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10 Ideas for Hidden Rooms, Safes, and Secret Compartments

Updated: Jan 3

A secret room with a hidden door behind a bookcase.

Gone are the days of hiding things in cookies jars and under doormats. People know where to look, and you’ll need to get creative to keep your treasures tucked away.

When you start looking for a safe or lockbox, keep in mind what it is that you’re trying to hide.

Do you need something that fits in your bag for work so you can keep a little extra cash on hand without having it in your wallet, or do you need to lock up your guns and ammo when you come home from a hunting trip?

Do you need a fireproof safe, a waterproof lockbox, or just a hidey-hole in the house because it’s fun to have secret hiding places?

Whether you’re looking for an ultra-strong fireproof safe or just somewhere to stash a few dollar bills, this list of 10 ideas has something for everyone.

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Diversion safe: A diversion safe looks like a common household object. The idea is to hide something in plain sight by making it look like something it isn’t. A diversion safe may look like a hairbrush, a lipstick tube, a lightbulb, or a classic book on your bookshelf. Even something as simple as a mason jar filled with beans or rice can hide a small bundle of rolled-up bills inside.

Rhino safes: Rhino safes are built to withstand fire and force. From small gun safes to the Longhorn Nightstand to vault doors, Rhino Metals has sturdy metal safes of every size.

Fake rock key safe: Fake rocks are a type of diversion safe with just enough room to hide a spare key in case you get locked out of the house. Many of these are cheaply made—you’ll want to buy one that looks as realistic as possible so it can blend in with your landscaping. Rub a little dirt on it and tuck it in some mulch under a bush to complete the effect.

Tactical Traps: Tactical Traps designs home furnishing with locking, hidden compartments to keep your guns out of sight. Buy a floating shelf or check out their end tables in a variety of colors and patterns.

Portable safes and lockboxes: The drawback to a portable safe is that someone can pick it up and carry it away. The benefit is that you can take it with you when you travel. If you need a small, lockable safe to store jewelry, your checkbook, or small documents and you aren’t worried about someone stealing your safe, you may like a Master Lock portable safe. Small enough to travel with, you can listen to your music by utilizing the earbud port and secure the safe to an object in your hotel room with the attached cable.

Wall clock: Do you need a place to stash something small, but you don’t need to lock it up? Clocks are another type of diversion safe. Hung on a wall and high out of reach, a wall clock diversion safe can protect a few small items and keep them out of reach of children. (A picture frame with a secret compartment is another alternative you can hang on a wall.)

False electric outlet: You’ve probably seen this one in movies, and if you place it in an obvious location, someone else may figure out what it is. But behind a piece of furniture, a false electrical outlet diversion safe is one more place to hide small valuables in any room.

Locking desk: Locking file cabinets are an obvious place to store important documents. But have you thought about using a desk with locking drawers or even a desk will a rolltop that locks once you close it? If you want to double the protection, store a small, fireproof document safe inside the drawer.

Armoire: Originally designed to hold clothing, armoires have found a new life in today’s world by providing attractive storage for televisions, entertainment systems, and computers. Add a lock to any armoire door to make it more challenging for thieves to run off with your TV or computer.

Hidden room: The ultimate in secrecy and what every good mystery lover dreams of is a hidden room. Rotating bookcase, anyone? Disguise a door with paneling to make it blend in with the rest of the room, or place a perfectly sized false bookcase in the opening to hide access to your secret hideaway. You’ll need Murphy hidden door hardware to complete the job.

Whatever kind of secret storage you’re looking for, whether to deter thieves or keep valuables out of the reach of children or guests, having a secure hiding place for money, jewelry, important papers, and other precious stuff will give you an added sense of security.

Looking for more secret stash ideas? Check out my post on Secret Spaces to Stash Your Stuff!


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