Sometimes ready-to-assemble furniture is a nightmare. And by sometimes, I mean most of the time. Even for a moderately experienced DIYer like myself, identifying parts, trying to understand diagrams and figuring out where the heck part “g” is can be a total hassle.
After a recent battle with a Target TV stand (which took over four hours for me to assemble), I’ve decided to share some of my idiot-proof tips that I wish I’d thought of before I got started.
1. Make Space
Don’t try and put together a piece right where you plan on putting it. Work on assembling something in an area where you can lay out all the pieces on the ground so that everything is visible. I’d also pick a room that you can walk away from in the inevitable moment when you’ll need a breather.
2. Take Inventory
Check to see that every piece of the puzzle is there. Nothing is worse than making progress in the building and realizing you’re short on a very important nut or bolt. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me and I’ve had to live with a lopsided pieced together item that’s waiting for a missing part to arrive.
3. Lay It Out
Though this can be a lengthy process, organizing all the pieces together (shelves in one pile, ends in another) before you build will cut down on stress immensely. Keep a sharpie nearby and label them on your own so they’ll be easy to grab when it comes time to use them.
4. Read The Instructions
Sure, this sounds like an obvious one but I recommend reading each step before you even get to work on tackling the building aspect. Why? Because something won’t make sense to you. It’s better to hash out the tricky steps before you’ve got a Phillips in one hand and plywood in the other.
5. Double Check
As you go through each step, reread each instruction and triple check your handiwork. You’ll be less likely to retrace your steps and back pedal if you’re certain you’ve done something right, rather than crossing your fingers after each step.
6. When In Doubt, Check It Out
Many furniture companies have videos and FAQ’s on their sites that actually do come in handy. I once had to attach a magnetic catch to a drawer that made no sense to me. Luckily, the manufacturer had a step-by-step video that actually made the process, well, easy.
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