Bunker Life: How To Use Random Bits Of Furniture As An Extended Pantry

Bunker Life: How To Use Random Bits Of Furniture As An Extended Pantry

With the CEO of Woolworths saying the company has effectively been serving 50 million people in recent weeks—i.e., double our population—chances are you are one of many Australians who find themselves with a pantry which is a bit more chokkas than normal. (Mine certainly is.)

Fortunately, it finally seems like people are starting to calm down with their stockpiling. But now we’ve all got so much stuff, where exactly do we put it? It’s not easy to suddenly have to find a home for 36 litres of long-life milk, 7kg of crushed tomatoes, entire boxes of tins of pet food, and everything else!

Still, we must try. The trick is to look beyond the kitchen. Here are three options:



There’s no better way to create intimacy in the bedroom than by filling your chest of drawers with red kidney beans, after all!

In my bedroom, for example, I’ve got a Newport Chest (now discontinued, but very similar to the Tuscan). With a metre of width, half that of depth, and enough height to rival many elderly Italian women, it certainly meets all my storage needs. In fact, I have excess: as you can see, my third drawer is a bit of a nothing drawer at the moment, only holding some spare coat hangers and my swimming gear:

But these drawers are huge. I did some calculations, and if I filled this drawer to the brim I could fit… 16x 1L cartons of long-life milk and 24x 420g tins of beans. That’s a lot of beans!

Just arrange it like this and you’ll maximise the amount of space you can fill in that drawer.

But I probably wouldn’t recommend putting that much stuff in just one drawer. The drawer will probably be able to handle it, but it will be incredibly heavy to try to pull out.



Given half the population seems to be working from home now, there’s a good chance you're in that situation. If so, you’ve probably spent some time reorganising your desk (or buying a new one) to help you bunker in for the next five or six months at home.

Desk drawers are usually high-value real estate. That’s because many of us need a lot of stuff when we’re working (including, very necessarily, highlighters and sticky tabs in lots of different colours), and we need somewhere to put it all. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and when you’ve bought one too many bags of coffee beans… well, you’ve just gotta make do.

For example, I have a Newport Desk (which you can’t get anymore, but again is similar to the Tuscan range).  As you can see, my top drawer is a bit of a mess:

But, with some clever reorganisation, I found I could fit… 1x 1kg bag of coffee beans, 2x 1L cartons of long-life milk, 2x 400g tins of cannellini beans, and 10x 130g tins of baked beans! If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.

This pic doesn’t even show the drawer filled to the brim. But again, be careful not too make it too heavy!



Okay, if you’re resorting to storing stuff in a bookcase then I really do feel sorry for you. To have so much stuff that you have to put your chickpeas on display is a little bit sad, but hey, no-one’s being judgy here.

I’ve got a Tuscan Slim Bookcase. Being tall and lanky like me, it fits really nicely in the corner of one of my rooms. Normally it houses things like, you know, books, but for this exercise I cleared one of my shelves to see what I can fit.

It turns out that one shelf—and to reiterate, this is a slim bookcase—can fit… and 16x 1L cartons of long-life milk, 3x 200g bags of hemp seeds tucked behind them, and 4x 750mL bottles of wine on top, with room to spare.  And given it isn't a drawer, you don’t have to worry about heavy lifting.

If you’re feeling a little embarrassed about having to stockpile things on a bookshelf, don't worry: you can put sophisticated things in front of all that stuff to help you feel better about yourself.

See, now you’re just hip and with it. Right?

Happy bunkering!

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