Preppers know that the gear they are storing to live through a major disaster is more valuable than a stack of cash. But thieves and government agents know that, too. If you want to keep your valuables, you need to find the best hiding spots for them.
A few survival items such as a fire starter or a water purifier could mean the difference between life and death after a collapse. Creativity, ingenuity and a little skill can keep these items safe.
Here are some ideas for hiding your valuables. Use the ideas to get your own creative juices flowing. Take a look around your property and think outside the box.
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1. Air vents are some of the most inconspicuous things in a house. A thief isn’t going to stop and wonder why a vent is on one wall or another. Cutting a hole in a wall or in the floor and putting a dummy vent over it is an easy way to stash valuables.
2. Air ducts are another option for smaller things that won’t block the airflow. Duct tape the goods near the opening or attach a cord/string to something that is pushed further into the ductwork.
3. PVC pipes under a house or a sink are very normal. Again, a thief doesn’t know what does or doesn’t belong. A few fake pipes lined up to look like they belong can provide a hiding spot for small goods.
4. Attic spaces with exposed insulation or even sheetrock can provide plenty of hiding spots. Hiding things behind walls or in dark corners is very effective.
5. Under floorboards. It’s probably one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works. No one is going to check under twelve hundred square feet of flooring. Make it less obvious. Putting furniture over the area provides more security.
6. Crawlspaces are good for larger items, but they can be a little more obvious. It takes a brave, desperate soul to go scurrying into a dark crawlspace.
7. The kitchen provides plenty of hiding spaces. Avoid the tried-and-true places like inside cereal boxes or coffee cans. Those were great, but unfortunately, they have been used.
Think more along the lines of false walls at the back of a deep cupboard. It only has to be a couple of inches. A piece of plywood that blends in with the cabinetry can work well. Under the kitchen sink there is always a shelf. Don’t be afraid to use the space under that shelf.
8. Drop ceilings can conceal very lightweight items. Pushing up a tile is fairly easy.
9. Taping small things inside a picture frame is very spy-like, but effective. Larger framed artwork generally has some space behind it that can hold larger items.
10. A hole in the wall hidden by a picture is another oldie but goodie. You only want to do this if you know anything about construction. You don’t want to cut through electrical wiring or run into plumbing. Also, don’t leave the hole open. Put a square of sheetrock over the hole and a picture over the space to disguise it.
11. Under stair boards. There is lots of space under every stair. You can put hinges on the stair board to make it quick and easy to get to your goods.
12. Burying survival caches around your property is another option. They don’t have to be big. Make sure the goods are sealed up tight to prevent moisture damage. The caches don’t need to be deep. Using a couple Ziploc bags placed inside a PVC pipe is all you need. You can bury backpacks, old mayo jars, or anything that will keep out the water and dirt.
13. Potted plants are a great way to hide in plain sight. Again, stick your goods inside a plastic bag sealed tight and put it in the bottom of the plant.
14. Under the couch in the space between the springs. How many times have you lost the remote in that area? The beauty of that hiding spot is no one will feel it when they sit on the couch, and the sheer fabric that hides the springs on the bottom acts as another layer of protection.
15. Linen closets are boring. Not a lot of thieves go after the towels and sheets. You could do the fake wall in the back or hide things folded in sheets at the back of the closet.
16. Most interior doors are hollow. Drilling a hole on top of the door can get you access. You’ll want to attach a string to the bag or container and secure it at the top in order to retrieve your goods.
17. Totes in the garage or shoved in the closet labeled with ‘winter clothes’ or ‘taxes’ are an option. Place the goods you’re hiding in the middle or at the bottom of the tote.
18. Laundry soap containers are an option for hiding things in plain sight. Use an empty container and fill it with your valuables. Sealing in a bag is an option if you want to fill the container with water to make it heavy. You don’t want a thief picking up the container and giving it a good shake.
19. Paint cans are in nearly every garage, but they don’t have to be filled with paint. Tossing some things in the can and putting them on the shelf with other paint cans gives you an easy hiding spot.
20. If you have a fish tank, hiding small items under the gravel is an option. This is somewhat of a known area, but it isn’t blatantly obvious. Make sure the gravel in the tank is deep enough to keep your stuff hidden in case your fish get wild and move gravel around.
21. Dry dog food bags, whether you have a dog or not, are not going to be a huge target for theft. Seal up your goods, put them in the bottom of the bag, and dump the dog food on top.
22. Hollowed-out books are another oldie. This works best if you have a lot of books on the shelf. Because this hiding spot has been around for centuries, a thief with a good eye might be able to spot one of these books if it’s obvious. Not so easy if it’s packed onto a bookshelf with twenty other books with similar covers.
23. Hiding things in a bag in the toilet tank is an option.
24. The bottom of a clothes hamper is much like the dog food option. Just to be safe, taping the item/s to the bottom and then tossing in some ‘dirty’ clothes to hide it works best. If a looter dumps out the clothes, the goods will stick to the bottom.
25. An old coat or ugly sweater in the back of the closet can disguise things hidden under the shirt. Hide stuff in the pockets as well.
Thieves will generally not take a lot of time searching for valuables. This is why it’s crucial to hide things in places that require some thought to find. Thieves want quick and easy with little risk.
Be careful hiding things in places that used to be really clever, like a tampon box. Too many people talked about it and now it’s not so discreet. The goal is to stay one step ahead and, most importantly, keep it a secret. Tell no one—not even the friendly next-door neighbor.
