(to avoid phrases such as ‘That hit me in the meatballs!’)
IKEA furniture is great; not only has it provided Sweden with its only cultural and economic export other than liberal ideas and seventies pop groups, but it’s made a great difference to the culture of the UK, Europe and beyond: DIY is now physically possible. However, it’s not easy to get into this minefield of internationally-comprehensible instructions and pieces that all seem to have umlauts over every other letter, so allow me to present you with some generic tips to make flat-pack furniture tolerable.
1) Work with others
Mt family often puts this stuff together, either will all four of us, or with two of us working on a smaller project each. This helps save a lot of time, as you’ve got double the hands with which to angrily tear your hair out after realising that screw C was meant to attach to panel E7, not panel E6. Rookie mistake.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that you will have double the amount of self-assessment as you build the furniture; IKEA’s steps are simple to follow individually, but can be mind-bendingly difficult to remember over the course of a two-hour build, so having an extra human brain to make sure that it all looks like it should is a great way to avoid having to take everything apart and start all over again.
2) Don’t listen to music
Not even ABBA, you culturally-aware bastard! Music is fine when trying to come up with broad ideas for an essay or a paper, but it’s honestly distracting when completing a series of precise, menial tasks, which is what KIEA furniture often asks you to do.
Also, ‘silence’ makes it easier for a group of people to work on one build as they can communicate easier, which must be the case as you’re obviously taking all of my advice totally seriously and following it to the letter, right? Right?
3) Work on one project at a time
Only move onto a new piece of furniture when the first one is finished; obviously this ensures you’ll have actual completed furniture in your house, and not just a bunch of half-built bookcases and wardrobes cluttering the corners of your already filthy bedroom, but they’ll also allow you to better plan the remainder of your home.
Ultimately, you’re doing all of this to make your home look nicer and be a little more practical, so having only completed furniture means you can get a better idea of how that next piece will fit into your room, both in terms of aesthetics and practical value, rather than just having to say ‘Oh, I think this’ll go there, so that can go here, and this can go there’ and so forth.
4) For the love of God, measure your room before you leave
Use a tape measure, and keep a note of the exact size of the space, in millimetres, that you have to work with; the only thing worse than having to guess the size of your living room when you’re actually at IKEA to see what’s available is getting this guess wrong and bringing home a shelf that’s just too long for your wall, which is now a pointless use of money that compromises the looks and function of that wall, which was what you were trying to improve in the first place.
I speak from oh-too-personal experience >sobs into poorly-positioned TV stand<
These are IKEA’s meatballs, and are perhaps the greatest frozen food ever produced by man (unless you count eating long-dead, preserved Woolly Mammoths ‘produced by man’; mmm, highly endangered), and are really bloody cheap; you could live off these for a week at £4.30 a kilo.
If you don’t want to buy and cook them at home, you can also try them in IKEA’s own freaking restaurant, so the trip to IKES becomes a day out: go wander through some idyllic homes alike the aspirational voyeuristic bastard you really are, size up cupboards with a tape measure, then go eat some meatballs.
Combine with Graddsas with the ultimate in ABBA-related home cooking.