It’s exciting! You’re strolling out of IKEA with that over-sized shopping cart filled with flat-pack boxes and an image in your head of how organized your place is going to look. Fast-forward two hours where you’re surrounded by mysterious bits of wood and metal rapidly spirally toward a nuclear meltdown.
Instead of being a weepy girl, do this:
- If possible, assemble it in the room that it will be living in. Clear as large a space as you can. Turn on some good music. Put on your safety glasses (they’re cooler than an eye-patch).
- Open the box (use a box cutter, not scissors) and match like parts. Separate the small parts in a muffin tin.
- Grab the instructions and match the parts to the instructions. Make sure you have all the required parts – no point getting halfway done to find out you’re down one screw.
- If you’re missing a part and IKEA is not close-by, bring an identical part and the instructions to a hardware store. Yes, you’ll buy the item (or maybe a box of 100) but it will be easier than going back to IKEA.
- Lay out the big parts roughly how they will go together.
- Read through the instructions several times and be aware that you might be tempted to do things out of order – go ahead and do so if you’re comfortable with re-engineering just be aware that it’s easier to put the furniture together than to take it back apart.
- Those tiny tools that come with the furniture will only ruin your manicure. Grab your cordless screwdriver (not a cordless drill – this is smaller and lighter), your driving bit set, a hammer and your beverage of choice (please be aware that alcohol is probably best saved for afterward).
- Be gentle – MDF (medium density fiberboard) is delicate and unforgiving. It’s better to go slow and steady than to go fast and dent your furniture or strip a screw.
- If you’re feeling daring or creative, look online for ideas on how to customize your furniture.
When all else fails, IKEA does offer an assembly service or you can hire a local handyman to do it. Personally, I think you should just grab your screwdriver and go for it.