Rising burglary and home invasion rates are the main reasons one might consider hiding property or valuables from others. There are many good reasons for hiding money, cash and valuables.
Some of the more common hiding places for cash or valuables are a home security safe, decoy safes, gun safes, a floor safe, or some sort of specialized money safe. However, sometimes the best hiding places are right in plain sight in your own home. You can hide things in your home in such a way that you won't even have to spend a cent on some expensive home security safe.
How and where you hide your valuables will depend on three important things. The first, decide whatever it is that you are trying to hide. It is precious coins or jewelry? a stamp or coin collection? money? incriminating or critical documents, foreign currency, gold or other precious metals, firearms, external hard drives with your bitcoins, family heirlooms? The list could go on and on.
The second is whom are you trying to hide it from? It is a burglar, nosy relatives or landlords or some other criminal who has found out that you have something worth stealing?
This is important because the average thief will just snatch loot what can fenced quickly (electronics, jewelry), and likes to be in and out as quickly as possible (usually ten to twenty minutes). Weigh the risk if your valuables were found - what would be the consequences? The most valuable items could be hidden in something like a floor safe, while others in makeshift hiding places where you could have fast daily access to them.
Then, once you've got an idea of all the things you need to hide to make it very difficult for burglars to find, the final thing you need to do is decide on multiple hiding spots so that all of your loot isn't in one or two places.
Obviously, don't use well known places and avoid anything in the bedroom including dresser drawers, closets, inside clothes pockets or socks, and under mattresses or pillows. This would the first place anyone would look. The bedroom still remains the number one room that burglars go to.
Likewise, avoid the medicine cabinet (most home burglaries are committed by those involved in the street drug scene and will scour your medicine cabinet for any medications they can sell) and any hiding place visible from the front door of your house. If the objects are really sensitive you may better hiding it off the premises.
Perhaps you could also keep some valuables with a trusted neighbor, relative, or long time friend.
Secret Spots to Hide Valuables at Home
- Box of laundry soap - Put some of your valuables in the bottom of a soap box and leave it in the laundry room. Another one of the last rooms a burglar would bother with if they were in a hurry.
- Heels of shoes - Hollowed out from the inside.
- Canned goods - Remove the label carefully. Pierce a small hole in the center of the seam. Apply heat to the seam with a mini-torch until the solder runs absorbing it with a solder wick. Pry the tin apart carefully with a screwdriver. Then with tin snips makes two small slits at the top and bottom of outside edge. Insert the stash, reseal the edges, and re-solder the seam. Tidy up the rough edges with auto body repair filler and replace the label.
- Toothpaste tube - Slit the bottom of the tube with a razor then using a pencil squeeze out the contents into an icing bag. Insert the stash, refill the original contents, and glue the bottom back together.
- Grease gun- Place the stash at the bottom then pack the gun with grease.
- Vaseline or cold cream container - Scoop 2/3's of the contents out, insert the items in zip lock bags, and then heat the scooped out contents and pour it back in the jar.
- Paint cans, creosote, or any other thick, opaque liquid - Seal the stash in a heavy plastic bag with weights inside to insure it stinks to the bottom.
- Fake drainpipe - Build a fake drainpipe in the basement out of black PVC from floor to ceiling. This could hide lots of items and be made to be waterproof too. Place items in the tube in layers of zip lock bags.
- Bicycle pump - Remove the piston assembly from the inside, shorten the rod, and insert the stash.
- Soccer ball - Using a sharp knife, cut along the sides of the patches and open it like a flap. Insert the stash and secure it with tape. Then resew the flap and apply a thin layer of clear cement.
- Face sponge - Cut it into two sections, hollow out a cavity into the lower section, insert the stash, and reseal. Then, make the sponge look more real with bits of dirt, old soap to deter handling.
- Plastic packaging - Using a blade cut a slice and cut out a cavity. Insert the stash, replace the slice, and secure with contact cement.
- Cinder blocks - One thing about these large bricks known as cinder blocks, they all have holes in them and make for perfect hiding spots if you can stack them in the basement or build a small wall with them indoors our outdoors, if you plan on hiding something long term that you do not need regular access to.
