How To Make A Pantry Under Your Bed

Calamity Janet
By Calamity Janet October 7, 2019 11:47

How To Make A Pantry Under Your Bed

A Proper Prepper’s Pantry…is totally hidden from view. You don’t want every Tom, Dick, and Mary who walks into your home to know you’re a prepper, and you don’t want to make it easy for vandals, looters, and marauders to haul your stash away. Secrecy is key! (Which is, of course, why I’m revealing my secrets to the world at large!) Here we have instructions for constructing a proper prepper’s pantry, underneath the bed, where it is safe, hidden, yet accessible in an emergency.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your Bed

This is a bed frame in an empty bedroom. The bedroom was constructed in 1878, so the floorboards, which were hewn in 1878 and most recently refinished in 1996, are slightly warped. Because this is going to be one of my biggest food caches, I do not want to risk a single pregnant moth, beetle, or weevil getting into my stuff.
So in this picture, I’m in the middle of lining the bottom of the bed frame with thick self-sticking foam rubber insulation in order to make a tight seal between the bottom of the bed frame and the floor.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedThe bed frame is on the floor (insulation side down) and I’ve put some slotted support cross-beams in the middle to help hold up the weight of the mattress and all the rest of the stuff I’m going to be storing underneath the mattress.
In addition, I found a bookshelf at the thrift shop made with slotted boards, and I’ve put those boards around the outer edges of the bed for more support.
After the emergency, I’ll have a ready-made shelving unit to hold supplies, or I can use the boards to cover broken windows.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedHere I’m starting to fill up my prepper’s pantry. Everything made of grain goes in the middle to discourage grain-loving insects from inviting themselves in. These grains will end up being totally surrounded by a sea of canned goods. This is the best possible place to store canned goods, where the temperature is constant but cool, and there’s no chance of any sort of moisture.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedCanned goods going into place. It took me four years of collecting cut-rate groceries incrementally in order to have enough food to fill up this pantry. I own a large antique steamer trunk, and every time I went shopping, I’d buy extra stuff and drop it into the trunk. Every time the trunk was full, I would open up this under-bed pantry and load the stuff in.
This series of pictures was taken when I had to move the bed from one side of the bedroom to the other in order to accommodate a new furnace.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedHere the pantry is officially “full”. The canned goods are double-stacked. There are gobs of tiny things poked into the little spaces between the cans: cigarette lighters, packs of gum, match books, tea bags, rolls of Lifesaver candies, etc.
If there was even a quarter-inch of available space on top of the cans, I used it to store flat things like fruit leather, soup packets, lots of extra Zip-lock baggies, and pouches of gravy and seasoning packets. Every square inch of space is used up.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedThis is the “lid” going onto the bed frame. This was originally a waterbed, but the waterbed suffered a catastrophic failure some years ago, at which time we replaced it with a regular mattress. This upper frame originally held the waterbed.
I’m using lots of braces and screwing the boards to the frame, not only for stability, but also so that vandals will have to have a screwdriver and a lot of time in order to break into this pantry.
Do you think I’m going to leave a screwdriver anywhere in the household if I ever have to leave this stash behind?

How To Make A Pantry Under Your Bed

Bedframe all assembled and headboard in place as well.

A year’s supply of food for two people is totally out of sight and protected.

Related: DIY: Bedside Holster System


How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedThis is a wonderful place to store lumber, and lumber is a great thing to have on hand after a catastrophe.
I’m starting my lumber stash with four sheets of plywood because I have three picture windows plus one extra-large entryway that I might need to cover one day.
I had to trim the ends to fit.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedNow I’m adding several layers of laminated shelving that I picked up at my local Re-Store, a used building supply store that’s run by Habitat for Humanity.
The boards cost me a buck each.
I like to store lumber because the windows are the most vulnerable aspect of any home, and I want to be able to cover all of them.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedNow I’m alternating layers of wool blankets, tarps, and air mattresses because storing those things here is far better than having them take up the limited space I have available in my closets and basement.

How To Make A Pantry Under Your BedAdd the mattress, the sheets, the blankets, and the pillows and here you have a perfect and proper prepper’s pantry.

Do you have any idea how soundly I sleep, knowing what I’m sleeping on?

