Criminals can’t steal from you if they don’t know and can’t find what you have. It is important to make sure that the things we want to keep safe are hidden away, but packing them all away in a big metal safe can make it difficult to access in a hurry and is an advertisement to criminals that your valuables are in the big metal box with a dial. Thanks to SimpliSafe for sponsoring the blog. Right now they’re having their best sale of the year—but more on that later! When it comes to hiding your valuables, sometimes you just want to hide important documents, jewelry, family heirlooms, currency, self-defense items, or even something as simple as a Christmas gift. In this blog, we’ll cover ten great hiding spots around your house.
If you have an electrical socket you don’t use and you know how to safely turn off the flow of electricity to it, simply hiding a valuable behind the wall plate may be enough to deter a criminal. Small items can be hidden away in this manner. For a more advanced setup, hidden wall safe outlets can be constructed from an emptied outlet box with reduced size three-prong plugs. That option will give you more room, but it will also require some basic construction skills. This is a completely fake socket that looks real but will provide you a small hidden storage compartment.
Picture Frame Safe
When a criminal enters your home, they are looking for things they can easily grab and hastily go, if they have to. The tickets under a magnet on your refrigerator, the jewelry box, the small lockbox, or unbolted gun safe, all of these are grab and go items. While they might glance at your photos to put a face with the home and help them in figuring out what you may have in the home, they aren’t likely to pause and ponder your pictures on the wall. This is where a picture frame safe can be very useful to you. This doesn’t have to be too fancy and your picture shouldn’t be so great that someone would want to take it off the wall and really get a good look at it, but we like the picture frame safe because it’s one most people can build themselves. Consider hanging this on the wall versus putting it on a shelf. If someone is ransacking your home they could discover it when clearing shelves, but they are less likely to take it off the wall.
Wall Clock Safe
In the same vein as the picture frame safe, wall clock safes are an affordable option. People will look at your safe hundreds of times, glancing up at the time. Burglars will be watching the clock to see how long they’ve been in the house and how close it is to popular times to arrive at home between four and seven o’clock. People will be glancing at your valuables throughout the day, and nobody will ever suspect what’s cleverly hidden behind the clock face. Just remember to keep the clock set to the proper time, so no obsessive-compulsive criminals try to help you out by setting it to the correct time.
The book safe has probably been the most reliable safe since the first bound book was ever made. With the printing press and our modern age of printing, there are hundreds of millions of books out there. Chances are you have at least one within reach of you right now. The real beauty of the book safe is that you can use any book with a relatively sturdy spine and appropriate thickness. Cookbooks are fantastic because criminals aren’t likely to either read or cook from a book. All you need is an Exacto knife and you can easily hollow out a space. Place the book among other books and it is easily hidden in plain sight. On a full bookshelf, it might as well be a secret combination, because only you know which book it is and others don’t. One thing to note, though, there has been a long tradition of storing money in Bibles. Often that was the only real book settlers had with them, and the tradition kind of stuck. For this reason, avoid using a Bible, as this will be the book criminals would most likely grab to search through. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to pause to read it.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, it is sponsored by SimpliSafe. There’s almost always a rise in break-ins during the holidays. We think criminals look forward to Christmas more than kids do. It makes sense then that SimpliSafe would be having their best sale of the year right now. We like their products because SimpliSafe is an incredibly effective, reliable home security system that will make sure your home is safe. You don’t have to be an electronics expert or an electrician. It is an out-of-the-box, plug-in, customizable and expandable system approach that allows you to build out your own security system. From sensors that distinguish between heat signatures of pets versus humans, to window and door sensors, you can customize a system that will provide you alerts that will never leave you unaware.
You can simply order it online or over the phone, it’s delivered right to your home, and you set it up yourself in under an hour. From there your home is professionally monitored 24/7—if anything happens, they’ll make sure the police get called. They’ve got sensors that work well to cover every window, room, and door, plus many great extras like water sensors, temperature sensors, and HD cameras. It’s all really easy to use, and you get around the clock protection for just fifty cents a day with no contracts. They’ve even, recently, won U.S. News & World Report’s best overall home security of 2020. We easily customized a system online, and had it out of the box and running in about an hour after it arrived. If you’d like to check them out, please visit simplisafe.com/cityprepping to get a special holiday offer.
False Bottom Drawer
If you are a bit of a carpenter, a false bottom drawer is a great hiding place. While criminals may search your drawers and under your clothes, a false bottom drawer typically has a layer that can be pulled out to reveal a few inches of void space. In a hurry, you could easily grab the drawer, toss the contents, and access your hidden interior compartment. It doesn’t have to be a dresser drawer either. It could be a bathroom or kitchen drawer, a nightstand, or a desk. Most any drawer can be converted with a decent saw and some plywood. Add some decorative drawer liner throughout the inside of the drawer to even further conceal your valuables.
