My family recently decided to make big changes in our home. My Dad had all of the bedrooms (besides my little brother’s) fitted with key padlocks. Now, to get into a bedroom you have to type in the room’s code. He did this because my two sisters were fighting about how their clothes kept going missing. We all used to share clothing, and it was never an issue. The problems began occurring when my little sister moved away to college. My twin sister felt she was losing money as other sister was borrowing her things and taking them to school with her, instead of returning them.
Do you protect valuables from other family members?
I really don’t think that our new living situation is normal and I’ve found that many people who visit us are surprised by the new locks. No one wants to have their valuables taken or used without permission, but putting locks on the rooms seems pretty extreme.
On top of the awkwardness of the locks, they can be a huge nuisance. My twin sister and I still share clothes and basic beauty items, such as makeup and hairdryers, which can make the locks really aggravating. For example, if she borrows the hairdryer before work and locks her room, I can’t access it until she gets home and unlocks her door. This got me to thinking that there has to be a better way.
- Stealing – Clothes are being borrowed without permission. While they are eventually returned, it is frustrating when you go to get ready and your planned upon outfit is MIA.
- Sharing is a No Go – Locks make sharing items nearly impossible which is annoying when we do want to share. If I’m out and my sister asks to borrow a necklace, earrings, or other item, she can’t. Even if I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
- Family Separation – Having to have locks doesn’t seem very “family” oriented and creates tension in the home.
- Awkwardness – The locks make me feel uncomfortable when showing friends my home.
- Remove the Locks – Remove the locks on the doors and come up with another way to prevent “borrowing.”
- Talk it Out – Talk with the family about how things have been going missing and decide on a method of borrowing. I think that simply asking for permission before borrowing an item would make everyone more comfortable.
- Lock Up Closets/Jewelry Cases – Instead of locking rooms we could put a locks on closets or jewelry cases. This would protect the items without making it so obvious and uncomfortable.
- Keep Rooms Unlocked – I’ve currently been boycotting the system by keeping my room unlocked unless there are people coming over. Unfortunately, some of my things have still gone missing so there is a need for the locks, as much as I hate them!
I’m curious to hear if you have you ever encountered “sharing” problems with your siblings or children? If so, what did you do to fix the situation? I think that there must be an easier way to protect valuables without creating distance between the family.
It’s nice that you are trying to find a less extreme approach to protecting your items! Maybe you should sit down with your family and set guidelines (you have to ask, you can only borrow for so long, etc.). If they don’t return something, they should give you something else to keep it even, this also might be a good incentive for them to give things back!