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February 3, 2023 | M. Cave 

A Simple Way to Keep Your Keys Organized

Matthew Cave recording video at Hudson Property Services, LLC

In this video we'll share tips for keeping your keys organized. Here's what we'll cover:

• The 3 simple supplies we use
• How to label keys without tags
• Our super simple tracking system

Click the link below to watch now!


If you're having trouble keeping your rental keys organized, then this post is for you! I can't tell you how many times we've brought on a new property to begin management, and we receive a big bag full of random keys. Sometimes we'll get a giant disorganized ring with a fob, different labels, and tags, and it's just a mess.

We've tried so many different solutions- every sort of fob you can imagine, organization systems, labels, and we came up with a system that's very simple, that anybody can do, it's super cheap, and the supplies are available everywhere. So we'd like to share that with you today; how we manage our keys.

The Supplies

The first thing we'll go over is the supplies. It's really very simple. The key tag that we use are very affordable, they're available everywhere: big box stores, hardware stores, and online retailers.

The second thing is an assortment of key rings. These are the very simple metal key rings; we just have them in an assortment of different sizes.

And the last thing is a fine tip permanent marker.

So that's it- those are the only supplies that we use when we're doing our key management and getting our keys organized.

Step 1: Perform a key check

The first step in getting your keys organized is what we call a key check. This is visiting the property and trying every key that we have. Start right at the front door, then locate and label the keys for that door. Then, go through the whole property and check every single door – anything that has a lock. If there is a basement or padlocks, sometimes sheds or garages have locks on them, generator compartments – you’ll want to try every single key and label that key as you're walking through the house. If you find any keys that don't work, throw them out- it's best to just get rid of them at this point.

Step 2: Label the keys

When you're labeling the keys, use the fine-tip marker to write on the key head itself. You can typically fit up 4 or 5 characters on a key, so you’ll want to write a short code on each one (both sides) indicating what it’s for.


FD= Front Door
RD= Rear Door
BD= Basement Door
1FD= Apartment 1 Front Door

You want to put something on every single key that makes sense, so you know exactly what door that key works for. It should make sense to anyone that picks up the keys.

Step 3: Choose the right key ring

It’s important to make sure you use the proper sized key ring. The correct key ring will allow the keys to lay flat, so they hang well on a hook, and fit better in a lockbox, and your pocket. It also makes it easier to take keys off and put them back on the ring. Be sure to use a ring that’s large enough to allow all of the keys to dangle freely, with room for any additional keys you may add later on.

Step 4: Arrange the keys in order

The next thing you’ll want to do is place all of the keys in order. Put all the keys on the key ring in order – whatever order you’d typically walk through the home in. This is usually front to back, and usually apartment 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. If you have multiple copies of a key, just place the copies next to each other. This is helpful because if they’re side-by-side, you can easily match up the teeth to see that they’re the same, and if the label happens to rub off, you’ll see that it’s the same as the key next to it.

Step 5: Face the keys in the same direction

Laying the keys with all the teeth in the same direction is extremely helpful. First, it’s easier to use the key ring if you don’t have to keep flipping it around as you go from door to door. Also, if you have an odd key (perhaps a new copy you need to test, a key that’s not labeled, or a key that you need to identify and relabel), you can turn it backward and place it on the ring. That will identify it as a key that you need to test and label the next time you’re at the property.


This has been a very simple, cost-effective system that has worked really well for us. Whether we've got a small single-family home or a multi-family apartment building, you can use this system to keep your keys organized as well!

We hope that this was helpful.

If you need any assistance with your rental property, please feel free to reach out to us. You can visit us online at and we'd be happy to assist you!

Key Tracking Sheet | Free PDF Download

Grab your free PDF download of our exclusive key tracking sheet. This is a simple, printable PDF that allows you to record, track, and keep all of your property keys organized. Download this form, and put an end to your disorganized keys! Get instant access to this free resource using the link below.

Key Tracking Sheet Download | Hudson Property Services, LL C- Poughkeepsie, NY

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M. Cave

Matthew Cave is a Licensed Real Estate Broker with Hudson Property Services, LLC in Poughkeepsie, NY. Matthew has over 20 years of experience managing rental properties and selling homes. He's experienced in a wide variety of property types, but now specializes in single-family homes, condos and townhomes. Matthew enjoys helping Hudson Valley property owners get their rentals running more smoothly and efficiently.