This article was gladly contributed by Calamity Janet, that appeared in Season 1, Episode 9 of “Doomsday Preppers.

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Calamity Janet
By Calamity Janet October 7, 2019 11:47
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30 Comments

  1. Gourdhead October 7, 13:38

    Very good idea.

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  2. Spike October 7, 14:59

    Looks like a real hassle to try to rotate this stock.

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  3. Auge October 7, 15:50

    I want to say, that is a great way of storing food for a while, I like ideas like this one and I will remember it.
    Especially when I look for a new house I will keep the
    bed and remember to store food under it. thanks

    Reply to this comment
  4. Wannabe October 7, 15:54

    I looked up the video with the episode mentioned. Wow she hid stuff behind doors with extra paneling to conceal food. In crawl spaces, under the house, under tables. Behind books on book shelves. Her heart is to help everyone she can Incase a nuclear bomb is dropped near them. She even stocked up on extra two way radios Incase the police needed to communicate. They were very open about it to their community. Not a good move in my estimation. If you want to help others than do it. But please dont advertise it. Safety has to come first.

    Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper October 7, 19:53

      Wannabe,

      They were very open about it to their community. Not a good move in my estimation. If you want to help others than do it. But please dont advertise it. Safety has to come first.

      It really depends on your community.
      I regularly teach preparedness seminars with a small group to the public at public venues like the local library, so there are more than a few people who know me and my resources and capabilities. Many ask questions; but, the “I don’t have to prep because I know where you live” rhetoric stopped many years ago. I also teach firearms courses and have a substantial MAG that would bug out to this location, all of which are normally armed.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe October 7, 23:37

        I tell nobody. My wife doesn’t even know a lot. Not that I don’t want to share it with her, she just isn’t interested. I know this website is exposure but people will really have to dig to get info on individuals here. I have shared the state I live in but that is it. Other than that I tell nobody. If something bad happens and I can help others then that will be my decision on my time on my terms. Can’t forego my families safety for the stupid decisions from desperate people.

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper October 8, 01:51

          Wannabe,

          My wife doesn’t even know a lot. Not that I don’t want to share it with her, she just isn’t interested.

          Mine knows about everything and is all in; but, she grew up on a farm not 2 miles from here and has both a brother and a nephew that still farm the area.

          If something bad happens and I can help others then that will be my decision on my time on my terms. Can’t forego my families safety for the stupid decisions from desperate people.

          Actually all of the helping is done regularly here, with all of my neighbors being more or less self reliant, although not all would use the label ”Prepper” and none of them would be desperate, since many are already included in our MAG and we all know our assigned tasks.
          We are essentially a rural community of LMI’s and not one of us would trade our rural properties for a mansion in the burbs with all of it supposed benefits and activities. Here it’s just a lifestyle and while those in the cities may think we’re crazy, more reason for them to stay away.

          Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty October 8, 02:18

        I love the whole idea of hiding your stuff in plain sight, but going on a TV program and sharing your information with that many strangers is just poor opsec. Sharing info is great, and I appreciate the article, but there are a lot of nutcases out there too. That’s my problem with the whole thing, but as you say, it all depends on who lives in your area.

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        • The Ohio Prepper October 8, 12:25

          Miss Kitty,

          I love the whole idea of hiding your stuff in plain sight, but going on a TV program and sharing your information with that many strangers is just poor opsec.

          Poor OPSEC? More like no OPSEC, and being portrayed as some kind of loose wing nut whack job.
          Several of us who’ve been doing this and are active in various forums like this one were contacted by those producers and all of us deleted the email. Since it not only breaks OPSEC; but, makes you voluntarily become a circus animal to be put on display and ridiculed.

          Sharing info is great, and I appreciate the article, but there are a lot of nutcases out there too.

          No doubt; but, so far I’ve not personally run into any of them, perhaps another advantage of relatively remote rural living.

          That’s my problem with the whole thing, but as you say, it all depends on who lives in your area.

          I stand by that attitude for people in my immediate area; but, not where you put yourself on display on a nationally aired program since that can be where the nut cases can target you and seek you out from afar.

