Secret Hiding Places You’ve Never Thought Of
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.
A Roll in the Roll
Take apart the spring bar that holds your toilet paper. Roll up a stack of bills, stash them inside and reassemble the bar.
Not IN the Drawer
Drawers don’t go all the way to the back of a cabinet, and there’s typically a little space on the underside too. Put cash or important papers in an enve- lope and tape them to the back or underside of a drawer. Plus: Watch this video to learn how to make a secret hiding place out of a stack of old books.
The Old Hollowed-Out-Book Trick
If the sides of the books will be visible, fold back the covers of the books on the left and right sides of the assembly before cutting. Build a plywood box for the secret compartment to fit the opening and glue the book parts to the box with construction adhesive. The disadvantage to this hidden compartement? You can see inside the box on low shelves, so you need to display it so the opening is above eye level.
Right Out in the Open
Good Venting Is Key
Stick a magnet to a spare house key using hot glue, and tuck the key up out of sight inside the dryer vent hood. If your vent hood is aluminum or plastic, glue a magnet to the inside of the hood as well as the key. Check out our ultimate guide for finding secret hiding places in your home.
Cut out a stud space opening to fit a return air grille. Cut off the grille screws and glue just the heads in place. Run four drywall screws into the corners of the opening so they fit just inside the rim of the grille. Then glue rare earth magnets to the back of the grille so they line up with the screw heads.
False Stair Tread
It takes some effort, but if you can, free a tread from your stairs. Then attach a piano hinge to the back. It’ll be almost invisible and you’ll have a good place to stash valuables.
Time Well Spent
Store a few small items in a wall or mantel clock, as long as the clock itself isn’t worth stealing! Tape them to the back or put them in any open cavities. Steer clear of these hiding places, because that’s where burglars always look first!
Between almost every pair of upper cabinets, there’s a 1/2-in. gap. Take advantage of that gap by hanging a manila envelope containing, oh, I don’t know, about two grand in hundred-dollar bills? Hang the cash with binder clips that are too wide to fall through the crack.
Slip a Box Inside a Box
Store a container of valuables inside a larger bin full of unappealing stuff. Label it accordingly.
There’s an enormous 4-in.-tall cavity under all those kitchen cabinets behind the toekicks. It takes a few carpentry skills, but you can pull the toe-kicks free and make them removable. Most are 1/4-in. plywood held in place with 1-in. brads, and they’re pretty easy to pull off. If you have a secondary 3/4-in. toe-kick, you’ll have to cut it out at both ends. An oscillating tool works well for that task.
Stick both halves of round hook-and-loop self-adhesive tape to the toe-kick. Then push the toe-kick into place. The adhesive will stick to the cabinet base and leave half of the hook-and-loop tape in place when you pull it free. You can store approximately $2.4 million in gold bullion under two average-size cabinets—provided the floor is strong enough to support it.
Garage Door Opener Shroud
Believe it or not, you can hide items like passports and cash under the shroud that covers the garage door opener.
It’s Magic, All Right
Pop the end cap off a marker and remove the ink cartridge. Just right for a spare roll of cash. Want more? There are our top 20 secret hiding places in the home.
Go online and type in “secret hiding places” and you’ll be amazed by how many brand-name phony containers are available. Comet, Coca-Cola, Bush Beans—whatever. But you can craft a homemade version too. This mayonnaise jar had its interior spray-painted with cream-colored paint for plastic.
The Appliance Caper
Fridges and dishwashers have a snap-off grille in the front. Well, there’s a lot of secret storage space under there. Ask yourself this: How many burglars will be thinking about cleaning your refrigerator coils? But before you stuff treasures under a fridge, take a peek to see where the coils are. On some models, a stack of cash might block the airflow. That will make the fridge work harder and could even damage it.
Pick up a spare wheelbarrow wheel and tire (about $20 at a home center). Deflate the tire, tuck in your goods and reinflate it. Plus: Check out these 13 inexpensive ways to theft-proof your home.
Which Paint Can Contains the Gold?
Fake Plumbing Pipes
Hole in the Door
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.
Hide a Key In Plain Sight
Say you want to hide a key—other than under the rug or over the door. How about mounting a phony plastic LB fitting? Screw it to the wall and run a bit of 1/2-in. conduit to the ground so it looks official. Cut the head off the bottom screw and glue it in place. That’s it. Swing the cover aside and there’s the key.
Hide a Safe in the Wall or Floor
False Top (or Bottom)
When you build a piece of furniture, build in a stash spot. For example, when you assemble a dresser, put a piece of 1/4-in. plywood just above the top drawers and install a piano hinge on the top. Now you have a spot to hide precious items.
Check out another piece of furniture that doubles as secret storage in the video below.
Secret Cash Stash
Keep some emergency cash rolled up in a clean, empty sunblock tube. Tuck it in a drawer or medicine cabinet where you can easily grab it when you need it. Don’t forget about the garage! Learn how to secure your garage and prevent theft.
An unoccupied birdhouse makes a handy spot for a spare key. Screen off the bird entrance to keep out tenants. Plus: These 25 homes are hiding secrets you need to see to believe.