Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Key Point

 It's no secret that our spare bedroom attracts a lot of houseguests.  I know that it's the sky-high prices of Manhattan hotel rooms, and not the siren song of our murphy bed that draws people here, but that doesn't mean I don't still do my best to be a good hostess. And one of the tricks I have learned over the years is to always keep a spare set of keys specifically reserved for guests.  That way, you can send them out on their own to explore (and actually get some things done yourself) without having to meet up to let them in.  And if they accidentally take them home with them, you won't suffer the incovenience of being without your own set.

Here's how to create the best set of guest keys you can.

Be Fob-ulous. Put your guest keys on a keychain that will serve as a reminder as to whose keys they are, in case your friend accidentally takes them home with them.  I put our guest keys on a key fob with a needlepoint beagle on it. I figured that if the sheer preppiness of a needlepoint key fob didn't immediately make our friends think of my husband, the beagle would remind them of Skipper. It's also a substantial object, so they are less likely to forget them somewhere, and they are easy to find in your purse. But never (ever!) put your name or address on anything attached to the keys, in case your friend loses them.  Instead, text message that info to your friend so they have it with them on their phone, should they suffer a lapse in memory about which block you live on while out and about without you.

Have Their Number. There are no less than four locks between the street and our apartment (not to mention four long flights of stairs), and all those locks and keys can get confusing. When we first moved in, I would just try each key in each lock until one fit - often while standing in the rain with heavy grocery bags, cursing my life. To save my guests from the same fate, I numbered the keys in order of use on the way in. I used nail polish to write out the numbers - not too pretty, but effective (a Sharpie marker works too, but can get worn off from the keys rubbing together).

Extra Extra. Think of what else your guest might need, and add it to the keychain.  If you live up a dark walkway, you might want to add a little LED flashlight, for example. Or, if you live in a dangerous neighborhood, maybe add a mini pepper spray or a rape whistle. That kind of thing. Also, maybe you should move.

Needlepoint key fob, $25, from Smathers and Branson


Christine said...

What a great idea...totally stealing it for future guests at our home!

Lily said...

@Christine- Thanks, dar. Like most of my best ideas, it seems considerate, but it ends up benefiting you more than your guests!

Blessed Rain said...

Love it!
Very great ideas I especially loved your tip on moving!