Well, if we’re being honest, it was more like three days, which in hex-bolt hell is more like 47 days and change, but there’s a reason why Ikea doesn’t put how long their products take to build on the packaging!

Nonetheless, my oldest son needed a new bed because apparently it’s cruel and inhumane to make a nine year-old sleep on a floaty out in the pool for the last year and a half, and so this week my DIY adventure began surrounded by unlabeled parts with an instruction manual in my hands that was surprisingly difficult to follow despite consisting entirely of pictures and an extraordinarily excited kid cheering me on … at least for the first couple of hours until he got bored and went to go play video games instead…

  • There’s a reason why houses aren’t built using only Allen wrenches.
  • No matter how meticulously you tried to orient your parts, chances are you probably did something wrong.
  • Extra holes are bad. Not enough holes are also bad. In fact, having anything less than exactly the number of holes you’re expecting means you’re about to start taking things back apart and backtracking.
  • Learn to embrace your backtracking. The word IKEA actually means, “Oops!” in Dutch.
  • Unless they happen to moonlight as IKEA product designers, inviting your kids to “help” is probably a mistake.
  • One exception is if you’re looking to beef up their vocabulary in terms of profanities – in that case, it will be a great learning experience!
  • Some of your best work happens around 1am when you begin seeing the instructions even when you’re not looking at them and every minor move has the possibility of waking up the entire house.
  • A rubber mallet solves problems where Allen wrenches fail … plus, it’s a great way to work out some frustration during hour fourteen of your build!
  • That estimate for someone else to build it for you starts to seem a lot more reasonable once you’ve put double digits of your own time in and are still lacking anything even remotely resembling a bed!
  • The pride of having built something with your bare hands that your own kin will slumber on for years to come pales in comparison

All of my late night grumbling aside, my son’s bed did eventually get finished and I’m sure that my thumbs will recover from their Allen wrench abuse in a few weeks time. Now whether said bunk bed will still be standing at that point, your guess is as good as mine, but we’ll save that for a humor column for 2024…