Photo: Festoon House, all rights reserved.

It’s something everyone has to consider at some point, often when going away on holiday – if there is a break-in, where should your valuables be hidden to keep them safe from thieving hands? Bear in mind that common hiding places which may once have been good have now become well-known and are thus a go-to place for thieves to search as soon as they get in the house. Putting your valuables out of sight may well save you a lot of money and stress, so it’s worth knowing where you should avoid putting things you want to keep safe.

One of the most traditional places for hiding valuables is under the mattress. The reasoning behind this may be that burglars can’t access this space while you’re asleep, but most burglaries happen while you’re away from home, which means your safe space suddenly isn’t protected by your presence. It takes a matter of seconds for a burglar to lift the edge of the mattress and find what you’ve stored underneath.

Another common hiding spot is in the freezer, which may once have been a great place to put things. After all, a packed freezer is not exactly pleasant to rummage through for ages, but it’s such a well-known hiding place, having appeared in all sorts of films, that even wrapping your valuables in foil or food packaging is unlikely to keep them safe in this spot. The same goes for the fridge, which thieves sometimes rifle through in search of prescription medication which can be resold.

Equally, hiding valuables in the toilet tank was once a very clever idea, but its popularity means it’s bound to be one of the first places burglars look. The same goes for your dirty washing basket – you aren’t likely to put off burglars with a few smelly socks, and a laundry basket is very easy to empty onto the floor and rummage through at speed.

One of the most important things to a burglar is getting in and out quickly, which also means the traditional sock/underwear drawer hiding place is a bad idea. Although the messiness might seem like a good way to conceal your things, it’s very easy to tip a drawer out onto the floor and rifle through its contents in seconds. The invasion of privacy is also very unlikely to put off someone who is prepared to break into your home to steal your things, so while an underwear drawer may be a place usually hidden from the world, it’s not going to deter thieves.

You should also avoid hiding valuables in your child’s bedroom. Again, this spot may once have been a great one, but nowadays many children have laptops, smartphones, tablets, TVs, and expensive gaming systems, and they are likely to be lying around in the open, easy to pick up. Hiding your jewelry or money in a kid’s room is probably not going to keep it safe anymore!

When you hide your valuables, try and choose a place which cannot be easily tipped out or accessed, and which hasn’t been popularised by hundreds of movies. Burglars want to move quickly, so you can keep things safe by putting them in places which are difficult to access.