With over 75 clients and counting, we've got a whole lot of house keys! I have a rotation of key rings dependning on who is out of town. Passersby often exclaim, "Look at all those keys!" and I reply "That's not all of them!" The follow up question usually is:
How do you keep all those keys organized?
Well, very carefully! Our utmost concern is making sure we never lose a key. To that end, we only use strong hold key rings, nothing with hooks or clips that can come undone. Keeping the keys sectioned onto rings (e.g. daily dog walks, vacation clients ...) not only helps with organization but also makes it louder and more noticable if the entire ring drops as opposed to one key.
Next, we NEVER put your name or address on your key. We use color coding, the key chains your provide, or those fun "WacKey" designs to label keys. Most often, we label your key with your animal's name. If someone finds a missing key labeled "Max" they have no idea where it goes.
Additionally, we like to hold on to at least two copies of your key: one for your sitter and one for a back up. That way if your sitter has an emergency, we can call the back up and seemlessly provide coverage.
Some clients prefer to have their keys returned once they are back in town. We completely understand the reasoning and you are welcome to ask for your key back at anytime. However, there are some benefits to having your sitter hold on to a key, such as:
Emergency visits to your animals
In case you get locked out
Avoiding the $10 key drop off charge ...
"Hang on, key drop off charge?" Yep. As you know pesky nickel and dime charges aren't our thing. However, when your sitter takes time and miles out of her busy schedule to return your key, we charge $10 which goes directly to your sitter. Other ways to avoid this charge include using a lock box, hiding a key, or using a gargae code. We get a little nervous about these options in the event someone finds your hidden
key, sees the lockbox as a signal the house is vacant, or the electricity goes out.
I may be a little biased here, but next to in your hand, the safest place to keep your key is with your sitter.