Modern life is geared towards convenience, and also in most cases, saving money. This is a great thing, it means we can save time and money in some areas and use it in other parts of our lives that we truly want to concentrate on. The only part of modern convenience where this doesn’t seem to be the case is the wonderful world of flat pack furniture. Everyone, it seems, has had a run in with a flat pack set that, whatever they managed to save in money, ended up being spent in precious man hours getting the blasted thing to stay together. I have had the same sorts of problems, especially when trying to build a bookcase that in theory you can build on your own, but in practice you actually need at least one other person and a couple of sturdy chairs to shore sides up on. With that being said, here are the 7 most common problems with flat pack furniture that we all hate!
Getting It Home
Unless you’ve decided to order online, the chances are you’re picking your flat pack up from a shop. This can be a hassle and a half as whichever way you try to get it to fit in your car it will always end up sitting an an odd angle, digging in to someone’s back or resulting in 30 minutes of rearranging your car and lying down seats in order to get it in. The tiny voice at the back of your mind is also reminding you that the fun is just beginning.
Playing Snap With Parts
Once you get home you know that if you put off the piecing together the parts will multiply like nobody’s business if you leave the box unopened for too long. Its time to get started. Following the logical route can help, going through the packets and separating each piece into its respected group, helpfully labelled in the instruction sheet, or if you’re lucky booklet. This is possibly the most time consuming part – you always end up holding 6 different types of screw up to the diagrams and scrunching your forehead in concentration as you try to work out if it is a C piece or an E piece.
A Piece Is Missing
I’ve come to the conclusion that invisible gremlins are also shipped in flat pack boxes as no matter what I do one screw or nail will always disappear. It may be stolen by the dog, acquired by the children, moved for safe keeping by the spouse or simply swallowed up by the carpet, but either way one piece will mysteriously disappear through out construction.
The Diagrams Seem To Be For Something Else Entirely
No matter which part of the instruction booklet I look at the diagrams endlessly confuse me, either for the transparency of the parts used, their ability to exist in alternate dimensions or the fact that I can’t remember which pile of screws is A and which is B. Thank goodness we’re not using glue.
The Tools Listed Or Provided Sometimes Don’t Match Up With The Tools You Need
Sometimes you get a handy allen key, sometimes a mini screwdriver, other times it is assumes you have all the different Phillips screwdriver sizes as well as differently sized allen keys at your disposal. Don’t worry too much, look at it as a new way to meet neighbours, reconnect with old friends or start up your own tool collection as you inevitably end up going out to buy the correct screwdriver.
What You Thought Would Be A One Man Job Is Actually A Two Man Job
You can be proudly independent in all other aspects of life but when it comes to flat pack furniture two is definitely better than one. You can arrange all the piles of books you like, shore up sides with chairs or lean planks against furniture, but you’re always going to need an extra pair of hands to make sure that the shelves don’t end up wonky.
It Never Looks Quite Like It Should
When you have finally finished your piece of furniture, after swearing a lot and unscrewing and re-screwing the same piece multiple times, you can stand back and take a look at your handy work. Remember to repress the sigh as you compare your furniture to the picture on the box or brochure, it may lean a little to the left, have a slight chip in the veneer where the plank slipped whilst you were screwing it in, but it was made with blood sweat and tears and you should be proud of it. Now you just need to find out where that last left over nail was meant to be hammered in…