Long gone are the days of surprise presents, it seems. Most shoppers today choose to abide by a trusted wish list to ensure they get people what they want. However, that doesn’t mean an unexpected offering – big or small – isn’t gratefully received.

But making sure your secret buys stay secret could prove more difficult than you think.

With just a few weeks to go, most of us have at least one mystery Christmas gift in the proverbial bag, but how do you keep it hush-hush and stay one step ahead?

Start by learning these ten hiding spots and why they will or won’t work for you: 

1. Wardrobe

Tucking a present behind your coat collection may seem like a good idea, but as the most popular hiding place, it’s likely to be first on an amateur detective’s list.

[Read more: A chocoholic's gift guide: Christmas present ideas for the chocolate obsessed]

2. In a suitcase

Zipping a gift into a suitcase may seem like a stroke of genius, but it’s been done before and it will be done again. If you have an anti-theft lock, however, it’s worth a try.

3. In the car

Hiding one or two presents out of sight in your car is feasible for a short period of time, but you don’t want to let them pile up and risk having them spotted either by the recipient or an opportune thief.

4. Under the bed

How many times have you buried something under the bed to keep it under wraps – or simply to clear your floor space?

It’s one of the most obvious spots.

5. In the garage

The garage holds everything but the kitchen sink (and sometimes that too), so why wouldn’t you conceal gifts there?

Just make sure they’re out of eyeshot and that they don’t get thrown out with the rubbish.

[Read more: How to wrap Christmas presents like an expert - 7 simple tips]

6. In the garden shed

It’s so cold outside that perhaps you’re hoping no one will venture into the shed until 2016.

After all, gardening season is over. But you’ll be surprised just what excuses a snoop will find to stop by.

7. At a friend or relative’s house

Filling your best friend or auntie’s house with secret gifts will momentarily keep them from prying eyes, as long as the recipient doesn’t visit the hoarder!

8. In the loft

The loft, not being instantly accessible, is the ideal place to stash a present or two. However, being a communal space means others may have the same idea as you, resulting in meeting mid-operation or you spying something you shouldn’t.

9. At work

Work is perhaps the safest of the ten, but still not foolproof.

Lock it away until the time comes when you can transfer it home and pop it straight under the tree.

10. In the bathroom

As it’s used every day, hiding presents in the bath or shower is not a good idea, but handy storage units and the like can provide nifty hiding spaces for smaller items.