Ways in Which Putting Together IKEA Furniture is and is not like Playing with LEGO

Ways in Which Putting Together IKEA Furniture is and is not like Playing with LEGO

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Nancy Mitchell
Mar 5, 2015
Instructions for a LEGO castle, complete with arrow slits. Merely a shadow of what is to come.
(Image credit: Toys Period)

I realized, a couple of days ago, while assembling a RASKOG cart way too late at night (sorry, people downstairs!) that putting together IKEA furniture closely resembles another time-honored American pastime: playing with LEGO. Of course, neither of these things are American at all: they both hail from Scandinvia, which could, perhaps, explain why the processes are so eerily similar.

IKEA Billy bookcase instructions. A perfect opportunity to put all that knowledge of Scandinavian design to use?
(Image credit: IKEA)

Without further ado, here are the Ways in Which Putting Together IKEA Furniture is and is not like Playing with LEGO:

Same:

  • Excitement upon opening box quickly subsumed by horror on seeing instructions
  • Box full of infinitesimally small parts that cannot be spread out for fear of losing something tiny and of utmost importance
  • Instructions somehow simultaneously straightforward and utterly maddening
  • First several steps of assembly depict something with no resemblance at all to finished product
  • Faith in Scandinavian design shattered and restored several times throughout assembly process
  • Search for incredibly tiny pieces, which closely resemble other incredibly tiny pieces, brings one to brink of despair on multiple occasions
  • Feeling of inferiority to people of lesser intelligence, who presumably have no problem with this sort of thing, steadily mounts throughout assembly
  • Stepping on components is incredibly painful.
Different:

  • There is only one way to put this thing together
  • I can never, ever take it apart.
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