Home > Culture, Humor/Satire > IKEA Hell


I spent the weekend closing down the old NY city apartment and helping the girlfriend move into new digs. This involved building the largest piece of IKEA furniture I have ever seen. I have emerged from this experience with a mixture of pride and, admittedly, some hostility toward the Swedish.

I must first point out that Millie’s friend Richie was the driving force behind the construction of this wardrobe monstrosity. The man knows what he is doing. He has built many an IKEA unit in his life and he approached the task with a great sense of organization and handy-man skill.

I am not that kind of person. I generally pay people to do things like construct complex pieces of furniture. So, mostly, I assisted with identification of various screws and dowels (like I knew what a friggin’ dowel was before this weekend’s enterprise). I was also in charge of handing Richie the appropriate tools at the appropriate time. Pretty much, I was the nurse in the operating room handing the surgeon the scalpel and sutures.

I knew right away we were in big trouble when he announced this would likely be a 7-hour procedure. I’m not going to get into a whole lot of detail except to say that even in the hands of a skilled professional, we nearly destroyed one of these things. The directions left out a little something. The part about how once you’ve built one of these units, be real careful how you stand it up- otherwise it may explode.

Anyway, clever improvisation saved the day. But I still marvel at the insidiousness of this Swedish-founded but now Dutch-run IKEA company. They lure you in with catalogues and beautiful showrooms of this really cool furniture. And then of course- 7 hours of hell- once they deliver the crap.

Plus, I might add, for all the labor and physical danger involved, you’d think it might be a little cheaper.

For kicks, I googled “Building IKEA Furniture.” I found two entries that said it all. The first one was entitled, “Building IKEA Furniture Makes Me Feel Like a Man.” The second entry was entitled, “Building IKEA Furniture Makes Me Wanna Punch a Hole in the Wall.”

  1. Fran
    December 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

    This is about right – there is always a piece missing… either a crucial instruction or connector of some kind.

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