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50 Secret Hiding Places Thieves Will Never Look

No one ever expects to get robbed, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Your home is actually full of secret hiding spots thieves will never look.

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Which Paint Can Contains the Gold?Family Handyman

Which Paint Can Contains the Gold?

Next time you use up a can of paint, save the empty can and fill it up with valuables. Then put it back on the shelf with all your other cans. And remember to keep your paint cans in order; these 27 life-changing garage organization ideas will help.

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See three more bonus hiding places in your home in this video:

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False-Bottom DrawerFamily Handyman

False-Bottom Drawer

Pick a deep drawer so the depth change won't be obvious. Cut 1/4-in. plywood 1/16 in. smaller than the drawer opening and rest it on a couple of wood strips that are hot-glued to the drawer sides. Then hot-glue some item you'd expect to find in that drawer to the bottom so you have a handle to lift the false bottom secret compartment and reveal the booty. In this video tutorial, we'll show you how to create a secret box out of old books.

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Fake Plumbing PipesFamily Handyman

Fake Plumbing Pipes

Put in a fake PVC pipe complete with a cleanout plug somewhere in your basement. Unscrew the plug and there are the secret compartment items. Find out the first place burglars look and other secrets they won't tell you.

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Slit Open a Tennis BallFamily Handyman

Slit Open a Tennis Ball

Slice open a tennis ball and you've got yourself a little vault just like those rubber squeeze coin purses from the '70s. Don't store the ball in the garage with the other balls or it could get tossed across the yard for your dog.

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Kitchen Cabinet CacheFamily Handyman

Kitchen Cabinet Cache

There are tons of ways to hide stuff in a kitchen cabinet. Bury a zipper-top bag full of jewelry at the bottom of a half-full oatmeal box. Open a cereal box at the bottom and shove in some cash. (Pick a healthy cereal that no one will touch.) A "smooth-edge" can opener cuts through the top in such a way that the top often fits snugly back in place. Plus: These inside-the-cabinet storage ideas will help organize your everyday kitchen items.

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cashFamily Handyman

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.

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Right Out in the OpenFamily Handyman

Right Out in the Open

It doesn't have to be an old vacuum cleaner. Any common household item that has a cavity will work as a secret compartment. Think old printers, computer towers, children's toys, etc. (Just be sure family members know about it so your valuables don't get donated or tossed!) For easy hidden storage access, choose an item that opens instantly, like a vacuum cleaner bag compartment. For more security, choose an item with a cover that screws shut.

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Cabinet Hidey-HoleFamily Handyman

Cabinet Hidey-Hole

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.

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This Outlet Isn't What it SeemsVia Bed Bath and Beyond

This Outlet Isn't What it Seems

There is no way that burglar is going to go around and check every single wall outlet so these hidden wall safes offer the perfect amount of protection. You can keep smaller items like jewelry and cash in them and they install very easily into the wall. Find one at Bed Bath and Beyond for under $5.

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A Shelf with a SecretFamily Handyman

A Shelf with a Secret

Floating shelves are beautiful and easy to build. With a little extra effort and a few bucks more, you could build yours with a hidden compartment.

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Air-Return StashFamily Handyman

Air-Return Stash

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.

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clockFamily Handyman

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!

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Sneaker SubterfugeFamily 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 here.

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False Stair Tread

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.

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Buried TreasureFamily 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 you (probably) can't kill.

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Hidden Safe PillowPeterVandenbelt/Shutterstock

Hidden Safe Pillow

When traveling or even when you are at home, a soft safe hidden in your pillow is sure to keep your precious belongings secured. Simply cut a horizontal line on the back of a pillow that you don't mind cutting up, take out some stuffing and insert a soft pouch to store valuables in, then reinsert the stuffing around the pouch, and finally stitch a zipper onto the pillow to keep those valuables tucked away. What's better than having some extra cushioning around your cash?

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JewelsFamily Handyman

Slip a Box Inside a Box

Store a container of valuables inside a larger bin full of unappealing stuff. Label it accordingly.

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Family AlbumFamily Handyman

Family Album

Nobody ever looks at those old photo albums, but they never get thrown away either. That's why they're the ideal place to store a little emergency cash.

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Key MagnetFamily Handyman

Key Magnet

I always keep a spare key hidden somewhere on my vehicle. I don't use a magnetic key box because it can fall off, and it's not easy to find a place big enough to stick them to mostly plastic modern cars. Instead, I bolted my spare key to a magnet, the kind with metal on one side and a hole in the middle. It fits perfectly in a little nook near my rear bumper, and it's been there for years without falling off.

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litterFamily Handyman

“Litterally” Buried

Put small containers of valuables in a tub of cat litter (unused!) and then pour the cat litter back into the tub. Here's another odd-but-useful way to use kitty litter at home.

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Kid's Room Hideaway

Kid's Room Hideaway

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.

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Who'd Suspect an Ironing Board?Family Handyman

Who'd Suspect an Ironing Board?

Many ironing boards have tubular legs with plastic caps on them. Pull the cap and you've got yourself a perfect little hidey-hole. I slide in a wad of paper towels first so my secret stays near the opening and doesn't rattle around.

