12 Hiding Places To Conceal Spare Keys and Other Valuables Outside Your Home

Updated: Jul. 28, 2023

If you or a loved one frequently forgets their house keys and subsequently gets locked out then these tips are for you!

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hide spare key
Family Handyman

Hose Hide-a-Key

Every thief knows that people often hide their spare house key under a doormat. Here’s a better idea. File down the head of the key (make sure it still works easily in the lock) and then hide it inside the cap of a soaker hose. Brass keys don’t rust, and a thief isn’t likely to unscrew your hose cap to search for your key. — reader Joel Steingold

Make sure you aren’t doing any these things that make your home a target for burglars.

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Family Handyman

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.

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hiding money in a plant
Family Handyman

Buried Treasure

Roll up some cash, stick it in a medicine bottle or any other watertight container, and bury it in a potted plant. For quicker access and to keep dirt from getting under your fingernails, place a stone or pine cone over it. Not many burglars are going to be excavating around your houseplants. Have trouble keeping houseplants alive? Here are 10 houseplants you (probably) can’t kill.

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Rock Spare Key Holder

This diversion rock safe comes in handy if you ever lose or forget your keys and get locked out of the house and it works well in case of an emergency. This rock inconspicuously fits in with your landscaping and is weatherproof. These are 50 secret hiding places thieves will never look.

Get it on Amazon.

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tire hide flash drive
Family Handyman

Spare Tire

Pick up a spare wheelbarrow wheel and tire (about $20 at a home center). Deflate the tire, tuck in your goods and re-inflate it. Plus: Check out these 13 inexpensive ways to theft-proof your home.

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hide key in exterior electrical box
Family Handyman

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. These are the 10 hiding spot ideas you should try to avoid.

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Soccer cash stash
Family Handyman

Don’t Kick This Ball!

A soccer ball makes a perfect spot for little items. Let some air out of the ball and cut one of the seams using a utility knife. After inserting your items, tuck the seam back into place. Corral your sports equipment with these storage hacks.

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The Bolt Safe

This bolt safe is an effective safe storage spot to hide many of your precious items. The top bolt head removes to reveal a hidden inner compartment and is designed to blend in with other everyday items. Try one of these amazing hardware storage containers to get your shop organized.

Get the bolt safe on Amazon.

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key house
Family Handyman

Key House

An unoccupied birdhouse makes a handy spot for a spare key. Screen off the bird entrance to keep out tenants.

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shoe secret hiding place
Family Handyman

Sneaker Subterfuge

Some shoes have a removable sock liner (the foam pad your foot rests on). Pull out the sock liner and slide in some cash. What thief is going to want to dismantle your stinky shoes? This is also a good place to hide emergency cash on your person while you’re on vacation unless, your sneakers are nice enough that someone would want to steal them too. Learn how to build a shoe rack.

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sprinkler head secret hiding place
Family Handyman

Stow a Key in Your Yard

If you have an irrigation system, install a phony pop-up sprinkler head near the front door and hide a key in it. You could dismantle an extra sprinkler head or buy a fake one designed to hold a key. They cost less than $5 at home centers and discount stores.

Get a fake sprinkler head on Amazon.

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key pad secret hiding place
Family Handyman

Hide a Key in the Keypad

It takes hours, not days, for younger kids to lose their house keys. One solution was to install a remote keypad for the garage door opener. That will work great until one day you lost power and your 12-year-old son is left out in the cold … literally. A key will fit right behind the 9-volt battery inside the keypad. A key in a keypad—now that’s ironic.