A friend of mine was recently burglarized. Their place was completely ransacked in the process and several valuables were stolen. Fortunately, a few of the most precious items were left unscathed because they were hidden away in a small storage safe disguised as a book, hidden in a pile of other hardbound copies.
With the average burglar taking just 8 to 12 minutes inside a home or apartment, hiding away valuables in unexpected spots around the house can make the difference between losing something and losing everything of personal value.
Remember, one of the first rooms burglars will likely scour is the master bedroom, because it is generally where jewelry, cash and security safes are located. Other areas such as the living room and home office will be targeted next, for easy to carry home electronics. That leaves bathrooms, the kitchen, hallways, mudrooms, and the laundry room better spots for safekeeping duties.
Here are several spots where valuables can be stored in disguise:
Air Vents: Install one of these faux air vent storage units in a hallway or bathroom and it's very unlikely burglars would bother to even considering searching inside (especially if installed near the ceiling).
Wall Art: This crafty network hardware storage solution by Mamamekko is still one of our favorite decor + tech disguises. Use the same idea for storing away valuables, covering an old medicine cabinet with a similarly mounted and hinged canvas piece.
Pantry Items and Cleaning Supplies: I love Trader's Joe's sea salt for everyday cooking, but unless your would-be burglar has a culinary streak, these diversion safes shaped like common household kitchen and cleaner products should get passed over, especially when mixed in with other real world products.
Closet Light: Ironically, a burglar may actually use this working wall light with hidden storage while frantically perusing the contents of your closet. We're adding this to our list of Affordable & Easy Ways to Add Lighting to a Closet Without Wiring.
Books: Etsy shop Secret Safe Books specializes in some of the most fanciful options of hollow book safes, available in various shapes and sizes. More mundane looking editions are available at The Container Store or you could make your own.
Inside an Old Vacuum Cleaner: Hit up a yard sale or flea market (or eBay, where I found the vacuum of my childhood) and you'll likely run into an older outdated canister-style vacuum cleaner which could easily be converted into a storage compartment. Late 70's and 80's models are likely to be passed over.
Head of Lettuce: This has to be funniest, yet admittedly safe, storage disguise available. The realistic head of lettuce, just chilling in the refrigerator, is a secret stash with 1.75" diameter opening underneath. It's also the most expensive head of lettuce you'll ever purchase, at $99.00.
Re-edited from a post published 6.7.13 and 10.10.14- NT