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Alternatives To Throwing Away Keys

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If you are like many people, your home has a junk drawer that contains old and seemingly useless keys. They could be from cars you don't own anymore and apartments you haven't lived in for decades. They have a way of piling up over the years, especially after you've had your locks replaced. Instead of tossing these keys into the garbage and ultimately in the landfill, you can find ways to reuse or re-purpose them.


Recycling companies in your area may take old keys in their "mixed metal" bin. They are then melted down like other metal items and reused. If you want to be charitable with your old keys, you can mail them to one of several organizations that accept them. They then sell them to be recycled and give the money to worthy organizations. Just a little time and trouble on your part will both clean out your drawers and benefit others.

Handy Home Uses

You often need metal weights around the house for one purpose or another. Old keys fit this bill rather handily. You can use the old keys to weigh down the bottom of your drapes to keep them hanging straight. If you are throwing a birthday party, you can hold down the balloons by tying them to an old key. If you work outdoors, an old key makes a great tool for scraping the mud out of your shoe and boot treads. You can also use a key to make your own plumb line that is useful for hanging pictures and making straight lines for painting trim. 


Old keys can be used to decorate you and your home. If you like funky accessories, you can buy a charm bracelet and hang old keys off of it for an unusual look. You can also choose the keys that remind you of significant milestones—first car, first apartment, etc. When you need to keep the kids busy, you can let them fashion a wind chime out of these relics, using yarn or twine to attach them. You can also let the kids use them to create art with construction paper and glue.

As time passes, your key collection grows. If you've accumulated a drawer-full of old keys, get creative with them around the house. If nothing else, recycle them the next time you have to buy a replacement key or lock for your home. Check out for more information on keys and lock installation.