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Hidden in plain sight: How to keep your valuables safe at home

Sometimes it just isn't as practical to use a safety deposit box, so here are some ideas of where you can store your valuables at home.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's always the best practice to keep your valuables where they won't get nicked. Sometimes, though, it just isn't easy to find the perfect place for something you value. 

That emergency stash you keep at home just in case should be put somewhere people won't find it if there's trouble. Joe Stapel shared some of his ideas to help you keep your valuables even if someone breaks in. Stapel currently writes articles on the subject for Senior Resources West Michigan. He says by hiding it in plain sight, a potential thief may miss it, and you won't be out the money. Thieves don't want to spend much time in your home and will look in the usual places first, such as: 

  • Under the mattress
  • Inside the pillowcase or under the pillow
  • In the cookie jar
  • In the sugar canister
  • In your underwear or sock drawer
  • Under the bed

Instead, he recommends some alternatives: 

  1. Use any steel or aluminum can in your pantry. When preparing the ingredients from the can, remove the bottom from the can instead of the top. Clean out the inside then wash the can and let it dry. Now you can place money and jewelry in a plastic bag and place it inside the can. You can place a sponge or cloth inside the can and then place it back in the pantry with the other cans.
  2. Purchase a few plastic pen and pencil holders. You can use these in several different locations. Place two strips of Velcro on the back of the plastic holder. Next, go to a closet. Walk backwards into the closet and look up to the spot above the door that is not visible when standing outside and looking into the closet. Using a step stool, place the other half of the two Velcro strips to the wall and attach the bag. Now you can place cash, papers, or even jewelry in the pouch and no one will see it. This same idea can be used under a kitchen drawer or under a kitchen/dining room chair for quick access to cash. This is also a good idea for traveling if you do not have a room safe.
  3. If you are a magazine reader and have a magazine rack, you can put cash in a baggie and tape it inside on a page. Then place the magazine back in the rack near the bottom.
  4. You can even use part of your basement or garage. Install a false electrical outlet box. You can purchase these at any home improvement store. Some boxes come with the nails and are ready to be attached to a two-by-four stud in the garage or basement. Install the empty box and place whatever you want to hide inside it. This is a great place to put house keys, etc. You can screw the cover on or use Velcro to attach it.
  5. Utilize a regular size flashlight that holds D-size batteries. Remove the batteries and then place cash, keys, jewelry, etc. inside. Place the flashlight back into the junk drawer. Again, here is a perfect place to hide your valuables in plain sight.

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