          Reply to this comment
  5. Cap cresap October 7, 16:41

    Do not put fruit juice, canned fruit or vegetables – any cans with liquid, in that space for long term storage. I did and some of the cans leaked after about a year. Everything under and around the leakers had to be tossed.

    Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper October 7, 20:02

      Cap cresap,

      Do not put fruit juice, canned fruit or vegetables – any cans with liquid, in that space for long term storage. I did and some of the cans leaked after about a year. Everything under and around the leakers had to be tossed.

      There’s an easy fix. Each can goes into a Ziplock freezer bag.
      It’s cheap insurance.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Christine October 7, 16:41

    We live in the South with no basement. We made something similar under our bed. made it 2 ft high and it holds alot,winter clothes, extra stuff. We hinged the top so all I have to do is push the mattress to the side and raise up 1/2 the top and get what I need out .

    Reply to this comment
  7. aunt bea taylor October 7, 17:53

    great idea! you may want to get an airflow underlayment, to prevent your mattress from mildewing on the bottom, since it is sitting on a solid surface. the condensation from body heat carries moisture through the mattress. i don’t know, the wool blankets may be enough.

    Reply to this comment
  8. left coast chuck October 7, 18:05

    Seems like a lot of work when it would cost about the same to buy under-the-bed Rubber Maid or other plastic containers on wheels which can be rolled under the bed. Not as well concealed, I will admit, but a lot easier to get to, in order to, as some one else mentioned, rotate your stock.

    The containers I have in mind are made specifically for going under the bed and because they have wheels, are easily moved about.

    Even if the containers cost a bit more than buying lumber at Re-Store and a bookcase at the thrift shop, when one considers what I consider to be my most valuable commodity, time and the cost of gasoline today which at Costco this morning was $3.99 a gallon for regular, soon to top $4.00 a gallon (why did gas go up the next day after the Saudi refinery got hit and yet now that the refinery is back on line the cost continues to go up?) I always factor in my cost per mile and add that to the cost of the item I am shopping for. At 30 mpg, just gas, not counting wear and tear on the car, the cost per mile was 12¢ per mile last week. I haven’t figured this week’s cost per mile yet, I expect it is now 13¢ per mile. Last week it would have cost $1.44 to go round trip to the Re-Store facility and it is fairly close by. If I do much driving in traffic, the cost per mile goes up considerably even though I try to adjust my travel so that I only have to slow at traffic lights instead of stopping.

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  9. Chuck October 7, 18:27

    GOOD LUCK. GUESS WHERE THEY WILL LOOK FIRST???

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  10. Elaine October 7, 18:33

    This is totally beyond WAY COOL! (My favorite part is how soundly she sleeps on it! Hope she gives us many more ideas!

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  11. Elaine October 7, 19:19

    Aw, come on LCC! This idea is WAY more cool than rolling plastic bins from Walmart! Chick filled in EVERY little nook and cranny! And taking it from one whose son is ”oh so organized” and has plastic containers for EVERYTHING (drives me insane) I will vouch for how much unused space(s) are in the plastic bins! And you would have to elevate some for the wheels, and that would waste even more space. (Was just outside earlier, and saw gas here in nawth Flahrida was $2.55 a gallon. GAH I hope ours doesn’t go up that much, like yours is! I want to see what Clergylady thinks of this idea! (Hope you’re doing well LCC!!!)

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 7, 20:02

      Hi Elaine: Yes, plastic bins are not the best use of space. I totally agree. BUT, nothing in this world is the perfect answer. I trade convenience and relatively low cost for time and maximum utilization of space. I put the bed feet on 2 x 6 platforms with 1/4 round molding to keep them from rolling off to raise the bed high enough for the storage bins.

      They were easier and faster to make than the very nicely done storage box this author has made (at least for me.)

      Yes, CA has the distinction of having the highest gas taxes in the nation. Well, so we are number 1 for something although in last place for the things that matter more. And our masters in Sacramento have the audacity to call the highway “freeways”. Certainly is nothing free about them. When I moved here 60 years ago, CA had the best roads in the world. Now one can tell where the state line is when driving into CA because the roads suddenly turn to crap. Of course we are spending a lot of the gas tax money on the lo-speed train to nowhere.

      Sorry for the political rant.

