It has been my experience that purchasing Ikea furniture is kind of like having kids. No matter how much of a headache it is, most of us are still crazy enough to go for more. We always think we’ve got it figured out this time around and are positive that this one won’t push us to the brink of divorce.
Here’s the secret to making sure your next Ikea project from hell goes a little smoother (and you stay married):
- Wait until children go to bed and begin the project, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—excited at the prospect of finally accomplishing something.
Skim the instructions.
When spouse asks if you know what you’re doing, scoff at him and say, “Are you kidding? A monkey could do this.”
Begin assembly with simple fitting of dowel rods.
Smugly think to yourself, “I’ll be done in 20 minutes and still have an hour to watch Bones.”
Fix first nut in place and insert bolt.
Turn bolt with fingernail. Repeat until fingernail breaks.
Use pliers to hold nut in place (as per instructions).
While holding nut, use Allen wrench to tighten bolt.
Watch as bolt falls to the floor.
Use right foot to hold pliers.
Place bolt in hole with one hand, twist Allen wrench with the other.
Consider calling a monkey.
Reluctantly allow spouse to help (because he doesn’t think feet are appropriate for using tools—unless you’re a monkey).
Watch as spouse “helps,” and the fucking Allen wrench slips causing all pieces to fall apart.
Briefly fantasize about homicide.
Think, “Allen, I don’t know where you are. But I will find you. And I will kill you.”
Take a break to drink a glass of wine and Google “Inventor of the Allen wrench.”
Discover that the inventor is already dead. So that’s one less thing you have to do yourself.
Curse his name (Allen) and hope aloud that he has been doomed to purgatory in the afterlife to assemble large structures with his fucking wrench.
Return to product assembly.
Discover that there is no hole for the bolt on the last step.
Go into your tool box and use a good ol’ fashioned hammer and nails because hitting things feels good.
Discover that if you screw the bolts too tight, the wood will split. If you breathe the wrong way, the wood will split. If a dog farts two miles away, the wood will split. But when you try to make the extra hole, the wood will hold up like the great wall of fucking China.
Say, “Fuck it!” and have another glass of wine while pondering how quickly the whole thing will catch fire.
Resort to power tools (even though the instructions expressly forbid their use).
If you do not have power tools, go to the store and buy power tools and more wine.
Hand power tools to your spouse (who is currently cursing the CEO of Ikea and wishing his soul banished to purgatory to assemble Ikea furniture with Allen).
Have another glass of wine.
Watch as your spouse finally drills the hole and attaches the last piece.
Discover that there is already a hole for the bolt and that the piece is on backwards.
Watch with mild, drunken interest as your spouse shoots laser beams from his eyes and speaks in the voice of Zuul.
Drink another glass of wine.
Go to bed swearing you will never buy another piece of fucking Ikea furniture again.
Buy more next month.
There you have it. The secret is wine. See you at Ikea.
This article was originally published on