13 Secret Storage Spots That Are Already in Your Home
Looking for around-the-house hiding places in which to keep your valuables safe? Stash cash, jewels, and documents where burglars are least likely to look.
Passports, jewelry, cash, and other important valuables are typically kept at home, maybe tucked into a bedside table drawer or in a small safe. While items may be protected in a locked safe, a safe can be easy to find and it’s often possible to break into a password-protected or key-operated safe. Knowing this, thieves may grab the entire safe and worry about opening it later. To help improve the security of your valuables, consider stashing them in one of these 9 secret storage spots around the home.
1. Suitcase Safe
Keeping important items and documents secure inside a water- and fire-resistant safe is a good idea, but small home safes can become a primary target for savvy thieves. They are often light enough to simply be picked up and carried off. To help protect valuables from thieves without sacrificing the fire resistance afforded by a home safe, consider storing valuables in the safe and keeping the safe inside empty luggage to conceal it.
2. Kitchen Cabinets
Certain valuables, like a physical will or a rainy day fund, may go untouched for weeks, months, or even years, so consider an out-of-the-way place to store these important possessions. One place is above the kitchen cabinets. Some homes have ½-inch gaps between the ceiling and the tops of upper cabinets that can be seen from a ladder.
Fill a manila folder with your valuables. Next, secure the envelope with a pair of broad binder clips to prevent it from sliding all the way into the gap, or fasten a string to the envelope for easy retrieval when you want them. Finally, slide the envelope into the gap.
Hiding valuables in a drawer isn’t likely going to protect them against a determined thief. Instead, take advantage of the gap behind a drawer to secure an envelope filled with important documents, cash, or other valuables, to the back of the drawer with tape.
If the drawer pulls out too easily, threatening to expose the concealed envelope, attach the envelope to the underside of the counter, dresser, or bedside table, so that even with the drawers fully removed the envelope remains securely fastened to the furniture, and out of sight.
4. Wall Decorations
Picture frames, paintings, mirrors, and more that decorate the walls throughout a home offer another opportunity to hide valuables. With a bit of tape and an envelope, any wall hanging can be used to secretly store important valuables.
While almost any framed wall element can help conceal items, a deep wooden frame offers a more advanced bit of subterfuge. Neatly cut the paper backing and slide cash or prized items into the narrow gap between the painting and the frame backing. If the items are thin enough, they may even fit between a picture and the backing. Any would-be thieves would have to choose the right picture and remove the dust cover on the picture frame to find the stashed cash or other valuables.
5. False Books and Cans
Creating secret storage spots out of common household items is a strategy that has worked for generations. If you have a few bookcases inside the home, consider hollowing out a book to make a small storage compartment inside the pages, so that it looks completely normal unless removed from the shelf and opened. (Those who aren’t inclined to DIY this secret hiding place can buy book safes online.)
Another easy storage spot is a clean, empty can. Using a smooth edge can opener, open the top of the can so it fits back in place after opening. Fill the can with valuables and replace the top, so it can blend in with the other food cans in the pantry or cabinet. You can also purchase can safes festooned with realistic labels for corn, beets, tomatoes, and more.
6. Out-Of-Season Clothing
When someone breaks into a home looking for valuables, it isn’t likely that they will be tearing through coats, sweaters, and other clothing hanging in the closet. Consider keeping an envelope of valuables in the pocket of an old jacket. You may want to switch the hiding spot when the seasons change, storing items in winter clothing during the summer months and summer clothing in the winter months. Bonus points for using clothing with hidden pockets that can help conceal valuables.
Frozen pizzas, leftovers, and frozen treats keep many freezers tightly packed and conveniently crowded. One more container in the freezer isn’t typically going to draw the attention of would-be thieves, making it a great place to keep cash and other valuables. Just make sure that the container and the contents are freezer-safe to prevent damaging your important items.
8. Tennis Ball or Soccer Ball
Similar to hollowing out a book or making use of an empty can, a tennis ball or soccer ball can be modified in order to create a secret storage spot. Tennis balls can retain their shape after being cut, so they don’t look out of the ordinary with a slit halfway through the ball. This opening is wide enough to store a roll of cash or small valuables like earrings or a ring.
However, for larger items, consider using a soccer ball. Just cut along one seam on the ball to create an opening that’s big enough to slide in your valuables. Cutting along the seam conceals the opening, so the average person isn’t likely to notice anything wrong with the ball at a glance.
9. Drop Ceiling
A drop ceiling is a feature that’s common in finished basements, laundry rooms, or utility rooms and it can also serve as a concealed storage location for important lightweight items. The dropped ceiling consists of panels that are supported by narrow metal frames. Simply lift a panel to access the hollow space above the drop ceiling where a lightweight package, like an envelope, bag, or even a small box can be kept out of sight.
This isn’t a spot to store heavy items because they may break the drop ceiling tile and fall through to the ground below. Also, note which panel is hiding the items, so you can retrieve them easily later.
10. False Air Vent
It isn’t a good idea to store valuable items in an actual air vent because you can block the air flow into the home, reducing the efficiency of the heating and cooling system. Instead, consider installing a false air vent over an opening in the wall, specifically to store your valuables. Not many thieves are going to take the time to unscrew and check the air vents throughout the home.
11. Wall or Mantel Clock
Clocks are an excellent option for storing small, valuable items. Most mantel or wall clocks have open cavities in the back or in the base, where a few small items can be kept safe. If your clock doesn’t have an open cavity, simply tape the items to the back of the clock and hang it back on the wall. As long as the clock itself isn’t worth stealing, your items should be safe in case of a break in.
Another possibility is to store your valuables in a pillow or a couch cushion. Tuck flat valuables inside zippered cushion covers or, if your pillows don’t have zippers, just cut an opening in the back. Stitch a zipper onto the pillow, take out some stuffing, store your valuables, and zip up the pillow. (You should probably choose a pillow that is not frequently used, lest a visiting great aunt stumble upon stacks of cash.)
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13. Old Vacuum Cleaner
Instead of throwing out your old, canister-style vacuum cleaner when you upgrade to a new model, consider using it as a storage space for your valuables. After cleaning the inside of the canister thoroughly, hide your valuables inside. Keep the old vacuum in the basement or closet along with your other cleaning supplies so that it doesn’t attract attention by looking out of place.