      Chuck: Sure the vandals will look under the bed, but if you have abandoned your home and left the stuff behind because you couldn’t take it all, what difference does it make who gets it? The author’s statement about not leaving a screwdriver behind is a little weak. If she has left home what does she care who takes her stuff and how much trouble it is? If the house is being ransacked by vandals she probably is not going to want to come back to it anyway and the tougher it is to find and get to stuff, the more the house will be trashed. Almost better to leave it boxed up by the front door.

      You read prepper books and they talk about locking up the house as they are bugging out. My thought has always been: “Why?” The harder it is to open the door, the more it is going to be trashed. After all, if the home owner has gone to the trouble to install heavy duty hinges and locks and locks the door there must be good stuff inside, right? So let’s bash this door down and get whatever good stuff is inside.

      And if you were home and they are ransacking the place, that probably means you are beyond caring.

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 8, 02:15

        left coast chuck,

        And our masters in Sacramento have the audacity to call the highway “freeways”. Certainly is nothing free about them.

        Perhaps it’s a metter of persctive.
        Growing up in PA and living in Ohio I also called them freeways; but, friends from NY State called them throughways, since as it turned out, you could get through; but, few were free.
        New York’s 45.6 cents per gallon is a little less than your 47.7; but most of their highways also have tolls.

        Sorry for the political rant.

        No problem, since if I were unfortunate enough to live in the PDRK I would probably also be ranting.

        The author’s statement about not leaving a screwdriver behind is a little weak. If she has left home what does she care who takes her stuff and how much trouble it is?

        Weak? More like naïve.

        Almost better to leave it boxed up by the front door.

        Along with an inventory list so they take what they want and clear out quickly.

        You read prepper books and they talk about locking up the house as they are bugging out. My thought has always been: “Why?”

        Mine too; but, it’s a formula based on normalcy bias.
        In the real world, even pre SHTF, locks only keep out the honest people.

        And if you were home and they are ransacking the place, that probably means you are beyond caring.

        And out of ammunition.

        Reply to this comment
  12. The Ohio Prepper October 7, 19:58

    While we don’t use underbid storage that’s quite as elaborate as this, cases of cans are stored there. I have an LDS friend who has stacked several cases of #10 cans (6 cans to a case) in his living room, between two chairs. Covered with a cloth with a lamp on top, it just works like any living room table holding a lamp; but, has 18 cans of food, hidden in plain sight.

    Reply to this comment
  13. IvyMike October 8, 00:54

    Being a sovereign nation rather than a territory Texas joined the Union by treaty instead of annexation. One of the most important agreements in that treaty was that the U.S. would be denied ownership of any of the vast public lands in Texas. Pretty smart, those old Texans.
    When I was a kid, before hunting became big business and lawyers and city slickers bought up all the land, the ranchers and farmers had little hunting cabins and fish camps all over the place. Custom was to leave them unlocked with a stock of food and essentials in case somebody got in trouble out in the woods. It was easy to get permission to go on private property, and you always brought some food to keep the cabin stocked. Those were the good old days.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 8, 02:20

      Hi Mike: Yes, unfortunately slob hunters ruin it for ethical hunters. It only takes a couple of instances for shots to hit the ranch house or the rancher or farmer to find a dead cow out in the fields for him to decide he won’t allow any more hunting. Or he sees a couple of fellows with rifles on his property and goes and tells them it’s posted and they threaten him with violence.. That really puts the kabosh on hunting. The next time he just calls the sheriff and swears out a complaint.

      As Pogo has so eloquently stated: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

      While I don’t generally agree with the garbage that comes out of Sacramento, every once in a while they manage to do something right. The CA fish and game — excuse me, fish and wildlife code has a provision that one must have written permission in hand from the land owner in order to hunt private property so game wardens are entitled to ask to see said written permission if they find folks wandering around on private property with firearms. Unfortunately it is only a low grade misdemeanor with just a fine and doesn’t include forfeiture of firearms which would be the real killer. You get caught and you have to forfeit the rifle that has been in the family since your great-granddaddy was poaching deer with it in nineteen and twenty-two.

