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Few things in life are more frustrating than being locked out of your house- especially during the colder seasons!

Not only do you run the risk of looking like you’re breaking into your own home, but you also face the possibility of having to fork over some dough for a locksmith to let you in or any damage you might cause to a window you use to get back in.

When you are locked out of your house you can try these 8 ways to get back in:

Check for an opened window

white framed windows

If you left a ground floor window opened before leaving home, you might be able to wedge it wide enough to climb through.

70 pounds and 10 years ago, I was the go-to crawler charged with entering through the front and back windows on the occasions that my mother or sister had forgetten their house keys somewhere else and the rest of the family wasn’t expected back home for many hours.

Use your credit card

It’s possible to jimmy your door opened by swiping your credit card through the crack while simultaneously jiggling around with your door knob. You can see demonstration of opening the door using credit card in the video above.

Contact another key holder

woman in blue coat using smartphone

If you’ve entrusted a key to a friend, family member, or neighbor, now’s the time to retrieve it. If you don’t have your phone on you, head to a neighbor to call a key holder to help you out of this bind.

Ask Your Concierge

man in black t-shirt and blue denim jeans holding shovel

If you’re locked out of your apartment, it’s safe to assume you can’t scale the high rise building to get in through that window you left open. Apartment buildings are typically required to hold a master key to every unit, so feel free to give your concierge or building manager a ring asking to be let in.

Reach out to your landlord

two people standing in front of board

This is generally a last resort. Having your landlord come unlock the door oftentimes costs a fee. And that’s if they answer the phone. If your landlord isn’t answering, or if you can’t find their number, this option may lead to a dead end.

Call a locksmith

locksmith breaking into house

Locksmiths are trained in techniques and equipped with tools that will, in most cases, help you break into your home without doing any damage. The cost of a locksmith varies widely depending on location.

Take off the Door Knob

take off door knob to break into the house

3 Simple tricks to prevent Lockout

Consider Going Keyless

Many home security providers also offer electronic door locks that unlock remotely with a smartphone app or custom code. Many of these keyless locks pair with home security systems that also connect to monitoring stations.

Professional monitoring centers can contact emergency services if the situation is serious enough.

Getting locked out of the house is never fun. But these things happen. Just remember that you have options. Stay calm, assess the situation, follow the above tips, and you’ll be back inside in no time.

Give a Spare Key Away

Prevent the problem by giving a spare key to a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. Someone with flexible availability is ideal for quickly fixing the problem in the future.


Hide-a-Keys and outdoor key holders come in many shapes and forms. More about how to hide a key you can find in one of my previous article: 9 Ideas to Hide a Key