Friday night, I sat squinting at my bookshelf from my bed, and I came to the conclusion that several of the shelves were buckling under the weight of my books. My bookshelf was also full. Very full. Full to the point where I have had to promise myself that I would only buy books when I have finished all twenty on my to-read list (I broke this last night by going to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book launch, but it’s Harry Potter! Totally doesn’t count).
So, we went to Ikea! For those of you who don’t know, Ikea is a Swedish household store. Its more than a furniture store, it is awesome. My friends and I had an absolute ball trotting around the Ikea showrooms, planning our dream homes while keeping an eye out for suitable unitry for our student house. It was very difficult, I really wanted the £110 white raised unit with offset shelves. It was quirky and I loved it. Alas. It was neither in my price range nor big enough for my needs. I left with a 4×4 Ikea cube unit.
It arrived at 0745. On a Sunday morning. I wasn’t amused. Sunday mornings are for sleeping, not waiting for Ikea delivery men while reading Game of Thrones. Anyway. Our furniture arrived (and we went back to bed). Did you know that the Billy Bookcase box is really quite heavy? We didn’t until we had to lug it up the stairs! Just proved I should probably be making the most of that gym membership I have hardly used this month.
This afternoon found A and I, in our jimjams, screwdrivers, Allen keys and hammers littering the bed, scruitinising the two boxes that the unit came in. Even with the reorganisation of my bedroom, we still only had a strip of about one meter wide, and a square of one and a half meters to build this bookcase. It was going to be a bit of a problem, but I was determined!
Alas, I stumbled at the first block! We laid out the bottom and the side, ready with the allen key and the screws, but, to my absolute dismay, I couldn’t get the join to lie flat! No matter how much I tightened the join, there was a few mm gap. Barely two minutes in and I’m pretty sure steam was building up ready to burst forth from my ears. So we stopped and had a cup of tea, scrutinised the problem, and came to the conclusion that the holes were not deep enough. After a few minutes, we had the join perfectly aligned, and A was allowed to go crazy with hammering in the wooden doweling for the shelves! That was actually quite fun! Like a big jigsaw puzzle.
Given the space limitations of my bedroom, we had to make this unit upright, as opposed to the laid flat recommended by ikea (there is even a picture of a guy trying to build it up, looking distinctly unhappy with a huge cross through it in the instructions). The problems arose from fitting the top and the side. True to form, A and I probably chose the most peculiar way to solve the problem.
Problem: The side panel wasn’t fitting the dowelling of the shelves effectively despite hammering.
Our solution: Brace self against doorjam with back to the side of the unit and push back until all dowels were firmly fixed and I was capable of fixing the sides into place.
Problem 2: See above, but for the top piece.
Solution: brace weight on the top piece and apply my entire body weight’s worth of pressure with A doing the same on the other side. The power of gravity shall aid us my friends!
Unorthodox, hilarious, but it worked! A and I were in stitches, trying to push the final two pieces onto the dowelling that would secure the shape of the unit. It was awesome. It was hilarious.
Now it is up, and thankfully fits perfectly into the allotted space. My books appear to have procreated in their storage box, as I swear I didn’t have that many prior to reorganising my room!
Honestly, I don’t know how people normally assemble flatpack furniture, but it is probably not in the smallest space available, using the edge of a screwdriver as a hammer and using your own back as a force applicator (or super big hammer). It has made for a thoroughly entertaining Sunday afternoon!