Saturday 9 February 2013

Today's Review: Flat Pack Furniture

There seems to be a certain stigma attached to flat pack furniture, especially where men are involved. If you search for "flat pack furniture" on Google Images, you get these two pictures in the first two rows:

One is clearly unorganised and confused, while one is completely disregarding the instructions, because apparently that's what men do to assert their manliness, throw caution to the wind and leave themselves vulnerable to hammer blows, splinters and shitty looking furniture.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Men don't have to perpetuate this embarrassing furniture related stereotype. We can be just like those happy people in the IKEA adverts, good looking furniture and all. Because really, flat pack furniture isn't too difficult to assemble.

I got a delivery from IKEA today. When I got round to putting it together, I worked through in a methodical way. Piled up the pieces that looked similar, followed the instructions, I even separated the screws and put them in separate zip-loc bags, because clearly I'm just too cool. But within a very reasonable space of time, I had a new shelving unit and chest of drawers, with no swearing or leakage of bodily fluids. Does that make me less of a man? I don't think so, at least now I've got somewhere to put my big boy pants.

So come on people, stop showing us how rage inducing flat pack furniture is. Sure, there are some problems to be had with the instructions only containing images (international audience, y'know?). There were a few times where I had to pause to figure out which type of screw corresponded to which number in the leaflet, but it's a minor problem that can be solved with a bit of observation and thought. So let's all build our own furniture, it's not that hard. It sure beats trying to squeeze and already assembled wardrobe through a tiny door. Believe me, that's even more rage inducing.

My rating: 4/5


  1. Amen, I've never understood why people complain about flat pack furniture. Personally I see it as a practical problem solving exercise!

    Although I did one put together a relatively complex shelving arrangement which WASN'T from Ikea, and the instructions were an adventure in surrealism. One of the steps would have only been possible to complete as illustrated if the partially-completed unit was able to levitate 3 feet off the ground of its own accord.

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