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 a few things and losing everything of personal value.
Remember, one of the first rooms burglars will likely ransack 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 as better spots for safekeeping duties.
Your precious items—jewelry, other valuables or personal items from your past —must be kept in a place where they can remain safe for years on end, regardless of what happens. Below is a list of the worst places to store your precious items, depending on what they are, and a few suggestions on where they should be stored instead.
While you might think a basement is a great place to store precious items, you’re actually mistaken. Basements are classically used for storage, because they are under the house and out of sight, difficult to access, and not frequented by visitors.
But the basement is a trap. It’s where your precious items may go to die. The problem with many basements is that they are difficult to access and are vulnerable to flooding. For example, if a basement was used for storage in New Orleans, a city that is known for flooding, all precious items would likely be lost. Not only that but basements often flood because a pipe bursts in the house or building above and leaks downwards, pooling without anyone knowing it, at least not until it is too late. If you’re going to store precious items in the basement, be sure they are in a fireproof lock box or mini storage unit that can be locked and is lifted off the floor at least a few feet. Unless you’re into scuba diving. In that case, a basement might be the perfect place to store everything important to you.
In Your Yard
What are you, seven?
Why would you ever store your precious items in a hole in your yard? Sure, they would be difficult to find, especially if someone were to break into your home and ransack the place, but there are other ways to deal with those types of concerns (see: security system, get a dog, buy a gun). If you are that concerned about losing precious items, you should consider a secure storage unit or a safety deposit box.
Beyond the obvious idiocy of burying valuables in your yard, there are a number of reasons you don’t want to do it. For one, you’ll have a lot of holes dug and covered up in your yard. This looks terrible. For another, you will have to draw a treasure map — again: are you seven? — but who uses a map without GPS anymore? It’s hard to believe adults actually hide things in their yards—but they do.
In Your Kid’s Room
Some people will actually hide their precious items in their kid’s rooms. This is a bad idea for a whole host of reasons. If your precious items happen to be alcohol or drugs, then your kid will undoubtedly search every corner of the room at some point and find your adult treats. Then there’s the problem of having to intrude on your child’s personal privacy to retrieve hidden items. Finally, you’re putting your kid in danger if someone else came looking for these items. If they were really thorough, they would check your kid’s room, which is the absolute last place you would ever want an intruder.
We’ve even seen it suggested to hide a weapon in a child’s room so that an adult can run to protect his or her children and have access to their weapon. Is it even necessary to explain all the reasons this is a bad idea?
In Your Car
Unless you drive an armored car (you don’t, even metaphorically) storing precious items in your car is grade A stupidity. You should know the reasons why, but we’ll delve into them anyway. Cars can be stolen, meaning you will lose your precious items with the car. Cars can easily be broken into, so if someone knows the precious items are inside it’s a broken window when no one is looking and those precious items are most likely gone forever. Cars are also liable to get into accidents, catch on fire or be towed to some garage where strangers will have the ability to root through them. These are not traits that you want associated with a place that precious items are ever stored. The car should be used to transport your precious items to a storage unit and that’s it; beyond that, the only precious items that should be stored in your car are maybe inexpensive electronics.
In a Storage Shed or Garage
A place that is not in your house but is on your property is usually not the best protected place for precious items. Both storage sheds and garages are reasonably easy to access and break into, unless you have outfitted them to be incredibly tough structures that someone would need to pry open or break a lock to access. By the time you have added all these security features to these other structures on your property, you might as well have just rented a local storage unit that is built to be incredibly secure and often has security systems in place. Why go through the trouble of spending more time and money when all you have to do is pay a monthly fee to rent a secure unit? Some people just like to make things more difficult.
The idea of hiding valuables at home is nothing new. There are so many tales of backyard buried treasures and mattresses filled with cash. You may even be among those who stashes cash and jewelry away at home. Just remember, however, that a reliable home security system is always your best bet when it comes to protecting your treasures.
While we don’t want you to divulge all of your secret hiding places, we do look forward to hearing your thoughts about where or where not to hide valuables at home.
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