Today, we are continuing with instructions for making a hidden storage area in your bedroom closet.
Temporary Wood Screw Handles
Again, the two long wood screws, which are protruding about 1-1/2 to 2 inches, will be your only handling devices. Go easy with them. They both recently finished a remedial bite-back class for wood screws lost in the big city.
Free the Piece of Drywall
Hold one of the two wood screws continually, while you finish the cutting and finally free the piece of drywall. Gently re-position the cut-out piece of drywall out of the way and on the closet floor leaning against the wall. Do not lay it flat where there could be a danger of anyone stepping on it. Make sure that the visible portions of the wall studs are clean and free of any old drywall mud.
Measure Between Wall Studs
The next step is to carefully measure the top and the bottom distances between the two now-partially-visible wall studs. Write the numbers of the measured lengths in pencil with very large easy-to-read numbers on the back side of the existing drywall, forming the other side of the wall.
“Nervous” Part of Project
Now we will do what is most likely be the single most “nervous” part of this entire preparedness project. Do not worry. Following these simple directions will/might/should/could/maybe, we hope, enable you to be successful and quite proud of yourself. You will need to trim/cut the two 24-inch pieces of 2 x 4’s to the exact lengths you measured earlier. Mark the top piece with the old “top” on a narrow side of the piece. Mark the bottom piece as a bottom the same way. (If you actually measure these pieces, they will be slightly smaller than 2 x 4, because 2 x 4 is the measurement for rough cut untrimmed/unfinished lumber. They work just fine for most of us, and I know of no reason it will not work for you, I think. That’s unless you have a sad history about being left alone at a construction site. Do you?)
Positioning Pieces To Form Enclosure Area
You will be positioning the two, near perfect-looking pieces with their wide side facing up and forming the top and bottom of the enclosure area. On the top piece, though, we only see its wide side facing down.
First, insert another long wood screw into the piece and tie a long string to it to protect you from losing the piece by accidentally dropping it down the empty inner wall cavity. How long should the string be? The answer is less than twenty feet and more than six feet. Think about this third grade arithmetic exercise. Measure from the floor up to the cavity’s bottom lip, over the pouty lip, and then back down to the floor again.
Next, position the piece of wood in between the two wall studs with very little of the piece being higher than the top line of the existing drywall previously cut. Use the two (of the four available) drywall screws to screw the old drywall to the new piece of wood. Position the screws about two inches from the end of the wooden piece. This will form the bottom of your secret, long-term storage space. And yes, you really should try to finish the bottom first because that’s the way my granddaddy showed me that he did it.
Repeat the entire step #26 process and install the other wooden piece as the top of the storage cavity. Now is the time to prepare your items for storage in a manner suggested in your “preparedness manuals”. Search the blog for that type of information.
At this point, you should have your items prepared and ready to put into storage. You might want to secure them in a specific part of the cavity with simple tomb tacks. Do it!
Close Up the Cavity
Now we hope you are ready to close up the cavity. Use drywall screws, two per side of the cavity to secure the saved section of drywall back into the wall. Position the screws at an angle if there is insufficient wood exposed to securely hold the drywall.
You will need the small amount of instant use drywall repair mud you bought at the hardware store. Remember that it is better to have too much good stuff than to have too little of the good stuff. That’s why trash cans were sent down from heaven for guys like us. You can apply the repair mud with a cheap regular kitchen table knife and smooth the newly mudded seams and holes with a piece of cardboard. Some people just use fingers and thumbs to do the application. And some of that bunch of clowns only do it that way once if they forgot to wash their hands very quickly. That’s because the good stuff hardens real quick. Now comes the hard part. You have to wait a whole day for everything to harden up and look right.
This is when you thoroughly have to clean up everything you messed up, plus a little more. If you are married, the next part may be an instant problem, especially if your other half didn’t know about this little two-hour prepper project in the first place. Shame, shame on you. There is a “do not” event scheduled for this very point in the project. Do not put the closet contents back into the closet. That is a most permanently important “do not”.
Nick to Make Remembrance Hole
The very next morning, use the straight end screw driver and nick the baseboard 12 inches, that’s exactly one foot, to the side of the exact center of the storage cavity. Call that small but easily visible nick the “remembrance” hole. It will be the guide later to re-opening the cavity to retrieve the security contents.
Now paint the entire inside of the closet. Make sure that all four walls and the ceiling are the same color. Paint the remembrance hole, but do not fill it completely. It will, and should, look natural and as if it was there since construction.
This same procedure will work just fine in the creation of a secure storage area six feet high and large enough to secure a large number of small items and /or a small number of large items. If you are really ambitious you could even cut out a wall stud or two studs so as to create an area capable of storing a lot of stuff of varying sizes, as long as none of it is wider than the wall stud is deep. That’s about 3.5 inches. I am very sure that a small semi auto 45 with ammo and many fully loaded magazines fits perfectly in this type of simple secured storage.
Larger Storage Space
If your closet is extra deep, you could build an extra entire new wall, creating a very large and very deep storage space.
Now let’s deal with the most common concern or objection. How do we get our stuff out of the cavity? The answer is: Get your 12 inch ruler, find a pencil, secure the box cutter, and get a medium-sized really inexpensive claw hammer. Read the impossible to ever understand “made in China” hammer instructions that are actually “printed in North Korea” concerning the liability responsibility conditions prior to using it. You will also need all of the regular stuff needed to clean a small indoor construction mess. Have a container large enough to hold “all” of the dry wall pieces! This is most especially true if you are married and really want to stay that way.
Retrieving Your Good Stuff
To get your good stuffs back in your hands on your way out of town, tear out that new wall section you spent so much time and energy creating. Measure from the remembrance hole to the center of the cavity and mark it with the pencil. Then measure the distance to the edge of the now fully hidden wall studs; mark that spot with the pencil.
Further measure to the side of the inner wall stud, mark the entire vertical line, and try to be very careful. Repeat that process on the other side. Tear it out, grab your supplies, and run, run, run. As you run, do remember to pray to give thanks. Do you know where it is that you should be running to? Do not pass GO and do not collect $200. Just go!
Important Stuff to Get Through Event
Okay, all kidding aside, this is important. We must focus ourselves to learn and to teach, to get safely through the coming (SHTF) event(s).
- be willing to be taught, to learn, and to be grateful, to give thanks to God for all we have and especially for all we can do.
- learn to practice sincere generosity in the hard times and to enable others to be better than they have been in the past.
- lead by worthy examples of character and personal integrity.
- accept and trust Spirit-led enablements and directions.
- care for the needy and the elderly with compassion and without resentment.
- pray to find great joy in helping others in their needs.
- regain our sense of responsibility for teaching the children to love and to trust our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thanks for being who you are, good people working to survive bad times and to help others.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 72 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.