We’ve all been there before; you’ve left the house and locked the door but realised you’ve accidentally left the keys inside upon returning home. Getting locked out happens more often than you’d think, particularly in households that don’t own cars, as the keys for vehicles and houses are usually on the same keychain. 

Getting locked out of your own house can be annoying and frustrating, usually during the most inconvenient times. It can even be dangerous depending on what neighbourhood you’re living in, so stay cautious. 

You should avoid breaking down doors or smashing through windows unless it is an absolute emergency, as these methods can be more expensive than calling a locksmith. There are also some alternative options you can try before contacting a locksmith that can help in regaining access. 

Remain Calm 

It’s essential to remain calm and collected because taking action out of frustration can lead to more issues. Ensure you don’t break into anything as you may be up for repair bills down the line. Understandably, you’d be frustrated, but the best thing to do is relax and analyse your options. 

Check for Unlocked Windows and Doors

The first thing to check is all the entry points of your house for any unlocked doors or windows. Someone in your home may have left a backdoor or window unlocked and not realised. It’s a good idea to also go through the sides of the house and garage in case anything is open.

We wouldn’t recommend trying unconventional entry points, such as the roof or chimney, as these might pose a risk to the inexperienced. 

Check with Family or Friends for Spare Keys

If you’ve ever given spare keys to anybody in the past, this is the perfect opportunity to give them a call. It’s not uncommon for us to hand over spare keys to close family and then forget about it as there aren’t too many imminent reasons for their usage. 

It’s a good idea to make a small list of potential people and give each one a call. 

Call the Landlord if Renting

If you’re in an apartment or renting out your house, you’re certainly in luck; your landlord or the property manager should have a key to your home.  It’s just a matter of calling them up, and you’re saved.

Remove the Doorknob

If the doorknob isn’t tamper-resistant, you should be able to unscrew and remove the entire structure yourself. You will need a Phillips screwdriver; if this is something you can’t identify, it’s the screwdriver with four ridges that form a pyramid. 

All you need to do is unscrew all the points of the knob and slowly remove it. The removal should be pretty straightforward, but please ensure you don’t damage the doorknob or door. 

Use a Credit Card

Credit cards can also help you unlock your door, be careful as you might damage your card in the process. This doesn’t work on deadbolts and isn’t guaranteed to work 100% of the time, but it is worth trying in a desperate situation. It is also recommended that you use an old card that you no longer need if there is damage. 

It is quite a simple process; you will need to put the plastic card between your door and frame and push the card away from the doorknob towards the frame. The aim is to undo the latch; once you’ve undone the latch, then you’re good to go. 

Try to Pick the Lock

Lockpicking may be a suspicion raising activity, but one that works if you know what you’re doing. It does come with a bit of practice, though, as lockpicking isn’t as easy as it seems. You will need a lockpicking toolset or improvise using paper clips. 

Using paperclips, you will need to bend one of the metal pieces into an L shape, and another will remain straight with a W into the wire at the end. You then hold the L shape piece in place to keep the tension. Then you use the W shaped piece to feel for the pins in the lock. You then push the pins up with the W shaped piece to unlock the door. 

This is much more tricky and not something we necessarily recommend, but you’re off to the races if you manage to unlock your door. 

Call a Locksmith

The locksmith is your last resort if you’ve tried everything and have had absolutely no luck. This may be a more expensive option, but it is the most reliable. You’ll have your door unlocked and a new key in no time. 

If you’re local to the city of Melbourne, then you could contact this locksmith in Thornbury. This option is the easiest; just ensure you’ve double-checked for any spare keys or unlocked windows. 


Now that we’ve covered all these areas, hopefully, you’ll know where to start next time you’re in a pickle and can’t find your keys. The best cure is prevention, so remember to take your keys with you the next time you leave the house.