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Curtain Pocket KUPRYNENKO ANDRII/Shutterstock

Curtain Pocket

Nothing is better than hiding valuables in plain sight! With thick dark curtains and a piece of fabric that is the same color, simply stitch a pocket onto the back of the curtains with thread that doesn't poke through to the other side. You can store any flat valuables or cash in this pocket.

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magnetFamily 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. If you hide your keys in these spots, you'll likely get robbed.

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Secret in the CeilingFamily Handyman

Secret in the Ceiling

I like to stash my treasures above the suspended ceiling tiles in my basement. At that height, would-be thieves can't get at them without a ladder. Keep your goodies in a plastic container to protect them from bandits of the rodent variety. And don't stash anything heavy that could cause a ceiling tile to sag.

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Toe-Kick HideawayFamily Handyman

Toe-Kick Hideaway

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.

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Stow a Key in Your YardFamily 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.

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panelFamily Handyman

Sitting Pretty

Dining chairs often have space under the seat for a drop-down hinged panel.

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Garage Door Opener ShroudFamily Handyman

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 for a hidden compartment stash box.

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Hide a Key in the KeypadFamily Handyman

Hide a Key in the Keypad

It takes hours, not days, for my younger kids to lose their house keys. My solution was to install a remote keypad for the garage door opener. That worked great until one day we lost power and my 12-year-old son was left out in the cold ... literally. I discovered that my key fit right behind the nine-volt battery inside the keypad. A key in a keypad—now that's ironic.

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Counterfeit ContainersFamily Handyman

Counterfeit Containers

Go online and type in "secret hiding places" and you'll be amazed by how many brand-name phony secret stash 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.

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MARKERFamily Handyman

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?

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The Appliance CaperFamily Handyman

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.

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Tissue Cover-UpFamily Handyman

Tissue Cover-Up

Stick a flat box of tissues in a full-size tissue box holder and you've just created a convenient little hiding spot. You could buy a one-size-fits-all box like this, or a regular box holder and set the box of tissues on a couple of blocks. The box shown is made by PandPal and costs around $23 online.

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tireFamily 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 reinflate it. Plus: Check out these 13 inexpensive ways to theft-proof your home.

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Pocket Change

Pocket Change

How many thieves are going to go through the dozens of pockets in your closet? Put cash in the pockets of your old pants and suit coats. Just be sure the clothes don't get donated!

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A Safe-SafeFamily Handyman

A Safe-Safe

It's a good idea to protect your valuables in a fireproof safe. The problem is that these smaller safes are as easy to grab as a briefcase; some even have a handle on them. I hide my safe in a suitcase.

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Password ProtectionFamily Handyman

Password Protection

I keep a list of my passwords on a sheet of paper near my computer. I protect my list from bad guys and nosy coworkers by putting it in a file folder. I lay the folder flat on the bottom of a file cabinet drawer under the other hanging folders. For an extra level of security, you could label the file "Proctology Exam Results" or some other title to ward off prying eyes.

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RollFamily Handyman

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.

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The Old Hollowed-Out-Book TrickFamily Handyman

The Old Hollowed-Out-Book Trick

We've all seen the hollowed-out book, but there's not much room in one of those. Instead, use several books with a plywood box attached to the back for hidden storage. If you have a band saw for cutting out the pages, great. If not, you can use a jigsaw. (After all, books are just a form of wood.) 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.

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Oversized Art StorageApartmenttherapy

Oversized Art Storage

Hang great looking art on your walls and hide your valuables at the same time! All you have to do is get a piece of art and frame a skinny medicine cabinet like shelf behind it. With this tip,  you can also hide your electronics and their cords at the same time. You just have to drill holes in the shelves for the cords. This is a great way to keep those wires and cords hidden and gives you the opportunity to add new art to your walls as well. Plus: How to build a medicine cabinet. Photo: Apartmenttherapy

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Hole in the DoorFamily Handyman

Hole in the Door

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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SunblockFamily Handyman

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.

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Hide a Key In Plain SightFamily 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.

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Hide a Safe in the Wall or FloorFamily Handyman

Hide a Safe in the Wall or Floor

Install a wall hidden safe or cylinder floor safe by bolting it to the floor (most hidden safes have holes inside for just that purpose). Hide it in the corner of a closet or other inconspicuous area. Or mount the wall safe inside a wall and cover it with a picture. Or chip out a hole in your concrete slab and stick in the floor hidden safe, then pour new concrete around the hidden away safe.

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SoccerFamily 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.

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False Top (or Bottom)

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.

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key houseFamily Handyman

Key House

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.

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Hidden Bookcase StorageVia themurphydoor.com

Hidden Bookcase Storage

You can easily create a hidden storage space that is concealed with a bookcase. When you need to get into the space, just pull the bookcase out and then push it back to hide your treasures when you are finished. Plus: How to build a bookcase

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Make a Treasure MapFamily Handyman

Make a Treasure Map

Having several hiding places makes sense...unless you forget where they are! Avoid this misfortune by making yourself a map of your various treasure sites. That way you only need to remember one location—the place where you hid the map. Want more? Check out these 50 extraordinary uses for ordinary things in your home.