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The 15 stages of assembling flatpack furniture

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So you’ve FINALLY got yourself sorted with that dream flatshare, and your mind is in overdrive with your excited plans to decorate your new space. The Ikea catalogue arrives, and it’s the stuff your flatpack furniture dreams are made of. You’ve got your biro, you’ve circled your chosen items, and you’ve made the pilgrimage to outer London where your credit card takes an inevitable, almighty hit. Several boxes and an argument with your cab driver later, you’re home. And it’s crunch time: time to assemble the lot.

Which, believe it or not, is actually one of the most emotionally draining rollercoasters you’ll EVER experience. So get yourself prepared with this helpful timeline of the stages you’ll experience during flatpack furniture assembly – from wooden dowel to broken hinge.

  1. First comes confidence. You know how much everyone goes on about the perils of flatpack furniture, but *really *how hard can it be?! You’re an adult, you can read instructions. This is going to be fine. You’ll show ’em.

  1. SWEET LORD there are a deceiving number of different parts inside the box. And why has nobody told you how to organise them all? What do you need first? WHY DID NOBODY SAY YOU’D NEED A DRILL?!

  2. Yep, 5 minutes in and you’ve trodden on a screw which is now lodged in a new cavity in your foot. Someone call 999.

  1. Screw trauma over, and it’s time for the next screw-lemma: the fact that you’re SURE you’ve wasted more time looking for the correct screw than you’ve spent actually placing them where they’re meant to be (i.e. to assemble the furniture).

  2. Who even invented wooden dowels though? These things are pretty much the least sturdy invention of all time.

  1. Okay, you’re now unconvinced these instructions are even in English. SERIOUSLY – WHAT do those pictures mean?

  2. You’ve got two pieces to seamlessly slot together. Your confidence has been restored. Maybe, maybe you can actually do this…

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  1. Great, so you’ve just realised you’ve assembled it back to front. You sigh and grumble in utter despair, and start the laborious process of taking everything apart so you can build it again.

  1. So it turns out it really *is *possible to screw something in too tight. Who knew?!

  2. At this point, you’re 90% sure your flatmate (read: flatpack-assembly partner) will be moving out next month. You start to wonder how many relationships Ikea has successfully destroyed. Because nothing will make you doubt each other as people more than an argument about where the bolt should go.

  3. Six hours have passed, you’re covered in sweat but you think you’re just about done. And then your gaze falls to the corner of the room, where two anonymous pieces of wooden panelling lie alongside three different sized screws, and you start to weep. Where did it all go so badly wrong?

  1. You vow never to get yourself into this horrible situation again. From now on you’ll buy all your furniture ready-made, on a payment plan. Yeah, you’ll probably be paying off the sofa you’ll keep for twelve short months for the next twenty years of your life…but can you really put a price on your mental stability?

  2. You admit defeat. You gave it a shot, it was a good effort and to be honest you’re pretty sure you’ll be able to hang at least *some *clothes in it. It’s probably the first time in your life you’ve settled for ‘it’ll do’. Sigh.

  1. …then the door breaks a week later, and you succumb to a life of weekly re-screwing sessions. You go to bed every night, wondering if tonight will be the night the whole thing falls apart and you end up discovered lifeless in bed several days later, with a collapsed flatpack wardrobe on top of you.

  2. Weeks later, you desperately try to muster the energy to fix your wonky masterpiece but you just can’t bring yourself to undo your own handiwork. The flatpack furniture has you now. Just make sure you stay in your flatshare long enough to make it worth it…

Whether you’re a flatpack newbie or a seasoned pro, make sure you’ve got a flatshare that’s worth the furniture assembly ordeal. With over 90,000 rooms and roommates on SpareRoom, there’s bound to be one that makes you want to get your screwdriver out…


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