Friday, August 3, 2012

My Keychain Survival Guide

As I push a grocery cart, loaded up with two kids, five reusable bags full of weekly grub and 30 lbs. of dog food, I can breathe easier knowing I won't have to dig through the abyss in my purse to find my car keys. It's the little things, right?

In these MOMents, time is of the essence. After a few years of practice, I've developed a lil' keychain system for effective time management and convenience.

The most essential tool for functionality is a simple carabiner. Whenever I'm going shopping with my kids or running quick errands, instead of dumping my keychain into my purse, I either clip it onto a belt loop, the stroller or the strap of my purse for immediate access.

The carabiner connects all!
My blood pressure SERIOUSLY rises when I have my 1-year-old in one arm, shopping bags around my wrist, my eldest daughter holding my other hand and keys to find somewhere in the bottom of my purse. It's not a classy scene. Using a carabiner clip drastically reduces the stress of loading up the crew. So simple. So effective.
Keep car keys on one ring and house keys on another for quick separation.
The carabiner is also useful for the annual auto inspection or when I need to trade cars with my husband for the day. I keep my car keys on one loop and the house keys on a separate ring. When I need to part with only my car keys, it takes one quick second to clip just that set off the carabiner. This definitely saves me time...and saves my fingernails from the horrific struggle of weaving keys in and out of that awful loop. 
Car keys on the left,  other keys on the right
Also, simple, relatively weightless and invaluable? Ponytail holders! Now, of course, I'm a gal with two daughters, so obviously it's always important to have access to ties to keep our crazy hair out of our eyes, but they serve a dual purpose on a keychain. 
Slap a few ponytail holders, or a rubber band, on your keychain so you can slip keys around your wrist in a pinch!
Because I hate coordinating separates when it comes to fashion, I wear a lot of dresses. No belt loops! There are also plenty of times when I'm hanging out with friends without a purse. No strap! In these instances, there is nothing to clip the carabiner to. When these situations arise, I can easily slip that ponytail holder around my wrist to keep my keys close at hand (pun intended) and completely accessible. 

The Photon Light is definitely a brilliant invention. We've given these little lifesavers to all our family members for Christmas. Whenever we're walking from the car to an entrance in poor lighting, already with keys in hand, we just give a gentle squeeze and have a perfectly convenient flashlight to light the path.
Photon lights rock! Mine is red for better night vision, but they come in many colors.
Finding your way through a dim movie theater or looking for dropped objects under your car seats? No problem. These lights are super tiny, lightweight and efficient, so they don't add unnecessary bulk to our keychains. They come in different colors and even have a switch that keeps the light on without you having to manually hold down the button. In an emergency, these waterproof lights could also be used to signal for help. LOVE these!
Like a good Girl Scout (Oh, who am I kidding? I never made it past Brownies), for over 15 years I have carried a small Swiss Army Knife on my keychain.
Everyone needs a Swiss Army knife keychain!
I use this baby to open packages, cut tags, remove stray threads and even unscrew flathead screws! I'd be lost without this tool.
A million uses for such a tiny tool
How annoying is it when you're trying to get into your house and can't find the right key to open the door? I use a cover on our main entry key so that I am not stuck, swearing, out in the rain. I found these totally goofy key covers and would love to give them out as gifts this year. My favorite is the guitar keycap. I wonder who's getting that one.
Place a keycap on the house key you use most.
Lastly, I hit up my husband's keyring to show you his Craftsman 4 Way Screwdriver. I actually steal his keys to use this tool frequently. If you've got a do-it-yourselfer in your inner circle, he/she might like one of these clever devices.
This Craftsman 4 Way Screwdriver gets used constantly in our home.
Nowadays out here, with two wily kiddos and the beast dog, when we're out and about, we're striving for happy days and graceful gliding. Having these tiny tools at our fingertips really helps avoid everyday hiccups when we're on the go. Who doesn't love simple tricks that make the day run a little smoother?

Any fun, useful tools on YOUR keychains? Drop a line and tell me what I'm missing.
Happy road-tripping!


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