9 Genius Hiding Places for All Your Valuables
By Holly Amaya
Just in case you haven’t had your fill of troubling news lately, try this: Today’s thieves are smarter—and more brazen—than ever. More than half of them strike during daylight hours, and an astonishing 34% go in right through your front door!
(Happened on our street at High Noon and NO ONE NOTICED!)
So whether you’re on vacation or just away at work, the chances are depressingly high that your not-so-friendly neighborhood thieves are watching. If you keep valuables in the house and not in a safe deposit box, you’ll need to think about how to take your home security system to the next level. And while no security system is foolproof, a little clever thinking and a few stealthy hiding places can go a long way in safeguarding your stuff.
Take a look at these nine brilliant hacks for hiding your precious belongings from the bad guys.
- Inside boxes in the garage
Home security experts tend to agree: When it comes to stashing the good stuff, you can’t get much better than the garage, which thieves are far less likely to explore. Try tucking valuables inside boxes innocently marked with labels such as “Winter Clothes” or “Christmas Ornaments,” the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends. The more boxes you have, the longer an intruder will have to search—and the more likely he is to be caught.
Garages also offer a plethora of in-plain-sight spots to hide your goodies: Consider placing small items at the bottom of tool boxes (just use box inserts to separate them from your tools). Or nab one of these diversion safe cans to hide cash. If your house is anything like mine, you likely have a bunch of half-used cans of paint hanging around shelves. Put those cans to work for you by cleaning them thoroughly and hiding your valuables inside.
- Your kitchen
There are lots of diversion safes that look like common kitchen or household items, making them far more likely to be passed over during a burglary. Cash in the salt shaker! Antique diamond rings in your canned goods! The possibilities are truly endless.
If you’d prefer not to spend money on fake food items, create a hiding spot out of used condiment bottles. Clean them thoroughly, and then spray-paint the inside before tucking in your valuables. And don’t forget the freezer: Consider stashing important documents or cash there in a plastic container covered with foil.
- Fake pipes, vents, wall outlet plates, etc.
By now you might be thinking, “Isn’t this what safes are for?” But it turns out, a safe’s not always so safe—bad guys can easily snag it in a quick smash-and-grab burglary (unless you cleverly hide it and/or securely bolt it to a wall).
Home experts will tell you that storing your valuables in fake versions of home fixtures provides great alternative ways to foil robbers. Think: PVC pipes, air vents, closet lights, thermostats, and behind wall outlets (à la our favorite antihero Walter White). You’ll want to use fake versions in case, heaven forbid, there’s a fire, or you forget your entire emergency fund is in the vent that your HVAC guy just crawled into.
Sure, it takes a little elbow grease (and, depending on the extent of the project and your temperament, a load of patience), but if you’re at all creatively inclined, these projects can pay off in spades for a fraction of the cost of professional security solutions.
- A bookcase box
Feeling crafty? Create a secret bookcase box to store larger valuables. Gather your supplies: cardboard box, painter’s tape, table saw, white glue, E-6000 glue, box cutter, sandpaper, and measuring tape.
Remove the top flaps from the box and gather as many hardcover books as possible. Wrap the books with painter’s tape and then cut off their spines using the table saw. Apply white glue to the surfaces you just cut, remove the painter’s tape from the spines, and glue the spines one by one to the front of the box. (Use sandpaper if the box is glossy; this will ensure the glue sticks better.) Once everything dries, you’re set.
If you’d rather make your box out of something sturdier, this video offers a great primer.
- An old vacuum
Scour yard scales for an old canister-style vacuum cleaner. You can remove the bag and easily stash things such as birth certificates and other sensitive documents inside. (Just be sure to either clean the bag or place your docs in a plastic bag first. And, um, don’t forget they’re in there.)
- Inside your child’s room
Thieves typically spend the 8 to 12 minutes they’re inside your home searching the master bedroom for jewelry and cash, or the home office for laptops and other electronics, according to home security expert Robert Siciliano.
They’re way less likely to enter a child’s room, so hiding valuables in the mess of a kid’s space (whether in plain sight amid the chaos, barely concealed in a bookcase, or in a bolted-down safe or other container) is statistically safer than stashing those same goods elsewhere.
- Behind some cleverly placed art
We love this one: Replace the mirror from a medicine cabinet with some wall art. Then, hang it wherever you’d like (preferably in an unexpected spot such as a hallway, dining room, or kitchen).
8. Inside your dresser
This one will make you feel a little like James Bond: You can create a secret compartment at the bottom of your dresser drawers. All you need is a thin piece of plywood, measuring tape, sandpaper, and box cutter or saw. The goal is to create a space for your valuables below a “false bottom” in the drawer. Easy!
- Inside your doors
The experts at The Family Handyman offer this genius tip: Drill a hole at the top of any interior door (taking care to stay close to the outside edges if working with a hollow-core door), and use the tiny space to stash spare cash.
And now that this has been blogged – find a totally different place to stash your goods!
Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com
Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.
Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com
Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200
Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App: http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp
Visit our Website at: http://thecatonteam.com/
Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam
Visit us on FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834
Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton
Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:
Thanks for reading – Sabrina
The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive. What Can The Caton Team Do For You?
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties
Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008