Just about everyone has something they’re a little ashamed of owning, even if it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. As a writer who has written some very risque things for her own amusement – things I’d never want someone to read, even after I kick the bucket – I’ve had to get pretty creative when it comes to hiding places. Whether you have naughty photos, some hardcopy writing, a birth certificate, or anything else you want to keep away from others’ eyes, there are some great, permanent hiding places right in your home. From the easiest to the methods that take a little ingenuity, here are some of them.
It might seem more than a little cliche, but air vents are actually a great place to hide things. Most people ignore the air vents completely – which is how they often end up layered with dust. This negligence can be to your benefit, though. If it’s documents that you need to hide, place them in an air-tight plastic sheath and tape it shut. If you have a horizontal vent, all you have to do is place the protected documents inside. For a ceiling vent, clean out an area on one of the vent walls big enough for the documents and use strong tape to secure them. Avoid hiding items in floor vents, as they are easiest to see into and access.
You can buy pillows specifically for this purpose, containing a compartment that is concealed by a hidden zipper. If you have a little crafting ability, you can make one from scratch, though. Whichever you choose, make sure that the zipper cannot be detected unless you know it is there. A hidden zipper is necessary for this, because you can make it appear as if it is just another turned-in seam. If the zipper has a pull, remove it and use a pair of tweezers or pliers to pull the leftover stub back and forth. Make sure to place it among other throw pillows, or it will be conspicuous.
“X” Marks the Spot
The pirates of old really had something, when it came to burying treasure. You can place the items you need to hide in an air-tight and water-tight container and bury them. Make sure that you bury them at least one foot deep, pack the dirt back on top, and camouflage the area. Don’t bury it right next to your house and don’t keep a map. If you can’t remember precisely where you buried your item, don’t use this method.
Under the Floorboards
This will only work if you have an old fashioned wooden floor that doesn’t depend on tongue-in-groove and isn’t the little wood strips that rest on top of a solid subfloor. If you have an old style wood floor, consider prying up one of the boards. Most houses old enough to have this type of floor have space between the floor you actually walk on and the foundation. You can hide things in this space and replace the board, and no one will know. Again, make sure your items are in an air-tight, water-tight container or sheath. While you can have a professional install a hidden compartment in just about any floor, this takes money and time, meaning that someone else could find out that you’re having it installed.
This spot takes a little work. Look at your baseboards and find an area where having a short piece won’t be noticeable. An ideal place to do this is where a medium-size piece of furniture will rest in front of it – something that you can move aside pretty easily, but that someone else won’t bother moving. Using a small craft saw, cut a straight line through the baseboard to create a place wide enough for your items. Pry this piece out carefully, but don’t remove the nails from the piece, since doing so could make it suspicious. This is where the easy part ends. Chances are you’ll have to cut a hole in the wall behind the piece of baseboard. Be extremely careful and make sure that you don’t have wiring or plumbing in the section you will be working on. Clean the hole out and place your items inside, then replace the piece of baseboard. It should fit snugly.
You don’t have to go to a lot of expense to create a hiding place that only you will ever know about. With a little thought and some ingenuity, you can probably think of many more secret little spaces in your home to hide away the things you need to hide!