Conflicting priorities…happy wife or food storage… (Part #1)

Food Storage and a Happy WifeOnce again a very misleading article headline…there is no choice between a happy wife or food storage. One always, always has the higher priority…period!

Do I still have you wondering? Oh come on, I shouldn’t, you know how much I love my wife! But, that doesn’t mean I don’t favor a heavy load of food storage almost as much as my dear wife. Gut I figured out how to have both a happy wife and a decent amount of food storage. But, it wasn’t always like that.

When we moved to our current home from the other side of the country we didn’t bring a single box of food storage with us. And, we delayed buying a significant amount of food storage until we bought out current home and moved out of our apartment. I was on pins and needles till I saw the cases of food once again starting to stack up. But, it wasn’t long before my wife started to have concerns about where we were going to store all of it. I had to get creative and fast…I could think of only one option…a bed.

I had pretty much remodeled my whole house after we bought it. It was a fixer-upper and I was the fixer. We had a second bedroom that my wife wanted to turn into a fancy place for our house guests…like Kevin Reeve or Ken Carry when they stop by. Yeah, it had to look like some HGTV thing when I was done. But, we hadn’t purchased a bed for it. And that was all the opening I needed.

I actually built the bed some years ago during the remodel but I recently had a chance to take pictures of it and essentially how it goes together. I felt it might be a really nice article to post for those of you that are in need of some space for food storage…or HGTV marriage counseling. I hope you enjoy!

As you have already read in some of my previous articles the food storage that would be integrated into this bed project would not be immediate action food. In other words the food that is part of the bed would be long-term storage food items vs. food that would be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Items such as wheat, rice, oats, and beans are the most likely items…those things that would be used for any long-term purpose during an extended time of need.

Read all of the steps first…BEFORE starting to make sure what you are going to be doing.

This concept only works for #10 cans of food. DO NOT USE THIS IDEA FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN #10 CANS.

Step #1 –

You have to decide if you actually have enough cases of food to begin with. Twelve cases would be the minimum for a single layer. You can go another layer with thirty-six cases for a taller bed. Another reason why you want heavy items such as wheat, beans and rice is the bed will be more stable using the heavier food items.


Step #2 –

What size mattress will you be using? We decided on a queen size mattress because it big enough for most people and still reasonably affordable. Once you decide on the mattress, go buy it. There is a reason for this, you need the exact measurements of the mattress to get the size of the frame correct. OK, so you know have your mattress at the house and you have measured it. Time to move on to the lumber phase.


Step #3 –

You want to purchase lumber that will match the size of your mattress measurement. You will want to use good quality 2” x 10”  lumber. It doesn’t have to be furniture grade stuff, but you don’t want the stuff that has been torn up, has dents in it, and splinters sticking out all over.

The big picture that you are looking to accomplish is a frame that is about 1” larger than the mattress all the way around. The mattress will then sit down in this frame securely but with just enough room to move it around a bit if needed.

The first two 2” x 10” boards you will cut to about 1” longer than the width of the mattress.

The next two 2” x 10” boards you will cut to length that is the length of the mattress plus 4”. You will have your 1” of wiggle room, plus you will cover the ends of the boards that you previously cut for the “width” of the mattress.

Food Storage Bed


Step #4 –

I laid out my boards in the “frame” layout. The long boards are on the outside of the two cross-boards. I used some long 3” screws to secure the boards together. I also used some angle braces on the inside of the boards as well to help make it nice and strong.



Step #5 –

Next comes the rail that will sit on top of the cases of food and which the plywood board will sit on that supports the mattress. For that material I used decent quality 2” x 4” lumber. If you look at the picture I cut them short enough that they didn’t interfere with the corner braces.


STOP! Do not screw the rails into the frame yet. Follow the instructions in Step #6 first.

Note: If you want to use 2” x 3” lumber for the rails there should be no problem whatsoever.


Step #6 –

You will need some support in the middle of the frame for the plywood that the mattress will lay on. For that you need to fabricate a cross-member, but it is easy to do.

Measure half the distance of your side rails. Make that center mark on each side rail. That mark should be the exact same measurement for each end of the side rail. Mark both side rails. If you lay the side rails side-by-side the marks should be in the exact same place on each side rail.

Now cut a 2” x 4” piece of lumber to the same width as the top and bottom of the frame pieces. This piece will be your cross-member.

FoodStorageBed-006Now you want to notch the two side rails exactly 3/4” of in on either side of your mark 1/2 of the way through the side rail. This will be the notch that your cross-member will sit in. Cut out that material to form the notch.

Now mark and notch the cross-member to match the notch you just cut into the side rails.



Step #7 –

Go ahead and screw the rails into the frame boards now. I used 2-1/2” screws since I had 3” of wood to work with. Make sure the notches on the side rails are placed exactly across from each other so your cross-member lines up exactly.


Tomorrow I will post an article that finishes up this project.




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2 thoughts on “Conflicting priorities…happy wife or food storage… (Part #1)

  1. Like to see you are thinking!! I am a little cautious about anything other than #10 cans. The plastics buckets do degrade over time, and I am not sure you get enough bucket “edge” coming in contact with the frame rails to distribute the weight well enough. I am afraid it might take off chunks of the plastic bucket edge. I am not sure about MREs. It seems that it should work but I am not sure of the stability of the cases themselves, especially if you go more than one case high.
    But I like the ideas. If anyone tries it I would love to hear the outcome, tips, thoughts, etc. AH


  2. I see no reason why it couldn’t be modified to accept 5 gallon buckets, cases of MRE’s, or freeze dried items. Longer term food would of course be the best, I’d hate to have to rotate stock from under there. Even beds with drawers on each side have a lovely alley down the middle in between the drawer units.

    Liked by 1 person

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