Lift Top Tables & Nightstands
For the truly ambitious person who really needs to access their things in a hurry but still want maximum concealment, consider a lift-top table or lift-top nightstand. These are whole pieces of furniture designed with tops that lift up entirely. Just two hinges and possibly a switch or lock of some kind is all it takes to completely conceal your valuables. In an instant and even under pressure, you can access your valuables and essentials by just lifting the lid. Lift top furniture is another one of those historic safe spots. It was a preferred way to secure valuables at home from the early days through the nineteen hundreds. If you search that old desk of yours long enough, you might just find the trick hiding spot. They are a little more expensive, but the lift-top nightstand and coffee table are making a comeback. Typically the lift-top is intended as a tv tray like feature, but you can easily repurpose it to suit your security needs.
Cell Phone Cases
It is kind of weird, but you probably always have your smartphone with you nowadays. It has become an extension of our hands. We usually always have it nearby. It’s also a high theft item, which may be why we keep it close. We have always kept cash flattened in the case on the back of the phone. In an emergency situation or if my wallet gets stolen, we have some money to get home. Also, criminals don’t usually peel the case off of the phone, first thing, so if it gets stolen, you might be able to get your money back as well. You can’t store anything more than a few flattened, folded in half, crisp bills, but that may be enough. Maybe there’s another important document you could fit back there. Take a moment, peel the case off right now, and take a look.
As ubiquitous as cell phones have become in our modern age, the water bottle maybe even more of a common, prominent fixture in our daily lives. What we really like about these is how much they can hold: spare keys, currency, an emergency credit card. Typically, the bottom simply unscrews to reveal all your secret items within. Put some tissue or cloth in there to make sure your items don’t bounce around when the bottle is moved or picked up. Put some stickers on it to identify it. Make it cool, but not too cool, and it will blend into the backdrop of everyday living. A burglar is not likely to grab that off the countertop of your home. If you’re hiding a gift for someone in your house, well, let’s just say it’s not cool to use someone’s dedicated water bottle.
Also in the category of the mundane and oft-overlooked is the good old fashioned can safe. These look like just regular cans of food. You can purchase them premade, or with a little work you can easily make one yourself from any can of food you have. If you went to the cupboard now and moved around some cans you would probably find a can of something you forgot was there– a can of corn, beans, or soup. According to one study, only 82 % of Americans cook food in their own homes. How many of those home-cooked meals call for corn? Would a hungry criminal grab your bag of chips or your can of kidney beans? Again, here, you will want to include a cloth rag or tissue to dampen the noise if shaken and you will want the weight to be similar to that of the real item. Your can could be as large as a coffee can or as small as a can of sardines. If you’re not going to access the item except in an emergency, you could build a false top coffee can. If anyone ever used it and scooped the coffee from the top, your contents below would still be safe. Get creative and stash your stuff.
Around the House
If all of those gadgets sound like too much effort to you, remember that houses are built with all kinds of hiding spots. Some modern constructions have wall niches that simply need a large framed piece of artwork to conceal the void behind. There is an actual Facebook channel dedicated to things found in walls, so there’s an area back there to hide things. Older homes have floorboards that can easily store vast quantities of items. There’s space under beds and in headboards, under couches, and behind furniture. There’s a space behind most every drawer where you could easily tape an envelope of cash. You can even wrap the item in plastic and hide it in your flour or sugar. If your container is waterproof, the toilet tank is another great spot. Who goes back there or thinks of going back there? There’s a lot of space above ceiling tiles and in attics. Garages are also areas that offer multiple areas to conceal items. It’s not likely that criminals are going to pull that cardboard box labeled “Christmas Decorations” off of its high shelf, so that box can hide almost anything away safely.
The sad fact is that most people don’t ever take an assessment of their valuables and seek to secure them well. Keeping your items safe doesn’t always require expensive safes. Two things to remember, though, when hiding items. First, how quickly do you need to grab the item in a fire or emergency? Some items you may want a small fireproof bag or safe for. While they may have little value for criminals, they may be very important to you. So, how fast can you access the item? Second, if it’s something you likely are tucking away for a long time, you will want to make sure it is well protected from the elements and from rodents. Simply wrapping important documents in plastic and storing it in a wall won’t do. If you ever have mice or termites, they will nest in or eat up those documents in no time.
We would love to hear your creative hiding places or hiding places you have heard – the more creative the better. We could only cover a handful here, but there are so many more.
As always, stay safe out there.