- Flowerpots or window boxes - Very well known but it still works if they are high enough, like flower boxes outside of upper floor windows. Make a false bottom in the pot or box, insert the stash, replace the flowers and soil on top.
- Bird house - This could be a great long term hiding spot, especially if the bird house is on a pole and fairly high off of the ground!
- Box of breakfast cereal - Carefully open the inside bag, pour out the cornflakes, insert the stash, and pour the cereal back inside.
- Drainpipe - Lift the cover, attach a string to the stash and the cover. Drop the stash (which is sealed in a waterproof container) down the pipe, and replace the cover.
- Fish tank/Aquarium - Hide the stash under layers of gravel or inside some of the objects in the tank.
- Refrigerator, freezer, or appliance panel - Wear gloves to protect against the insulation inside first. Then unscrew the panel, insert the stash, re-screw, and clean up the area. You could even buy a cheap clothes dryer and put it in the basement and hide something inside the panels.
- Food - Hide the stash inside half gallon tubs of butter, bags of flour or sugar, baked cakes and pies, stuffed turkeys, ice cream, jars of peanut butter, mayonnaise, cooking fat, smelly foods (fish), sour milk, fruit juice, or a block of ice.
- Picture frame - Take out the board behind, lay the stash flat in the frame, and put the board back on.
- VHS tape - If the stash is flat or thin, take an old VHS that no one is likely to listen or steal and put it inside. Especially if these are old VHS tapes marked "Mother's Day 1986" or something like that.
- Homemade candle - Using a glass jar or other mold pour in paraffin wax (melted on a double boiler) halfway, insert your stash (protected in plastic), pour in the remainder of the wax and let it cool.
- Large bag of dry dog food - Empty out the contents, place stash on the bottom of the bag, and pour the contents back in.
- Base of lamp - Open up the base of a lamp, insert the stash, and close the base
- Fake electrical socket - Buy a socket box, socket, and face plate at the hardware store. Cut out a hole in the drywall with a keyhole/drywall saw, screw the box to a stud, insert stash, and put on the faceplate.
- Range hood filter - Remove the filter from the hood, put in the stash, and replace the filter. The filter should not look clean and new. Best to use a grease caked nasty filter to deter any handling.
- Toilet tank - Remove the cover from the tank, tape the stash to the cover, and replace the cover. For extra hassle for those wanting to remove the toilet tank, install a towel rack that straddles the toilet over top of the toilet tank.
- Pillows, stuffed animals, toys, dolls - Neatly cut a slit in one of these, remove enough of the stuffing to make room for your stash, insert the stash, pad the excess space with stuffing, and neatly resew the object.
- Hardcover book safe - Open the book and leaf through a third of the pages. Then with a utility knife and a ruler cut a square hollow from the center of the remaining second third of the pages. Remove the cut out section and glue the pages together inside of the square opening. Let the book dry and tape your stash inside.
- Electric baseboard heater - If the stash isn't flammable or heat sensitive this can be used. Make sure the heater is unplugged, remove the cover, insert your stash, and then replace the cover.
- Wall clock - Open up the back of the clock with a screwdriver, insert the stash, and replace the back.
- Vacuum cleaner bag - This is good to use on a non-functioning vacuum cleaner. Find a bag that fits the vacuum cleaner, put in your stash, fill the bag with crap (dust bunnies, dirt, whatever), and put the bag on the vacuum cleaner.
- Insulation - Wearing gloves, peel backs the flaps of insulation, tape in the stash, and replace the flap.
- Yard waste containers - Those large hard plastic barrel-shaped containers which people use in the yard would be a good spot as burglars are more concerned with going into your home! Simple place the stash in a heavy plastic bag, throw in some silica desiccant packs to prevent moisture, duct tape it shut, and place it as far as possible inside.
- Furniture - Cut a square opening in fabric underneath in a chair or couch, hide stash within the padding, and resew the opening very carefully.
- Mirrors - Make a hollow behind a full length mirror on similar mirror then mount the mirror on sliding tabs.
- Table or desk - If you could use a router to hollow out the legs of an old wooden table leg, that would work well.
- Hollow core door - Cut a slot at the top, drop in the goods, and then fill the slot with wood putty.
