by Bill Rounds: How
WHTI Affects You
We all have
important documents that we need to keep track of. Lots of us
have some things that are very expensive or even priceless that
we never want to lose. You need to hide valuables somewhere. Storing
these items can be tricky if we want to make sure that they aren’t
lost, stolen, or confiscated. If you hire someone else to hold
on to them for you, you add an extra layer of risk that they won’t
keep their promise. A family Bible and old family photos are almost
value-less in a damage calculation in a lawsuit. Here are some
of the 3 best ways to discreetly hide your valuables at your own
To Hide Valuables
deposit boxes are a horrible place to keep your valuables.
They have been known to be raided, and the contents sold due to
nothing more than clerical errors, without informing the owners.
“under your mattress” or in some other easy hiding place in your
house is not a good idea either. Visitors might stumble upon your
stash, burglars can find it pretty easily, even a search warrant
could easily expose your hiding place.
MIGHT Want To Hide Valuables
vaults have a better reputation than most banks when it comes
to anonymously and securely storing valuables. There are even
options if you want better asset
protection. You still have to trust a third party to honor
the agreement and protect your stuff. Most vaulting companies
will limit their liability in their storage agreement to hide
some at home options to hide valuables that involve third parties
that still might be worth exploring. You could have a safe
installed in your home. If you hire a contractor, you are taking
the risk of sharing the existence and location of the safe with
a third party, even if it is a hidden safe. If you go the cheap
route and install a regular safe yourself, a burglar might find
it, un-install it, and crack it later at their secret lair.
some alternatives that you can use to protect your stuff yourself
and hide valuables at home.
plain sight is a great way to throw off anyone who might be looking
for your valuable documents or items. One of the most popular
ways to hide valuables is using a book safe. They are easy
and fun to make.
If you have
gone “paperless” and don’t have many physical books anymore, you
can use any object that you can mix in with others to hide your
stuff. Hollowing out a Kindle
seems a bit expensive, but maybe you can convert a box of Corn
Flakes into a safe and stick it in your pantry, make a few hollow
Christmas decorations and stuff them full of your precious coins
and a copy of your will and stick them in the huge box with all
of the other Christmas decorations. You can really use your imagination
on this one.
are built with wood framing and drywall. This leaves a space about
15′ wide and 4" deep and a few feet high between wall studs
and drywall. Poke a hole in the wall big enough to put your fireproof
and waterproof container with your priceless artwork and gold
nuggets in between the walls. Most people have the skills to follow
a simple do-it-yourself
book on how to fix the hole in the drywall. A patch
kit, some plaster and paint will cost you very little. Just
remember that you can’t take these things in and out of the wall
without breaking a new hole.
If you doubt
your wall patching ability, you might choose a spot where the
hole will be covered by a large appliance, or in some other spot
where people won’t easily find it. The more creative the spot
to hide valuables, the less likely it will be for someone else
to find it, if they even know it exists.
If you are
really handy, you might be able to build out a new wall to create
more space or even a small room. Be careful whenever you are poking
holes in the wall because there might be wires, pipes, and other
If you are
still not comfortable poking holes in your walls, you can pick
up a shovel and play pirate with buried treasure. Use a solid,
waterproof container to hold your valuables and bury
them in the yard somewhere. To make it easier to locate later,
put a clear landmark on top of it like a large rock or plant a
bush. You can easily integrate that into your regular landscaping
before you dig to check with the local authorities for any buried
electrical, sewer, gas or water lines. Hitting one of those with
a shovel is not as much fun as finding buried treasure.
your stuff on your own property can be practical, but it has the
added benefit of letting you use your creativity. The more creative
you get to hide valuables, the better it will probably be hidden.
The only bad thing is you can’t show off your creativity to the
with permission from How to
Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting
from the University of Utah and a law degree from California
Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic
and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal
defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and
financial freedom and civil liberties.