Think Before You Buy 

Consider the assembly process before you click buy. Please read online reviews and testimonials before purchasing the item to get a better idea of the process. This way, there are no surprises when the box arrives.

If a major project is beyond your skill level, experts suggest looking for pieces that come partially assembled. “Sometimes you only have to attach two or three parts,” he says.

A great example of this is Ikea’s LISABO table. Each leg attaches with just a single screw, taking just minutes to assemble.

Be Realistic

Some items, such as upholstered bed frames are probably best left to professionals, according to a well establish Handyman company. He explained, “The upholstery is stretched over and attached to wooden frames. The frames are constructed with built-in connection points that many times are blocked, obscured, or misaligned by the upholstery.”

Dressers can also be challenging. Not because they are particularly difficult to assemble, but because the process is so tedious. A full-size dresser with six drawers can have up to 300 pieces and components.

Johnson noted that the process is harder because “the drawers are usually assembled separately, then have to be aligned with the larger piece.”

Assemble In The Right Location

While you might be tempted to assemble a desk for your home office in the comfort of your living room—think again. A home expert, emphasized the importance of assembling furniture in the room where it will be used, especially for heavier pieces. “Besides being a pain to move, that armoire or corner desk is liable to scratch walls and floors during any moves.”

Open The Box Carefully 

Don’t damage the furniture or your floors before getting started. Experts say to open up the box cautiously because scissors or box cutters can be damaging. Use the box to protect your floors as you build.  

Read The Instructions

The first thing you need to do before anything else is read the assembly instructions. Then read them again. Understand the process of what you will be doing. Experts also recommend re-checking the instructions from time to time.

Set Yourself Up For Success

After carefully unpacking everything, an expert says it’s best to identify all the parts. Then group similar items together and lay them out in order. “Pros will often store small hardware, like nuts and bolts, in plastic cups to prevent them from rolling away or getting mixed up.”

Another expert added, “Take a moment to consider the proper orientation of the components involved: up, down, left, right, front, back. Finished edges usually face up or front. Left and right sides are usually mirror images with finished surfaces facing out or up. With components that look alike but aren’t, look for variations in hole spacing or quantity. The top or bottom piece may have additional holes or pegs.” 

Janice Simonsen, who is a Design Spokesperson for Ikea, says to check the instructions and look for any arrows. They indicate the correct position a part needs to be in to assure proper assembly.

Then be sure to assemble everything in order. Doing otherwise is very likely to lead to mistakes.

Safety First

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately one-quarter of all accidents involve furnishings like dressers and tables. Especially if you have small children, heavier items need to be anchored to the wall with straps, brackets, or braces.    

Large, bulky, tall pieces like wardrobe or wall cabinets can be dangerous to assemble. “Structural integrity isn’t achieved until the last few assembly steps. Putting the last pieces in place and standing the unit on its feet can be perilous.”

If you aren’t sure if a particular piece needs two people for assembly, experts suggest checking the instructions. Note that Ikea instructions will always indicate this.

But perhaps this advice of his is the most sensible, “Don’t try to be a hero. Find a helper.” Because while paying someone to assemble your furniture won’t result in feeling “The Ikea Affect,” you will feel a certain sense of the satisfaction knowing you skills lie best in the art of delegation.


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