Hiding Your Valuables

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Christmas has come and gone, and like usual, one of my gifts to my wife was jewelry. I’ve dabbled in making jewelry since my teen years; and while none of the things I make are very valuable, they are to her. This brought up the age-old question of where to store her jewelry. Like most women, she has her jewelry in an armoire in the bedroom; both the cheap stuff and the few good pieces she owns. That is, of course, the first place any thief would look, as most people keep their valuables in the master bedroom.

I could put in a safe for her, sticking it in the walk-in closet, assuming I could find enough room for it. Of course, that would mean bolting it to the floor, which wouldn’t really be as effective as I’d like. Any break-in artist is going to carry a sturdy crowbar to pry things open with, so unless I could manage to run those bolts through a metal plate on the bottom side of the floor, they’d just pry the safe loose and take it with them.

Of course, that makes any lesser “locked” storage of even less use. Locked cabinets, file cabinets and desk drawers are of no use against that crowbar. Anyone who is planning on stealing your stuff isn’t going to worry about breaking it to get at what’s supposedly safely locked inside.

Taking that same safe or another and building it into the house, either sunk into the floor or built into a wall makes it much harder for the criminal to steal it. Of course, it’s harder to do that; but if you are able to do so, it could slow the thief down enough, that they won’t bother trying to get into it. I did that in a house that I used to have, disguising the safe behind a cabinet door, in a row of cabinets, so that it wasn’t obvious.

That’s a lot of work and can get rather expensive if you can’t do the work yourself. With that being the case, the best option for most of us, without renting a bank safe deposit box (which is a hassle every time you want to use what’s inside it), is to find a good way of hiding our valuables. The big problem here, is that most people aren’t imaginative enough, resorting to the same old things, which the thieves know even better than you and I do.

In order to hide anything effectively, it has to be someplace unexpected. First and foremost, that means getting it out of the master bedroom, as that’s the first place that any burglar is going to look. Then throw out all the ideas you’ve heard others talk about. Find someplace that is unlikely to be suspect, like the back of the pantry or in a bookcase. While hollowed-out books are an old trick, they’re effective if you have a lot of books in your home. No criminal wants to take the time to go through every book in your seven bookcases.

Speaking of those hollowed-out books, avoid buying any of the ready-made “safes” that are intended to look like books or cans of soup. None of them look real enough to pass muster, mostly because the companies that make them can’t use the right names on the labels. You’re better off making your own, starting with a real book, jar or can.

For example, the next time you finish a jar of mayonnaise, clean the jar out thoroughly and then paint the inside with white paint, making sure your white paint is the same color as real mayonnaise. Then, when you hide things in it and put it in the pantry, it will look like a jar of mayo, not a “safe” that’s trying to look like a jar of mayo.

Another good trick is installing fake electrical outlets or heat ducts. The trick here is to use real ones, so that they look real. Put a real electrical outlet in the box and plug something into it. That will take away from the available space; but at least it will be well camouflaged. Always make sure to install any fake outlets or ducts in positions where real ones would normally be installed, ensuring that they won’t stand out.

The key is always to make it hard enough to find what you have that’s worth stealing, that they won’t take the time to find it. If you can accomplish that, then you’ll minimize the impact of that thief on your life. Maybe they’ll still steal the television; but they won’t be able to steal your valuables.

It’s all about being prepared for what might happen; just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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