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Granny o says
Be careful when hiding things. My sister was broken into and when they(teens) were caught, the officer said the little jerks had lists from what he called “survival nut websites” HIS words. These idjits went through her cat litter tray, dumped the brand new bag out all over the bath. Tore apart the boxes of feminine products. They tore up her closet, her grandsons stuffed toys she was fixing and broke the lid to the toilet tank looking for stuff. Basically trashed their house. Thankfully, her SO had put her jewelry, her birth cert AND SS card in his gun safe.It is unmovable unless you have 2-3 very strong people to move it. But they did get the laptop from our father (along with a few other things), it was recovered as my dad (deceased) put his part of his DL number on it. But the little turds destroyed it.
Bottom of a dirty diaper pail might work.
Behind a baseboard.
Behind the toilet tank.
Magnet mount under a table.
Inside a REAL TV.
Also, best to NOT have paper towels and such easy to get. Thieves use those to hide their fingerprints.
One could set a bait for the thieves.
A little something they can grab and go, thus not destroying your house to find hidden things?
If they are looking for food, put some expired food in the cabinet while you hide your good food elsewhere.
Thieves aren’t looking at expiration dates! LOL
A little costume jewelry in the wife’s jewelry box, hiding the rest elsewhere.
Maybe a little cash on the night stand (find out how much a hit of crack sells for in your neighborhood and leave slightly more than that out). Reason – many thieves want drug money. If they can get it quick, they might be gone quick to get that fix.
Maybe leave the cash in a large jar, but in pennies?
Makes it heavy and bulky.
If you have a lot of books, you can hide a few bills between the pages but not enough to see when the book is closed.
Take an empty Rx bottle and fill it with non time release Niacin tablets, 50mg or bigger.
Let them steal that. When they take a bunch, lol, they will wish they hadn’t.
Won’t typically kill anyone though.
You can hide some things in old WORK BOOTS LOL
If you have a ceiling light that uses a globe, and SHTF and there is no power, unscrew the light bulb and hide valuables in the globe, putting the globe back on.
Attic heat is bad for many things. Not the best place to store certain things like food or ammo.
Another place is underneath a refrigerator (depending on the item and if you have power or not.
Hiding in plain sight is best most of the time.
While many are good ideas, the tampon box is well known. For us it would be in some of my husband’s catch-all boxes in the garage – even I won’t go looking in boxes of mixed fasteners or ‘just in case’ bits of wire, plumbing supplies, etc. We do keep cash in the bottom of 5 lb pails of wheat (the wheat is in mylar bags) and feel it’s safe – takes too long to haul out the pail from the back of the closet, unscrew the lid, lift out the wheat. Thieves want grab and go.
We’ve had a spate of thefts from unlocked cars (yes, people are stupid) and they take easily used or sold items – cash, phones, ipads, wallets, purses and even guns. Police say thieves always go for the quick to grab whether from a car or a house.
Bemused Berserker says
The purpose of the article is to get you to think outside the box when it comes to hiding valuables, as well as offering some suggestions. The average time a burglar spends in a house is under 15 minutes, so making valuables difficult to find to find is the best answer. Avoiding the obvious locations someone will look (drawers, refrigerator/freezer and so forth).
Hiram Mendez says
Those hiding spots are all very good! What if your house is made of concrete? No crawl spaces, no vents, no under the stairs, no attic, no basement.….
Can’t have the wife digging in the yard for her jewelry every time we go somewhere.
I hate to tell my secret but I’ll share with you. I hide some of my valuables in the pockets of close I don’t wear. Either in the closet or drawers. Thrives aren’t going to go through every pocket
I also put paper money inside record albums
Apparently the thieves are reading all these articles too! Just the other day there was an article about a couple who returned home to find their home completely ransacked! The police said they had never seen such a messy robbery. The thieves had apparently read about the hiding places in the vents ( or fake vents ), the refrigerator and freezer items were all scattered on the floor, the bookcases had been emptied of every book ( looking for a book safe, furniture was turned over, lids off of the toilet tanks and everything in drawers was removed and dumped. All clothes in closets were strewn about as well as shoes and boots. The thieves looked everywhere in the house that you read about as to being a “great” hiding place for money, jewelry, and weapons. The only safe place to hide anything is off of your property!
If you are creative enough, a mouse or rat trap might give them something to think about.
Ever have one snap on your fingers?
If you do not have rugs or carpet, a bunch of Lego;s scattered about on the floor (assuming no power) makes things challenging.
If you can wax your floors well enough to make it very slippery, that too might make things more difficult.
Inside electrical outlets (be safe doing this).
Inside the garbage disposal (make sure the switch is OFF)
Remember, when SHTF, power is usually the first thing to go.
Many thieves only have a flashlight or lighter and cannot see details in the dark as well.
With educational videos like this that are accessible to everyone including thieves, how can one think they can hide their valuables and no one would find them? This video provides a list of the FIRST places to look, I think.
Rick Palmer says
If you reread the article you will see that some of the ideas do have merit. Burglars don’t want to spend too much time going through an entire house. The false p.v.c. pipe is actually a very good idea. Find a spot in your home that has similar type plumbing ,and add some extra piping to it. Just don’t make the add on start or end in an odd way, go floor to ceiling if need be.
There are some good ideas here . Sort out the ones that would work for your situation.