- Clothes hamper - Empty out clothes, place stash at bottom, and replace clothes.
- False roof vent - Buy a roof vent, attach it to the roof, and put your stash inside.
- Mattress, box spring, or zippered cushions - Neatly cut an opening in the mattress or box-spring fabric, put in the stash, and carefully resew the opening. With the cushion, just unzip the zipper, put in the stash, and re-zip it.
- Walls - Hollow out behind solid, fixed items (coat racks, boards)
- Dog house - Hide the stash inside or under the roof of any of these.
- Spare Tire - Deflate the tire, put in the goods, put air back in it, and stow the tire.
- Old car - Maybe overkill, but you could buy an old beater and place it on blocks in your garage and take off the door panels and hide all sorts of things in there. No one would ever think to look there, no one could drive the car away, and it is likely fireproof too!
- Baseboards - Remove away a section from the wall, hollow out an area between the studs, insert stash, and tack back the section in place neatly.
- Acoustic tile ceiling - If you have acoustic tiles ceilings, simply remove a tile or two put in the stash, and replace the tiles.
- Fake air conditioner - Install a broken down air conditioner in the window, remove the faceplate, pull the internal unit, and discard. Place the stash in the empty shell and replace the face with buttons and knobs intact.
- Fake duct work/plumbing/stovepipe- Either buy plumbing stock from the hardware store and install it going across the basement or better look for existing connections and add sealed dummies to them.
- Fake air intake - Cut a hole into sheetrock of the wall with a keyhole saw or a router, insert a metal box and screw it to a stud, insert the stash, and cover the box with a faceplate.
- Fake beams - Ceiling and walls can have hollowed out beams. Sure this is a lot of work, but is safe from everything except maybe a house fire.
- Wall paneling - If your stash is thin and flat you can measure and cut paneling to a wall, attach the stash to the inside of the paneling, and then nail the paneling to the wall. You can even add baseboards and or molding if you wish.
- Fake hot water heater or washing machine - Take an old non-working heater or washer, put in dummy pipes into the plumbing, and hide the stash inside.
- Wooded Areas - Inside stump of old large trees in your yard (or an area you are sure they are not going to be cut down).
- Abandoned buildings - Inside old shafts, culverts, broken walls, loose floorboards, weed thickets. This is a great thing if you live beside or close to such a place.
- Underground "Caching" - Bury the stash in 4"-8" diameter PVC water pipes. You will need PVC pipe, an end cap, a screw top end, PVC pipe cement, Teflon sealing tape, and a hacksaw. First cut the pipe down to the right size with the hacksaw. Then, prepare the surface on the end of the pipe with steel wool, apply PVC cement and stick the end cap on one end. Do the same to the other end with the screw top end. Allow the cement to set for 24 hours. Drive out the moisture by turning the oven to its lowest temperature (this VERY important- PVC is plastic) for 15 minutes and take the pipe out.
Prepare the stash by putting it in a sealed heavy duty bag with 2 oz. of desiccant (such as silica gel) in a sock. If the stash is metal wrap it in cheesecloth, sit it overnight in a dry oven at 250 degrees, apply a coat of oil to it, wrap it in aluminum foil or wax paper, and then put it in a zip lock baggie with desiccant in a sock. Put in your stash, place Teflon tape on the threads, and screw the end on.
Bury the pipe vertically 3 feet deep and cover with 18 inches of dirt then place a part from the auto scrap yard like an alternator or carburetor in the hole and fill the hole. The auto scrap hopefully will act as a decoy for anyone deciding to use a metal detector. Burying the goods under an old abandoned car or refrigerator is another possibility.
For best results, bury more scrap metal randomly around the area and at different depths. A variation of this is to bury the goods next to a fence. Dig a hole next to the fence with a post digger and drop in a sealed PVC pipe with the goods. The fence will act as a decoy for the metal detector.
- Secret room/safe room - Install a metal or solid wood door with two deadbolts and line the interior with plywood.
- Private rental storage facility - This is probably the best way to hide contraband besides burying it. To ensure anonymity some places will let you pay cash several months in advance for it.
- Cat litter container - If you have pet cats, you could always have a big tub of cat litter with some valuables hidden in zip lock bags at the bottom of the container.