      When I was young we had 30 acres just outside Chadds Ford which was just a wide spot in the road then, not the artsy-fartsy yuppie haven it is now. My father decided to post the property when some a.h. put a a load of probably #6 shot through a sheet while my mother was hanging out the wash. It was my mother who convinced my father it was better to call the state police than use the .303 on the fool which is what my father had every intention of doing. The criminal case was still dragging along when I decided to become a Misguided Child of Uncle Sam. I think the criminal charges finally just petered out which is why my parents just got on the horn and called the state police every time some yahoo decided to ignore the no hunting postings on the property. Which was too bad for hunters in general because there was good pheasant hunting on the grassland portion and the wooded portion adjoined a huge state park and one could usually scare up some deer in there. But Pogo hit the nail on the head.

      Reply to this comment
      • IvyMike October 9, 00:41

        Well, we’ll both be gone in the near future, I reckon, but in the distant future historians will discover Pogo and Walt Kelly will be as celebrated a Prophet as Samuel or Jeremiah ever could have dreamed of. Fact is, the New (far future) Bible will probably have a Book of Pogo, a Gospel of Little Abner, and a Revelation of Calvin the Divine. Peanuts might make the Apocrypha…

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper October 9, 04:26

          IvyMike,
          And let’s not forget what the archeologists of the future may uncover.
          In Washington DC alone stands a huge phallic symbol, stared at from afar by the great bearded God Lincoln, , sitting atop his throne, housed in his splendid temple.

          Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 9, 04:21

        left coast chuck,

        It only takes a couple of instances for shots to hit the ranch house or the rancher or farmer to find a dead cow out in the fields for him to decide he won’t allow any more hunting. Or he sees a couple of fellows with rifles on his property and goes and tells them it’s posted and they threaten him with violence.. That really puts the kabosh on hunting. The next time he just calls the sheriff and swears out a complaint.

        Unfortunately it seems to be pretty much the same everywhere; but, here in Ohio, where we have some of the best managed Whitetail deer herds in the country, our wildlife officers can get really serious about such infractions.
        A call for hunting without permission gets top priority, since about 80% of hunted land is privately owned, and keeping land owners happy is a priority.
        Here the wildlife officers and wildlife biologists actually do management of the wildlife, and realize the importance of the hunters.
        It of course helps that the funding for the Division of Wildlife is provided in large part by licenses and permits, and that the federal Pittman Robertson monies are matching funds requiring state participation.
        For simple hunting without permission one can be fined &/or lose their license; but, for more egregious violations, hunters can, and have lost their guns, bows, crossbows, and even their ATV’s or trucks.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck October 10, 02:44

          Licenses and hunting and fishing fees are also a major part of the funding for the fish and wildlife folks, together with the Pittman-Robinson fees here in the PDRK. However when one considers the pooky end of the stick that hunters and fishermen get in the PDRK, one would think that the majority of the funding came from the bogus animal rights group that is so vocal. Although I must admit they do put their money where it gets them the most good — in the politicians’ political campaign fund.

          I sometimes get the feeling that hunters and fishermen wake up in the morning after dreaming “Today is the day that the politicians in Sacto are going to do something nice for us.”

          They get the cold dose of reality when they pick up the paper and read the Assemblyperson Ortiz-Ocala, from the Palo Alto district has introduced a bill to ban trapping of everything in the PDRK.

          They don’t realize with the urbanization of the PDRK there are possibly only two or three pols in Sacto who actually hunt and fish. The rest, if they bother at all are just posers who don’t have a clue how to tie a leader or run a shotgun. And the pols who do hunt and fish are old guys like me who aren’t long for this world.

          Ahhh — I’ve got to stop ranting otherwise I’ll just go to bed all p.o.’d and lie there muttering and swearing.

          Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe October 8, 03:18

      These days it would all be stolen

      Reply to this comment
  14. MsKYPrepper October 8, 02:04

    I’m afraid this wouldn’t work for me. Rotation is the key to being fully prepped and this is not a system that allows for regular rotation. Also, knowing what you’ve got and where it is, is important. This doesn’t make inventorying easy. I like the idea of under bed storage but I’m with LCC and would prefer plastic totes or if you are handy would take that lumber and make crates that could easily slide in and out. With an elevated bed frame you can get several cans stacked high. Thanks for sharing. I also appreciate people who think outside the box (or tote…)

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