They say that everybody has something to hide, but in this case we’re not talking about their past. We’re talking about material possessions such as guns, money, valuables, documents or other items that we may have but don’t want others to know about.
Regardless of their nature, regular folks usually keep these type of objects in a safe place, under lock and key; it’s common sense. Thing is, not everyone wants to or can afford to buy a heavy and expensive safe. A smaller (and cheaper) safe buried in the floor or wall can only harbor a limited amount of items and safes aren’t exactly known for their portability.
Also, having a safe inside of your residence or place of business is a clear message to thieves, making you a target, as you obviously own something valuable. It’s a common modus operandi for burglars to steal the entire safe, without even knowing what’s inside, as long as it’s manageable to do so.
A couple of other downsides that you should consider about owning a safe: a burglar can persuade you at gunpoint to open it and the same goes for the police if they have a warrant. I’m not trying to downplay owning a safe – it has its uses (even as a decoy) and provides you with a high level of security in certain situations, but sometimes it’s better to have somewhere else to hide your valuables.
Thinking with a Burgler’s Mind
Judging from the perspective of the home invaders, they have a limited amount of time they can spend searching for your valuables. They follow a basic three-point rule when they’re looking for valuable stuff in your place of residence:
- They look for openly displayed valuables.
- They look for the most “interesting” places (storage spaces).
- They take a closer look at other spaces that have the probability of harboring valuables.
It’s a simple algorithm that maximizes the probability of finding the interesting stuff inside of your residence or place of business in the shortest amount of time.
Having that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways of hiding valuables within your home, using psychology and secret compartments.
The first thing to contemplate is how to create distractions or decoys for your home invaders. The idea is to overwhelm them with a huge number of potentially interesting “stuff”, thus making them overlook the real valuables. You can achieve that by planting lots of “shiny” stuff in the room, making the real valuables pale in comparison. For example, you can keep a gold ring in a cheap origami box.
The next step is to avoid hiding your valuables in obvious places such as drawers, closets, briefcases, gun cases, decorated boxes etc.
Let me share a little psychological trick with you: burglars will always search harder when they fail to discover valuable items. The less they find, the harder they’ll search if they’re convinced that there’s something worth looking for. You can mitigate the damage from a home invasion by planting “freebies” in obvious or easy-to-find places.
If the burglar finds something interesting and relatively valuable in the first few minutes of the search, he may very well call off the search party and leave early instead of risking a prolonged, deteailed search that could expose the stuff you don’t want him to find in the first place. Because time is an important factor, especially in the case of thieves, he may take the plant and run.
Another thing to keep in mind: home invaders will concentrate on the usual hiding spots such as toilet tanks, refrigerators, couch cushions, matresses etc. and they will disregard the boring, dull, uninteresting ones such as bottles of shampoo or toothpaste boxes. A regular home contains hundreds of uninteresting containers, ranging from detergent boxes to sugar packets. It’s very probable that those items will be overlooked.
A Few Spots to Consider
Considering that there’s no such place as the perfect hiding place, taking into account that a burglar has a very limited amount of time, your ultimate goal should be to hide your valuables in uninteresting places or to disguise them so they will appear dull, boring or invaluable.
Generally, the pantry is maybe the last place a home invader will look for something valuable. You will find lots of food cans inside a pantry and the probability that a burglar will inspect each and every can of food is practically nil. So, you can take advantage of that by placing small valuables (cash, jewelry, bullets etc) inside “fake” food cans (they must look as “new”, sealed and feel just like any other can).
Another place for hiding your valuables would be under the floor boards. Even if it may sound like a common, and obvious place for hiding stuff, it’s very hard for a burglar to investigate all of the possibilities thoroughly (there’s a lot of flooring inside of a house, you know) without using a metal detector. Hence, you can use this kind of place for storing cash, but not for coins, precious metals or guns if you really want to be sure.
Video first seen on coldduck’s22 chanel.
Burglars will not expect you to hide valuables in dangerous or messy places like under the rock bedding in an aquarium or behind an electrical outlet. During a home invasion, places like this are often overlooked because they’re too messy, uninteresting or difficult to access or inspect.
If you’re the DIY kind of a person, you can use your imagination and your skills to build fake water pipes in your basement or attic with removable screw caps that will be the access points for storing your valuables inside the respective pipes.
For long term storage that doesn’t require periodic access to the “hidden treasure”, you can bury your valuables behind drywall, finished wall or inside concrete floors. Since a regular wall/floor contains electrical wires and metal pipes anyway, even if the burglar uses a metal detector you’re in the clear.
Virtually all doors and windows, along with floor-level cabinets and stairs can make for excellent hiding places. Most windows and doors are hollow anyway so they can make for excellent stash spots for your valuables. Keep in mind that shoddy workmanship (if you don’t master your carpentry skills, don’t even try it!) will possibly attract the attention of the burglar, so be extra careful with this type of project. People used hollow furniture to hide their valuables for centuries and it’s still common practice today; there are a few companies that offer custom made furniture with secret compartments inside.
If you’re the proud owner of a large library, you can use a hollowed out book to hide your valuable items inside. This is a very common hiding spot and hardly a surprise for a home invader, however, if you own 500-1000 books or more, it would be next to impossible for a burglar to inspect each one.
Video first seen on Nextracker.
Also, you should consider the “hiding in plain sight” technique, that refers to the difficulty of observing an object that’s so nonchalantly displayed that it couldn’t possibly be valuable.
You can also hide valuable items in your yard, but keep in mind that you must use a weatherproof container. It seems obvious that (outside)underground storage places are almost impossible to find if concealed properly. You can bypass being discovered by metal detectors by placing old pipe fittings in the ground above your valuables.
One of my favorite places for hiding stuff is the exterior of a home (vents, pipes, behind bird blocks on the roof, chimneys, controller boxes etc). You can hide valuable items inside the dog house when you build it and the same goes for the chicken coop or barn.
Try one or more of these clever methods to protect your cash or your valuables, use your creativity and share some of your suggestions in the comment section below.
This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.