Whether your home feels safe or not, it’s never a bad idea to have some hidden safe ideas to explore because even if you do have a state-of-the-art wall safe, it’s likely going to be noticeable.
In the event of home invasions when a burglar knows there’s a safe there for valuables, they’ll demand you open it.
That’s where they’ll expect you to store your valuables. It can be a good idea to have safes in plain sight while also having hidden safes in plain sight to you so your main one acts as a decoy.
Hidden Safe Ideas for All Your Valuables
1 – False Containers in Your Kitchen Cabinets (of the right dimensions with a real label)
This one can be good, but you need to be careful how you go about it. A number of stash cans are available that are cheap and are supposed to resemble a tin of beans, spaghetti or a can of juice. Depending on the quality, they can stick out like a sore thumb.
If you’re using a stash can, you’d be best to get one with the exact size dimensions so you can transfer a branded label to the can. Fake stash cans are easy to spot as replicas.
Burglars keep up their knowledge on where people are storing things and know to check your kitchen cupboards for these. That’s why it’s a good idea to swap the labeling for a real one.
2 – Old Paint Cans
For your valuables that you want to keep in the home but you don’t need access to them frequently, left over paint cans in the basement might just be the trick you need.
Naturally, clean the inside but leave the drips on the outer side of the can. Thieves won’t be opening up paint cans because 1) they’re always a pain to get open even with a screwdriver and 2) it’s just a mess every time.
If you have a small jewelry box or perhaps a valuable watch collection, a paint can (provided it’s stored with other cans of paints and varnishes and not parked on a bookshelf where it would stick out) can be quite the convenient hidden safe space to keep your valuables out of sight and away from anyone searching for valuables.
3 – Hidden Air Vents
Modern homes of standard builds have air vents. They’re a feature that people are used to and familiar with what they do: let air into your home. Burglars aren’t going to waste the little time they have checking your vents have airflow.
Provided you don’t install a fake air vent beside a real one, it won’t be noticeable. You can install these at floor height or at the top of the wall. Naturally, higher will be better as thieves don’t lug around ladders with them. They want in and out as fast as possible.
You can buy fake air vents to install in your walls that look identical to the real thing. If you want to add more authenticity, make it look aged by coating it in thick paint that match the rest of your vents.
4 – Fake Electrical Sockets
In every room, there’s plenty of wall space to install additional power outlets. You can buy fake sockets that look like the real deal quite cheaply and easily install them inside walls made of drywall.
Burglars aren’t going to go around checking outlets or even the material of your walls wondering what could be behind it.
If you are using these, remember to make them identical to rest of your power sockets. You won’t want a white one if the rest of your sockets and light switches have gold covers over the originals or have been replaced.
Similar to air vents, electrical sockets have the same thing going for them as far as hidden safes go. They’re right in plain sight and nobody gives a second thought to them because they’re just part of a home.
The electrical wall safes look dangerous to mess with so they do have a bit of a red herring effect.
5 – Put a False Bottom in a Random Drawer
Just make sure it’s not your underwear drawer. Speak to anyone who’s been burgled and they’ll tell you that beyond their personal space being invaded, the worst part is their personal items being rummaged through that’s the most personally invasive.
Burglars know people stash things in their underwear drawer and are likely to toss the lot on the floor to see if anything is stashed.
A hidden compartment is more likely to be noticed in drawers that a burglar’s likely to look. Instead, consider a false compartment in your kitchen junk drawer, coffee table or side table.
6 – Stash Your Cash in Your Doors
Yes, actually inside your door. This has to be among the cleverest stashes for cash in your home.
Burglars know to check your drawers, under the mattress and if you have a safe, they won’t think twice about ripping the bolts out from under it and taking the whole thing with them so they can try and get into it when they have more time.
If you keep cash at home, you need to stash it where it won’t be found. And kitchen cupboards in fake beans tins are too well-known to be effective now.
The door stash though, not so much because what burglar is going to be running their hands along the top of a door on the tiny off-chance that there’s something hidden there?
Another thing to love about this stash is how cheap it is to install. You only need a decent drill with a couple of drill bits and a suitable container. A single cigar tube holder does the trick. You can buy one of these on Amazon for under $10.
