combination lock

Key Free

Key RingYesterday while I was having a working date with one of my best friends at our beloved Townshend's Tea House, we got to talking about keys. This isn't necessarily an unusual topic of conversation for the two us because we used to be housemates and we have stories to tell of times that one of us (I won't say who) locked herself out and the other of us (I won't say who) rescued her! We were discussing losing things and she was showing me her pod. We each have one and I Still Don't Leave Home Without It! But what was interesting this time around was that when I showed her my new pod, she said "where are your keys?!" and I got to tell her that I'm now Key Free.

Yup. That's right. I don't have any keys anymore!

(Well, okay, that's not entirely true, since I do still have a key to my post box. Buuuut... it's a small space and they know me - and they're meticulous about checking my ID anyhow - so they give me my mail even if I don't have my key with me.)

Wallet Phone Case

I used to keep my keys on the zipper pull of my pod. But now I've upgraded. Now I just have a phone case with slots for my work and personal debit cards, my drivers license, my insurance cards, and a $20 bill. Easy peasy. My new case even protects the screen of my phone (which is great because I'm a klutz and I drop that poor thing on a daily basis!)

So how in the world did I become key free?

The biggest trick is that it's all about Access Rather Than Ownership. I can still access the stuff I need but I don't have to carry around keys to get to it.

Lucky Penny's combo lock - photo credit: Tiny House Giant Journey

I used to have two house keys for my garden cottage (this was part of the reason we locked ourselves out regularly!) but more recently while I've been living in tiny houses I've only had one key. When I built my tiny house, The Lucky Penny, I purposely put in a combination lock so that I could avoid having a house key anymore. (I do, of course, have a back up key, in case the batteries conk out in the combo lock - and the great thing about having a metal trailer as the foundation of my house is that there are soooo many places to tuck a magnetic hide-a-key - a trick I learned from a fellow tiny houser! No fake rocks for us, thank you very much!) Oh, and we have combination locks on The Big House, too. So, no house key.

I used to have a bike lock key, but when I was Bettering Things one day I got my combination U-lock all set up so I'd never have to carry a bike lock key again. So, no bike key.

I don't own a car. So, no car key. (I rent cars regularly through Car2Go, Enterprise, Getaround, and Zipcar, so when I'm using them I have nice big clunky car keys to contend with, but this usually only happens once or twice a month. By the way, what is up with having TWO big fat car keys attached to each other and big clunky plastic key rings, anyhow? Really. How does that make any sense at all?!)

I am self-employed these days so even though I don't always work from home, I no longer have any keys to gate locks or construction trailers or offices. So, no work keys.

I can't even remember now what else I used to have keys to, but at this point I'm glad that it's one less thing to think about. This is one of my favorite aspects of minimalism. Not just less stuff but less stuff to think about (and lose!)

Do you have keys? What are your keys to? Do you use them on a daily basis? Could you get by without your keys? Would you want to?