Most people I know have house keys so that they can keep outsiders from getting in. What with front doors, back doors, deadbolts, screen doors, etc, I've got quite a collection of house keys, which until recently I kept on a wall in my sewing room.
Keeping the keys out and visible is probably not the greatest idea (although at least they're not not by the front door, where "robbers" could come in and find and take them easily).
Alas, the problem in my house is that it's not those pesky outside "robbers" I need to worry about. We lock things in our house to keep them safe from people in our own house. Sigh.
I was at a Christmas party a while back with another parent who has raised a lot of troubled kids, and we were lamenting some of the lifestyle changes we'd never expected to have to get used to. He pulled out his key ring and started naming his many keys to me: "refrigerator, bedroom, closet, . . . " I pulled the chain off my neck and chimed in: "bed stand, sewing room".
For a long time, I stupidly didn't think I needed to hide away our outside keys -- after all, we don't actually lock ANY of our external doors, so what good would a key do anyone? Let's just repeat that that was stupid thinking on my part. I underestimated the damage that can result from danged impulse control issues in a danged teenage body. Time to put the keys where they are truly out of sight. Ugh.
For what it's worth, I really like how I put these keys out-of-sight and yet organized. I took a sturdy piece of cardboard and three-hole punched it.
Then I laid the keys out, adding a paper-clip-worth of space above each key, and marked the top of the paperclip with a pencil mark.
I drilled holes and threaded the paperclips halfway through the holes. Then I labeled the cardboard and hung the keys on the paper clips. I stuck the whole page of keys in a notebook that has other household information (or, you could say, "other key household info". Heh). This is a book I keep on a very out-of-sight shelf, one that I usually keep locked with a combo lock. The out-of-sight-ness, combined with the fact that few people would expect to look for keys in a 3-ring binder, will be another factor in keeping these keys safe.
Well, I hope it's enough to keep things safe. I'm sure there's a good metaphor out there about expecting evil to come from outside while it's really within, but for now I'll just put the book away, lock the door to the closet, and go help my sons with their housework.