Burglary is a crime of opportunity. And burglars don’t want to spend a lot of time looking through a home to find things of value to steal, which is why there are obvious locations that they always check. That means that there are ways to outsmart them by hiding your valuables in not-so-obvious places, and sometimes even in plain sight.
Depending on the size and type of item, the best places to hide valuables are those that burglars don’t want to search through or wouldn’t bother with, including places that are inconvenient or difficult to search, messy, or uninteresting.
- The kitty litter. This would be the UNused stuff, of course! You can put a small container of valuables into an emptied tub of cat litter, and then pour the litter back into the tub.
- Behind Or Under a Drawer. Taping an envelope to the underneath or back side of a drawer can make it harder to find, since every drawer would need to be completely removed to find it, and this can be time-consuming. You can also purchase or create a false-bottom drawer.
- In a Small Appliance. Old, unused small appliances can be a great spot to store something small, like old vacuum cleaners, printers, old desktop computers, etc. For quick access choose something that has a cover that removes quickly, or you can choose something more secure that has a cover that screws on.
- Faux Book Box. This is an even better option if you have a lot of books, since it can be tedious to look through them all. Remove the center of the book and place small valuables inside. You can also create a spot by connecting several books together and creating a larger empty space inside.
- Stair Tread. If you carefully remove one of your stair treads, you can attach a piano hinge to the back and create an almost-invisible spot to store some valuables.
- Potted Plant. Two ways you can use plants. Fake potted plants can have a potentially large area inside the pot where you can stash items. For live plants, you can roll up some cash inside a small watertight container, such as some medicine bottles, and either roll up cash or use the tube to store small items.
- Modify Drapes And Add a Hidden Pocket. If the items you are trying to hide are quite small then this trick might be just what you are looking for.
- Air Return. This is a faux air return that you create by cutting out an opening between two studs that will fit an air return. Then attach screws to the drywall where the four corners of the vent will touch and attach magnets to the back of the vent corners to hold the vent in place.
- Between Upper Cabinets. Almost every pair of your upper cabinets in your kitchen or elsewhere have a 1/2″ gap. You can use this spot by taking a manila envelope and attach a couple of binder clips that are wide enough to keep from dropping into the gap, and you have an easy spot to hide something thin. Similarly, with a little work, the area behind the cabinet toe kick can also be used.
For valuables that you can’t hide or lock up, such as a flat-screen TV, stereo system, and computers, make sure they’re insured through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Unless you invest in a home security system (and sometimes even if you do), it’s not possible to protect every item in your home. But you can take precautions to password-protect and GPS-activate laptops and smartphones so that their recovery is more likely, should they be stolen.
Also, firearms should be properly locked in an approved gun safe that is stored out of reach for the safety of the home’s occupants, as well as to deter theft.
In short, do what you can to make your home a difficult, inconvenient and time-consuming target that will force a would-be burglar to move on. And do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by reporting suspicious activity on your street to the police.
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