20 Secret Hiding Places

Clever ways to hide your valuables

Got some cash or valuables to hide? Try one of these clever, simple ways to hide those items from all but the smartest, most determined crooks.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

The old hollowed-out book trick

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Right out in the open

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Air-return stash

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Buried treasure

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False-bottom drawer

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Cabinet hidey-hole

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Toe-kick hideaway

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Counterfeit containers

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The appliance caper

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Field editor tips

We received lots of tips from our Field Editors about their hiding spots—and we promised not to include their names or addresses. Here are their favorites (#10-19):

11. “Drill a hole in the top of any interior door. Size it to fit a cylinder such as an old film container or a cigar tube. Roll up some bills and keep them there.”

Editor’s Note: If you want to do this trick on a hollow-core door, you have to stick close to the outside edges. Look at the door from the top and you’ll see how wide the solid internal frame is.

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More field editor tips

13. “It took some effort, but I freed a tread from the oak stairs to the second story and attached a piano hinge to the back. It’s almost invisible.”

14. “Whenever I build a piece of furniture, I build in a stash spot. The last project I built was a dresser, and when I assembled it, I put a 1/4-in. sheet of plywood just above the top drawers and installed a piano hinge on the top. That’s where we keep everything we care about.”

15. “Believe it or not, I put our passports and a bit of cash underneath the shroud that covers the garage door opener.”

16. “How many thieves are going to go through the dozens of pockets in your closet? I put cash in the pockets of my old pants and suit coats.” Just be sure the clothes don’t get donated!

17. “I think the key is to use lots of secret hiding places. It’s stupid to put all your eggs in one basket. I keep hundred-dollar bills between pages in books, tape an envelope behind my headboard and put cash behind the false panel in my dishwasher.”

18. “No burglar worth his salt looks in a kid’s room for valuables. It’s just full of useless junk. So find somewhere in there where the kid won’t find it either.”

19. “My secret stash is taped on the underside of drawers in the kitchen.”

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Hide a key in plain site

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Miter saw
  • Cordless drill
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Jigsaw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • 3” PVC or ABS with sanitary tee and cleanout
  • Old books
  • Return air grille
  • Empty paint can
  • Empty food jars
  • Plastic containers
  • LB fitting
  • Plastic conduit