Simply hiding your valuables from the ever-present risk of burglary might seem elementary at first, but it’s an incredibly effective way to ensure the things you care about most stay out of the wrong hands. When you’re hiding important items, you can get even craftier with your places, especially with items that you don’t need day-to-day. Let’s take a quick look at the best places to hide valuables and the places every thief will check first.
What is a good hiding spot for valuables and money?
According to Anatomy of a Burglar, burglars spend an average of 8 to 12 minutes in your home and typically head to the master bedroom first to check for valuables. They don’t have time to search your whole house so they grab whatever valuables are easily within reach or hidden in common places.
The more discreet and nondescript your hiding spot is, the less likely a burglar will find your valuables. The best places to hide valuables are usually inconvenient and time-consuming to access, mundane and ordinary or unique and customized.
The 5 best places to hide money & valuables in your home
Stash valuables in old appliances
Stashing your valuables inside the framework of a broken, outdated appliance is a great hiding spot. Thieves will assume appliances inside the home are in use and aren’t likely to disassemble an appliance to see what’s inside. You may want to save this hiding place for items you don’t need to access quite as often, like birth certificates, trust deeds, valuable coin collections, etc.
Hide money in false fixtures
False fixtures are the ultimate hard-to-access hiding spot, and a thief probably won’t search them. Online vendors sell a plethora of options, including fake wall outlets, clocks, air vents and more. These can be one of the best places to hide cash thanks to accessibility.
Store cash and jewelry in decoy containers
Choosing a hiding spot that’s as ordinary as possible is easy. Decoy containers that resemble canned goods, cleaning supplies or everyday items with hollow spaces are a great idea and are unlikely to be found by thieves.
Build your own hiding spot for valuables
Sometimes the best place to hide valuables in your home is one that you build yourself. Charles Robinson’s book, “The Construction of Secret Hiding Places,” is an informative, comprehensive guide to building hiding spots in your own home. This book has tons of helpful recommendations and you might even come up with a few ideas of your own while reading it. You can find the book on Amazon.
Hide cash in plain sight with potted plants
When it comes to inconvenience, nothing tops burying your valuables in the soil of a potted plant. What burglar wants to sift through dirt to check for something worth stealing? Simply put your items in a waterproof bag and tuck them toward the bottom of the pot. There’s likely no chance that any robber will dig through your potted plants, and you’ll feel especially clever every time you walk by your favorite plant.
What is a bad hiding spot?
The likelihood of your home being the first home that any robber has burglarized is highly unlikely, so they will usually check the most common hiding spots first. As mentioned above, burglars will typically head to the master bedroom first to check for valuables, so the places that you keep valuables (jewelry boxes, safes, under the mattress etc.) are first on their list. The worst hiding spots are spots seen on TV, in movies or other popular hiding locations.
The 5 worst places to hide money & valuables in your home
Put valuables in a portable safe
Portable safes can seem like one of the safest places to hide money, but they only keep your valuables safe from people who aren’t afraid to steal the whole thing. If you decide to use one, make sure it’s too heavy to walk off with or to wheel away on a dolly if they’re prepared.
Hide money under or inside your bed or mattress
Movies, TV and common knowledge have ruined this hiding spot forever, and it’s often one of the first places a thief will look.
Tuck valuables in drawers or with clothing
Drawers and closets might seem like a difficult place to search, but they’re easy to quickly plunder. Tucking valuables in a sock drawer or between shirts in your closet is never safe.
While hiding valuables in the freezer has become a popular option, it only takes seconds to search a freezer. Save room in your freezer for important things that belong there, like pizza and ice cream.
Conceal cash in a book
Tucking spare cash in the pages of a book is never a smart hiding place. Burglars can comb through a shelf of books and flush out any hidden cash in minutes.
For more information on how to hide things in your house and the best ways to keep your home secure, check out our breakdown on how to prevent break-ins.
Originally published 10/3/16. Updated 7/5/18.