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“Kids and adults don’t like environments that smell unpleasant,” says Sandy Taylor, a makeup artist in Vancouver. She also plays the game of probability. Most shoe cabinets are musty and contain a dozen pairs of shoes, or more, so kids are less likely to invest the energy in a thorough investigation. Taylor also hides gifts in the same cabinet where she stores household cleaners. Her four year old knows it’s off limits for safety reasons and her husband won’t go near it because he hates cleaning.

When Becky Jackson and her husband moved into his childhood home in rural Montana, she didn’t know she’d be inheriting a secret hiding spot from her mother in law. But when Helen Jackson gave Becky the house tour, she paused in the kitchen and pulled out an innocent looking bottom drawer, revealing a spacious false floor. Army Men, Yo yo’s, Cabbage Patch Kids, Legos if it was a popular toy in the past 50 years, it’s probably spent time here. Jackson looks forward to the day she can pass the torch to the next generation.

If anyone can predict where kids will peek, it’s a psychic. Melissa Mattern is a psychic to the psychics,
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and she’s also the mother of teenage daughters, and the wife of a curious husband. “I’m the only one who does the laundry,” says the Oregon resident. “So my secret hiding spot is the bottom of the clothes hamper. I also keep a laundry basket on top of the dryer where I hide presents under a pile of things no one would be interested in messing with.”

Doubl duty? Mattern also admits to using these spots when she splurges on new shoes for herself or wants to savor the last box of Girl Scout cookies.

Mike Catania doesn’t hide presents in his cavernous Las Vegas home. Instead, he stashes them just outside the house in his car trunk. Catania has hidden everything from iPads to paintings under a blanket and boxes of tools that no one wants to go near for fear of getting greasy. Sophie Knowles hides her gifts in a different type of trunk. The Londoner relies on an antique wooden trunk used for hallway seating year round. The family heirloom has been a piece of furniture for as long as anyone can remember, so no one thinks about the item as a piece of storage.

Zaida Khaze, a New Jersey mom, used to hide presents in the basement closet and her bedroom closet probably the first places every kid who can crawl looks. These days, Khaze is a firm believer of “the more obvious, the better.” Like the large front door entryway closet where her kids hang their coats and backpacks, totally oblivious to the My Little Pony puzzles, Barbies and X Box carefully tucked away in the back. “In fact, my daughter will take her stepper out of that closet so she can start snooping high up in my bedroom closet!”
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