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Bright Side

8 Ways to Find Out Someone Broke Into Your House

This year, the Japanese police arrested a young man who had been living on the second floor of someone’s house for 6 months. The 90-year-old owner of the house didn’t notice the man even though he didn’t do too much to hide. He even left his shoes by the door. The woman’s son found the man. Of course, such things happen rarely but it’s quite possible that some people can visit people’s homes when they are away, especially during the vacation season and long business trips.

For those who think that their house may have been visited by unwanted guests, Bright Side has found some simple ways to find out if it’s true.

1. A thread in front of the door

One of the simplest ways is to attach a thin thread that is hard to notice in front of the door. When the door opens, the thread will be torn. But you should know that it will be really hard for you to leave the apartment yourself — you should be careful not to ruin your own trap. Of course, this way will only work if the door opens inside.

2. Beads

If you put a glass full of beads near the entrance, it will definitely be knocked over when the door opens. Of course, the door should open toward the room. Most likely, the unwanted guest will try to collect the beads, so count all of them in advance and remember exactly where you placed the glass.

3. A cookie under the mat

Another “classic” way is to leave a cookie under the mat. If someone comes to your place, they will most likely step on the cookie and will crush it without even noticing.

4. A “before” photo

Modern technology can simplify tracking a mysterious visitor. For example, if you suspect that someone checked your cabinets, just take a photo of them before you leave. After you return, compare the picture with what you see in front of you and check for any changes.

5. A noise-recording app

Today, most people have an old smartphone that nobody uses anymore. Install a sound recording application and hide the device in the hall. Of course, this method only works if you leave for a short time because the battery of the device will die after several hours.

6. Colorless paint

Open the entrance door, clean the doorknob, and spray colorless paint on it. Leave the apartment without touching the knob. A visitor will definitely leave their fingerprints on it. Use ultraviolet to see the fingerprints.

7. A glass of water

All you have to do is leave a glass of water right at the door. When the door opens, it will knock over the glass and the water will be absorbed by the doormat. The mat will probably dry in several hours so this method should only be used if you leave the house for a short time.

8. A baby monitor

If it is too expensive to get a hidden camera, you can use a regular baby monitor to see unwanted guests online. Just hide it in the hall and watch the feed from a neighbor’s apartment or from a different room if your house is big enough.


If you have a suspicion that someone has access to your house, the most logical solution would be to change the locks. And choosing one is not an easy task. Here are some recommendations:

  • Because you are looking for a front door lock, you need a deadbolt. Knobs and levers can only be used as a secondary security measure.
  • Don’t fall for technology. If you are offered a high-end electronic lock, don’t buy it. At the moment, the best lock of this category are super-expensive and the ones that cost less are easy to hack.
  • Aesthetics should be at the bottom of your priority list. Of course, it’s nice to have an attractive door, but here is the thing: a cool shiny lock attracts more attention than a regular one.

Have you ever suspected that someone broke into your house? Tell us in the comments section below.

Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for Bright Side
Bright Side/Tips & tricks/8 Ways to Find Out Someone Broke Into Your House
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