Storage masquerading as clutter

Yi-Ting Cheng, a Taiwanese design student living in London, has created a line of products that secretly store your valuables in plain sight. As far as I can tell, the Secret Stash products are not currently available for purchase. However, as ingenious as they are, I doubt it will be long before they start appearing on the market.

My favorite item from the video is the stack of papers — assuming, of course, you can find it on your desk. The map is amazing, too.

Thanks to our Twitter follower who shared this video with us.

25 Comments for “Storage masquerading as clutter”

  1. posted by Adventure-Some Matthew on

    That’s awesome! These take the book-safe to a whole new level. I might have to see about making such a thing for myself, just for the fun of it. (I’ve always loved hidden compartments, even though I don’t have anything to hide – other than Christmas presents.)

  2. posted by mrsean2k on

    Clever, but problematic in some cases; I wouldn’t normally think twice about sitting / standing / putting something heavy on a table, but disaster beckons if it’s hollowed out in the middle.

    The vertical storage was a winner.

  3. posted by Jenny on

    I love the table and the desk but I’d be worried the stack of paper would get shoved somewhere and never found (or someone else would recycle them.) The cup with pills underneath would be great if you had to get up in the middle of the night to take meds (provided you don’t live with small children/pets.)

  4. posted by Stephen - NYC on

    I like the table, but I guess you’d have to have a pick-axe or something handy to poke the drawer to pull it out. I agree though that having a hollowed out desk might cause it to collapse if someone (I wouldn’t since I would know it’s hollowed out) accidentally put a 25-pound bag of dog food on it.
    And I have plenty of stacks of paper so that’s out as I’d never remember which was the secret safe vs the plain stack of papers.
    Reading the headline I was at first thinking of Thursday’s CSI: (the Vegas version) where they found a dead body or two in the house of a stage 5 hoarder. ‘Cause she had a lot of clutter and was storing more than just papers and stuff there.
    10/23/2010 10:40AM EDT.

  5. posted by Julie on

    Clever! Thanks for sharing!

  6. posted by JJ on

    I love clever design. I don’t know if I would buy these items, but they are so cool – especially love that bookcase where the side opens.

  7. posted by cammy on

    I like the storage ideas, but I really don’t see them as “clutter” as the title implies. They’re just objects that, except for the pile of papers, you can still use. They just have an extra, added feature.

    I was very puzzled by the map and what it could possibly hide–how clever to hide money that way, or maybe a passport or credit card.

    Most of this seems to be designed for security and safe-keeping in case of a robbery or something like that, not general, every day storage.

  8. posted by Rachel on

    That was all very neat! It reminds me of the dresser I had while growing up. What looked like just a wooden panel at the bottom of the dresser was actually a hidden drawer. I don’t think my brother even knew it was there (which made it very useful for stashing things!).

  9. posted by pam munro on

    Reminds me of the tales my parents told me about when they were young marrieds & stored their extra cash in one of their many books! (& how occasionally they would forget which one it was IN.)

  10. posted by Emily on

    Very cool stuff. Seeing the pills hidden under the cup was disturbing though. My only concern is that materials like these could be really problematic for addicts and the people who love them.

  11. posted by [email protected] on

    Neat – But what I thought is that many of those hiding places would be so easily discovered, by accident or design.

    Anybody might move that disposable cup or glass of milk, and a burglar might be trashing the whole place.

    Hidden panels and drawers are always cool though! I need one of those for my jewelry…

  12. posted by Sarah on

    I’m sorry this is off topic of the post but the last related post was more than a week ago, at least *blushes*

    Is it required to connect the scansnap to a computer, or can it transfer files to a disk right from the machine for later computer browsing? You’ve suggested keeping it where you sort mail, and sorting mail on the table by the entry door, which I think is an awesome idea, but I can’t seem to find the answer of whether or not the scansnap uses some removable storage device like a thumb drive or SD card.

  13. posted by Another Deb on

    Sarah, I have a Scansnap that I purchased 2 years ago. It does need to be connected to a computer.

  14. posted by Tammy on

    I think it would be odd to leave a glass if milk on the counter, just to hide a key. what a waste of milk ….

  15. posted by John on

    My impression of the video, and from reading the creator’s description, is that it mostly an art piece–though a very cool and interesting one.

  16. posted by ecuadoriana on

    Rather than everyone bashing this, how about taking a look at it from the perspective that someone is thinking outside the box! Someone is using their brain to come up with clever, artistic, creative ideas! Let’s look at this for what it really is: a design student working towards the goal of making our lives easier, more esthetically pleasing, and comfortable. The very computer that you are all typing from at this moment (not to mention the desk upon which it sits, the chair you’re sitting on, the house you are in….) was designed by someone thinking outside the box!

    Gosh! Why does everyone have to be so negative about the things that Erin posts for us to read and look at? So many people bash her, and the things she writes about, and shares with us that it makes me wonder why y’all read her blog in the first place- unless it’s just to have something else to complain about in life!

    The idea of uncluttering our lives, so that we have more time to pursue and enjoy what is important, I didn’t take to mean “more time to complain and be crotchety old geezers”!!! But apparently complaining and nit picking is what y’all are doing with all your free uncluttered time! Sad.

    Erin, I loved this so much that I sent the link to several of my friends who are in the process of uncluttering and stream lining their houses and lives. Everyone of them LOVES these innovative ideas! No “but the table is hollow, wouldn’t hold a 25 lb bag of dog food…” Well, why the heck would people be dumping a 25 lb of dog food on a nice desk table anyway- hollow or not? My friends, after watching this, were inspired to come up with their OWN ideas of ways to make their homes more clutter free but at the same time more INTERESTING and BEAUTIFUL places to spend their lives.

  17. posted by Sarah on

    @ Another Deb – thanks!

  18. posted by Katharine on

    I laughed when I saw the hiding chocolates. I love to hide stuff from my family (like chocolates). My daughter is like a’s gone before a I know it, but I’m a hoover to her too. Pretty sad when you have to hide food.

  19. posted by ninakk on

    I think the drawer of the table is opened with a magnet. If not, then I’m curious about the solution! Great post, I loved the video.

  20. posted by clair on

    really awesome- that desk is cool
    but-something could happen- someonewould move milk

  21. posted by Kayla on

    @ Emily

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that the pills were disturbing.

  22. posted by Babs on

    Speaking of geezers. Way back in the early 70s I had a friend who had a convertible land yacht. He had attached an 8 track player under the dash. He camouflaged it by cutting out the side of a long kleenex box and sliding over the player. It just looked like he had a box of kleenex sitting on his car hump. The bad guys wouldn’t slash your roof for a box of kleenex. Problem solved

  23. posted by Jay on


  24. posted by gypsy packer on

    The map wouldn’t do in this region–burglars will routinely take down pictures and pull the backs off, looking for money and documents. One burglar even took a sledge to an old lady’s back steps while she was at her hubby’s funeral!
    I love the vertical storage. You probably could carve out document niches from those darned particle board stereo shelves and reglue the top.
    This person could be a multi-millionaire with some good marketing, but advertising would defeat the secrecy.

  25. posted by Edie on

    I’m a bit late on this one, but I thought it was important to echo gypsy’s tip about burglars. My home was robbed recently and the burglars took the time to neatly unpin every item from my inspiration boards. The police said that they often do that in search of cash or small documents hidden behind photos and slips of paper. That said, I’m sure I’d have more of my valuables left if I had some of these nifty pieces.

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