9 Clever Ways to Hide Valuables Around the House

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Man reading a book at home
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The thought of a prowler breaking into your home and grabbing your valuables is enough to scare many into security measures like an expensive alarm system or a big, barking dog. But even if you already have what you consider a secured home, your valuables may still be at risk.

What about home maintenance professionals or other workers coming and going during home projects? Maybe your broke cousin whom you never trusted bullied you into getting to stay a few nights in the guest room while vacationing. Even friends could have sticky fingers when coming across an expensive piece of jewelry or a roll of cash in a drawer or closet.

The days of hiding money beneath the mattress are long gone, replaced by all kinds of nifty places where you can stash valuables, sometimes in plain sight. That’s why knowing about secret hiding places around the house can come in handy.

Read on to discover clever ways to hide valuables around the house.

A word of caution about hiding cash at home

Girl with cash
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Keeping some cash on hand is generally a good idea for many people, but don’t take the tips in this article to mean that stashing large amounts of cash at home is wise — especially when inflation is high.

So if you’re looking for a safe place to hide thousands of dollars or more, consider a high-yield savings account or CD or inflation-protected government bonds such as Series I bonds instead.

However, for clever ways to conceal small amounts of cash — and various other valuables — consider the following options.

1. Back of a clock

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Wall clocks typically have battery compartments behind the face. But some also have additional compartments or hollow spaces in back that are ideal for hiding extra an extra key or cash.

You may find a clock with perfect hiding spaces at a retail store or even get a good deal on one at a garage sale. But if you want one specially made for hiding purposes, you can find a good selection of clock safes on Amazon and other online marketplaces, too.

2. Tennis ball

Tennis ball used to hide valuables
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If you have tennis balls around the house, these hollow balls make great hiding places for small valuables you’d like to keep out of sight.

Cut a narrow slit down one side or along the top of a tennis ball and you’ve got a hiding place, as we detail in “8 Smart Ways to Use Tennis Balls Around the House.” If you’re a dog owner, though, remember which tennis ball you should NOT toss to Fido.

3. False-bottom drawer

Chest of drawers
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If you’re moderately handy and know how to safely operate a table saw, you can create a false bottom in a dresser or other cabinet drawer that creates a couple of inches of space for hiding valuables.

For step-by-step instructions, check out this video from life hack YouTube channel The King of Random on how to construct a false-bottom drawer that can fool just about anyone.

4. False food or drink containers

Canned food
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OK, maybe you’re not into putting on safety glasses to operate a table saw, and your dog has all your tennis balls spoken for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy ready-made secret hiding containers to stick in the back of your pantry or medicine cabinet.

You’ll find all kinds of hollow hiding containers designed to look like something else — including soup and vegetable cans, water bottles and salt boxes — on Amazon. For outside the pantry, there are containers of sunscreen, shaving cream and even tire cleaning foam.

Of course, if you’re up for a DIY project, you might be able to make your own diversion safe, as these hiding spots are sometimes called.

5. Empty paint can

Old paint cans
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If you have a nearly empty paint can in the garage or basement, you can scrape off any remaining paint and wash and dry the inside. Now you have a roomy place to put all kinds of valuables, documents or other items you don’t want in sight.

6. Under the liner of an old tennis shoe

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If there’s one thing in life you can be sure of, it’s that nobody wants even one whiff of your smelly tennis shoes. In other words, old sneakers are the perfect place to hide cash beneath the sole liners.

Smooth out the bills and lay them flat beneath the liner of those tennis shoes you never wear. Then stash them with other old shoes used for lawn chores or gardening.

7. Buried in a potted plant

Woman gardening with indoor plants
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Potted plants add greenery, release oxygen in your home and even remove toxins from your indoor air. But did you know that potted plants can also serve as inconspicuous hiding places for cash and valuables? For example, you can roll up cash, stuff it into an empty prescription medication bottle and bury it in the pot.

Be careful with what you bury in that potting soil, however. The last thing you need is to ruin an expensive watch that got wet because water leaked into the container.

8. Tub of cat litter

Cat litter
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Not even the most dedicated cat burglar is going to go scratching around in a tub of (unused) cat litter looking for valuables to steal. So, place jewelry, cash or other valuable items in a sealed plastic or glass container and bury your stash several inches from the top.

Then set this unassuming hiding place in the corner of the basement or closet, where it looks like just one more essential supply that every cat owner has on hand.

9. Above basement ceiling tiles

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If you have square ceiling tiles in your basement, they probably have at least 3 inches of space above them — and they’re easy to remove and put back without leaving signs of tampering.

While you don’t want to place heavy items above ceiling tiles, there are plenty of other items you can hide up there. Money, jewelry and important documents, to name a few. Just make a note to yourself about which ceiling tile you chose so you don’t spend all weekend trying to locate Grandma’s heirloom brooch or your cousin’s estate documents.

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