finding keys, apartment dining room

Throughout college and even the first few years after, most mornings I’d spend a (very stressful) seven minutes searching around my (very small) apartment trying to remember where I had left my keys the night before. Until about a year ago when I watched the guy I was dating do the exact same thing.

Watching him check every countertop in his 500 square foot West Village apartment I realized it would be a whole lot easier if he just always walked in the door and put his keys on this small white shelf that was sitting next to the front door.

Fifteen minutes later, after he had uncovered the keys from underneath a sweater, I pointed to the shelf as we walked out the door. “Why don’t you just always put your keys there?” I asked. He shrugged. I’m pretty sure that was about the last thing he wanted to hear at that moment.

On my way home from work the next day, I stopped in Barnes and Noble and bought a small, clear glass tray.

Now every time I come home, the very first thing I do is put my keys, wallet, chapstick, and sunglasses on that tray, which sits on a shelf in my living room.

Even if I I’m running errands and I know that I’m going to leave the apartment again as soon as I put groceries away, I still walk in the door and leave my keys and wallet on that tray. Otherwise somehow during the 10 minutes it takes me to unload almond milk and bananas, I end up leaving my keys somewhere––at the bottom of a shopping bag, on the bathroom counter, or the kitchen table––and then fall back into that stressful seven minute syndrome.

Do you have a specific place in your home where you leave your keys? What do you to do make leaving the house less stressful in the morning?