There will always be things you’d rather the kids didn’t find: birthday and holiday gifts, surprises, or just personal, grown-up stuff that’s not for them. But certain young people have a knack for detecting these hiding spots, and can dismantle your system in no time. Consider these tips for truly secret storage.
The higher, the better.
Resist the impulse to shove items under the bed or to the back of the sock drawer. Kids are innately drawn to these places, especially if they’re expecting a gift or surprise to come their way soon. Instead, put things up as high as possible. Such places may include the top shelf of your closet, high cabinets in the garage, or even the attic. Your kids are less likely to think of these places, or go to the trouble of scouring them.
Make it look boring.
Always put items in bland, drab packaging like plain cardboard boxes, trash bags, or grocery bags. Label containers with boring descriptors. If your kids find a shoebox marked “Tax Returns” or “Invoice Templates,” they’ll likely go no further.
Make it look scary.
For some kids, boring doesn’t always work, but scary might. Think of their personal fears and phobias and use them to your advantage. Labeling boxes with “Footage of Uncle Larry’s Gallbladder Removal” or “Illustrated Guides to Identifying Deadly Insects and Spiders” should be enough to keep them away.
Divide and conquer.
It’s important not to put all the off-limits goodies in one place. If you space them out between your bedroom and closet, the garage, and the attic, you should be in good shape. Also consider less frequented places like a linen closet, guest room closet, or laundry room, if you have the space.
Go off the grid.
If they’re really good (or if it’s something you really don’t want them to find), use someone else’s house. The grandparents’ house is great for this, especially if you have something big, like a bicycle, you want to surprise your child with. A close friend or neighbor may also be willing to help you out. And this is a time when your self-storage unit would really come in handy, allowing you to keep items off the premises and off your mind.
As your kids get older, they get more curious and, frankly, a bit more sinister. They know when you have something to hide and will do what it takes to find it. Stay one step ahead when it comes to covert storage, and follow this advice for maintaining perfect secrecy.