Prepping tips and tricks: 10 Unusual hiding places for your valuables
By Divina Ramirez // Jun 21, 2021

If you own a gun, precious heirloom jewelry, important documents and other valuables, you may be tempted to get a safe. Safes are typically made from several inches of reinforced steel. But a conspicuous display of security, such as a massive block of locked metal, only makes it easier for thieves to find your valuables.


Be inconspicuous about your valuables instead. That means hiding them in plain sight using items of furniture. Known as concealment furniture, these items of furniture seem like your everyday furniture at first glance. But they double as sneaky storage solutions. They can take the form of almost anything, including fixtures and seemingly harmless everyday items like books and soda cans.

Here are some examples of concealment furnishings:

1. Sofa

Most people own a sofa, so it makes a perfect piece of concealment furniture. You can utilize the sofa's arm, back or cushions to make secret compartments. But the best way to use this item is to flip it on its backside, then make use of the structure underneath.

Most sofas have a thin layer of black upholstery underneath to hide their insides. With care, you can gently unfasten this and peel it back. You'll notice you have more than enough room on the inside to build a container or attach hooks and straps for stashing valuables. Just make sure those attachments are secure so that they won't shift or rattle when someone sits on the sofa.

2. Floating shelf or mantelpiece

A floating shelf or mantelpiece features a bottom panel that swings down. Commercially available units usually come with a discreet magnetic key or a hidden switch. With a quick click, your valuables can be loaded and unloaded in seconds. Floating shelves are ideal for guns, especially long ones like rifles and shotguns.

3. Toilet tank container

The toilet tank has long been a reliable hidey-hole. But instead of double-bagging, taping and submerging your valuables in the tank, people now use a waterproof container, a waterproof adhesive and a little ingenuity.

Start by choosing a container big enough to fit the valuables you plan to hide. Make sure your container is completely waterproof. Attach the container to the tank lid using a waterproof adhesive. Make sure the adhesive cured properly before putting the lid back on the tank.

4. Soda cans

Soda cans are one of the most inconspicuous items you can use as a secret compartment. You can also use used shaving cream cans and cylindrical tubes that some salted chips come in. Follow these instructions to make your own soda can safe.

5. False switch

No thief would think to suspect a light switch, an omnipresent fixture in almost every building in the world. You can make a homemade version from components you can easily find in the electrical section of your local hardware store or you can buy a commercial, ready-to-use unit. If you're going for the second option, make sure the false light switch panel you buy is similar to or the exact copy of your real light switches at home.

6. False vents

False vents aren't really false the way false light switches are false. Simply remove the vent cover, put your valuables inside and put the cover back. Make sure your valuables aren't visible through the vent opening. False vents are ideal for items that aren't sensitive to changes in temperature.

7. Headboard

You can make your headboard so that it swivels backward to reveal a compartment. This specific piece of concealment furniture is ideal for guns. In the event of a burglary, the element of surprise is on your side. Thieves don't expect to encounter homeowners in the dead of night, let alone a homeowner with a gun. (Related: Here’s why self-defense fitness is crucial to your survival.)

8. Book safe

A book safe – a hardbound book with its pages cut away to make a little compartment – may seem like something straight out of a movie. But this type of safe is very real.

Book safes are available commercially. But if you want a really inconspicuous one, it's better to make your own. Done properly, a book safe will attract little to no attention from visitors. Done poorly, it will stick out like a sore thumb. Here's an easy guide to making your own book safe.

9. Coffee table

Coffee tables are a near-ubiquitous piece of furniture in homes and offices. A coffee table also makes a sizeable, decent and convenient stash location for all kinds of valuables. Commercial models typically have hidden drawers, swing-off tabletops, hollow legs and other cleverly hidden features.

10. Trophies or framed documents

Trophies and framed documents make good conversation starters when visitors are over. But they make better concealment furnishings. For instance, you can remove the felt-lined bottom of the trophy base and stash valuables in the hollow space inside. You can also hollow out frames of documents like diplomas and certificates to stash small valuables.

Learn more about properly stashing away your firearms and valuables at

Sources include:

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