place outside the apartment without anyone else spotting it.

Thankfully, you now have a whole list of ideas on where to hide the apartment key that you can use to never get locked out of your apartment again.

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