As many of my readers here know, I write The Frugal Prepper column in Survivalist Magazine. I just sent off my latest entry, called DIY Hidden Storage. It will see print later this year. Today, I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek at some of the things discussed in the article.
When it comes to securing your stuff, there are a few ways to go about it. First, you can use a good safe. This is an excellent option for keeping valuables secure. But the good ones are rather expensive and are certainly heavy and cumbersome. Once you have it in place, you really don’t want to move it again. Plus, those who want to find your good stuff, once they see the safe, will figure out quickly that is where the goodies must be.
The second option is to set up caches outside the home. You can use PVC pipe to fashion such caches. Seal them up right, bury them, and hope you don’t forget where you put them. Again, not an inherently bad idea but there’s a fair amount of work involved in not only setting up the cache but accessing it later.
The third option is to hide the goodies in your home. There are several ready-made items available to purchase that will do well to hide your goodies. Hollowed out books, shaving cream cans that open on the bottom, even clocks with a shelf inside for a handgun.
All are great ideas and will probably serve you well. But, let’s look at a few DIY approaches to hidden storage. With just a few common hand tools and a bit of work, there are several places in the average home where items may be hidden and are all but impossible to find.
If your home has a crawl space or unfinished basement, go down there and look up. Odds are pretty good you’ll see a large PVC pipe for waste coming from your bathroom. A casual observer probably wouldn’t think twice if they glanced up and saw one extra pipe. This pipe is extremely cheap and can be purchased at any hardware store.
For non-metallic items, you can hide them inside power outlets. Turn off the juice to the outlet at the breaker or fuse box. Take off the cover, then unscrew and take out the outlet box itself. Most are located close enough to the floor that you can just drop your treasure into the space in the wall and still be able to reach it. Replace the outlet box and cover.
Removing the kick plate at the bottom of your kitchen cabinets will expose empty space you can use for storage. Use Velcro or magnets to reattach the kick plate so you can have easy access to your stuff.
Flat items, such as paper currency, can be hidden inside picture frames. Remove the back of the frame as though you were going to change the picture in the frame. Tape the bills to the inside of this back plate and replace.
Entire books have been written about the art of hiding items in plain sight. And the true professionals have read them all. Thankfully though, most of us would be much more concerned about the burglar spending about eight minutes in the home rather than a team of pros spending hours on end doing an intensive, down to the studs, search.