After spending 3 weekends in a row putting several pieces of IKEA furniture together for my new apartment, I found a few easy ways to make the whole building process a little easier. Check out some quick IKEA assembly tips, after the jump.
1. Buy an electric screw driver with replaceable bits. Skip the included tools IKEA gives you with your furniture—the small tools require you to use a lot of force, putting strain on your fingers. Simply purchasing an inexpensive electric screw driver with interchangeable bits can be a huge help. It's better to use these over a heavy duty drill because the low power won't damage the easily chipable particleboard. It's also a great tool to have when you're looking to securely mount your new furniture to the wall.
2. Use a large rubber mallet instead of a hammer. There are tons of IKEA furniture that use wood dowels to link two pieces of wood together. They usually need a good pound and using a metal hammer can damage the premade holes in the particleboard, making the wood dowels less secure. Using a large rubber mallet will help spread the force out more evenly and keep the wood pieces tight together. Make sure to get a white mallet so that you don't leave skid marks.
3. Separate and count your pieces. Before jumping right into assembling your furniture, it's a good idea to take a moment to separate each screw and wood dowel. Since IKEA instructions are purely visual, separating and counting all those little pieces will allow you to make sure you're putting the right sized screw/dowel in the right place.
4. Customize before you put together. If you're someone who enjoys adding your own personal touch to things, before your start putting your furniture together you might want to take a step back and consider what you might want to customize. Maybe you want to add a hole to a new media center for cable management or paint the backboard of a book shelf. Customizing your furniture before assembly is the perfect time to add these touches since each piece is already separated, so you won't have to worry about things like taping or accidentally getting paint on other pieces. I bought a plain white IKEA bathroom vanity and before I put it together, I painted the backboard to add a pop of color before I nailed it into the other pieces.
5. Prep, plan and clear your space. This tip is pretty obvious, but it's definitely important to make sure you have plenty of room to assemble everything. When building large furniture, you don't always know what direction the furniture will grow. Making sure you have enough space to spread out will save you from being forced to work in an awkward position the more you start assembling your pieces. And be sure you can even fit the furnishings in your home; there are various IKEA based sites and apps that can tackle the process of design before you spend a single cent.
Know some other quick IKEA tips? Let us know below in the comments!