Shop around and you’ll likely find a cheaper one. Even cheaper would be test tubes. Just check the height is tall enough to accommodate rolled up notes without having to fold them. Cigar holders have the thickness to accommodate a chunk of notes rolled up.
The easiest to follow complete instructions to install a door stash is on Makezine.com – project details here.
If you like the idea but don’t fancy the DIY part of drilling into your doors, you can use the same technique with your toilet roll holder by removing the bar and stashing rolled up cash in there.
7 – Toe Kick Storage
Most kitchens are designed with toe kicks under the cabinets. It’s a design element for kitchens to give your feet room to work where your feet can slip under the cabinets, negating the need to stretch over the worktop.
It’s supposed to prevent fatigue. It’s a traditional kitchen feature but unlikely one you’ll notice because it’s just expected in every kitchen.
What is noticeable about these is when the toe kicks come loose and the dog or cat keeps knocking it out. But for our purposes of secret storage, the toe kicks are perfect hiding spots for valuables including stashing your jewelry box or even cash safes, provided they’re small enough to fit under your kitchen cabinets.
Better yet, for those living in rented accommodation, you can make it into a personal stash without wrecking your landlord’s property or damaging anything, provided your careful when removing the toe kicks.
Gently pry the board off the area you want to use and when you’re replacing it, because you’re going want to access it again – likely multiple times – you can use magnets to hold the board in place instead of continuously screwing it and unscrewing it, which will damage the woodwork eventually.
All the steps needed to carefully transform your toe kicks into a secret storage stash are listed on Instructuables.com. Check it out here. If you want to get more advanced with tighter security, you could replace the magnets with RFID locks. These would lock the toe kick in place, needing you to use an access card to unlock it.
This is the type of RFID lock system you’d need to lock your toe kick. Using the instructions linked to above, you’d just replace the magnets with the locking system.
8 – Fake PVC Piping Safes
Waste water stinks so even the dumbest of criminals won’t be messing with your drainage system on the off-chance that it might not be real. The thing with these is that they aren’t sold as safes. They’re a DIY project that homeowners can use to install hidden safes on the fly and on the cheap.
Remember though, anyone who knows anything about plumbing isn’t going to be fooled. You can install these in plain sight, but you’ll really need to trust any plumber you’re hiring to fix things as they’ll know there’s parts there that shouldn’t be and serve no plumbing purpose.
9 – Hidden Wall Clock Storage
You can buy wall clocks with storage that look and work like regular clocks so they aren’t attractive to thieves. However, some can have deep storage compartments behind them so they tend to stick out too much from the wall.
The thinner the clock is the better as you want it sitting not too far out from the wall that it sticks out as a potential safe, and no ordinary wall clock.
If you can’t get one thin enough, an option is to install it like you would for a hidden air vent or electrical socket safe – by cutting into the drywall so it fits flush with the wall.
10 – Underfloor Safes
In any home with wooden floorboards, they can be loosened to create an underfloor stash. The idea isn’t always the security of the stash. It’s more of the concept that what can’t be found, can’t be stolen. If it is found though and you’ve only stashed your valuables (without protection), they’ll be stolen.
As far as hidden safe ideas go, you’ll want to install these in the most out of reach places. Think under the floorboards in the closet under your stairs, or even under the floorboards inside a closet that has the entire base carpeted so nothing looks out of the ordinary.
For added protection, there are underfloor safes you can buy that once installed, fit flush with your floor, then you can cover it up with a large rug or carpet.
The more obscure place you can put these, the better. The middle of a high-trafficked area is not ideal as it’d be too easy to notice the different feel when it’s stood on. Install these where nobody would be walking.
11 – A Hidden Safe Place for Your Car Keys
Key organization is part of most homes. There are keys for the car, the garden shed, bike locks, garages and spare keys. Chances are, you’ll have your own organization system to keep your keys together.
The thing is, those are usually in the hallway where you’re used to grabbing them easily on your way out the door.
If a burglar gets into your house and your keys are in sight, chances are, your car could be stolen too, and likely used to transport a haul of your stuff away.
You can keep your keys within reach, yet out of sight by using the frames or canvas prints you already have on display in your hallway just by attaching hinges to them and putting plastic hooks behind it to hang your keys.
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I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.