7 Hacks for Assembling Furniture

Assembling furniture can be a turbulent process, to put it lightly, for all involved.

It typically starts with a feeling of ambition and a can-do attitude. This is followed by a slight nervousness, which develops into a sense that you may possibly have bitten off a little more than you can chew.

Frustrations mount, curse words are muttered, and a spare bolt is inevitably thrown against the wall until, finally, things start to come together.

As you hammer in that final nail, you feel elated. “Now that wasn’t so bad," you think, admiring your shiny new piece of furniture. If you’d rather skip the messy middle bits, all you have to do is master the following tips.

Timing Is Everything

Give yourself plenty of time to tackle your furniture assembly project. When you’re feeling tired or rushed, you’re more likely to skip essential steps and make frustrating mistakes. In other words, 10:30 PM is not a great time to start assembling your new bedframe. Allow more time than you think you’ll need.

Perform an Inventory Count

Flip open to the first page of the instruction booklet. (Bonus tip: if you’ve misplaced the instructions, look them up online—odds are good that you’ll find it floating around somewhere.)

There should be an itemized list of everything you’ll need to complete the project, including precise quantities. Now, count everything and ensure you have the right amount. It’s far better to make a quick run to the hardware store before getting started than when you’re three quarters of the way through.

Get Organized

Lay everything out so that you can see each piece clearly. If items look similar, label them with a piece of scrap paper so that you’ll know which is which. Use plastic containers or cups to keep your hardware sorted—this will prevent bits and pieces from rolling away.

Make Room

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you only need as much space as the final product will take up. Clear yourself a nice, large work area, moving furniture aside if you have to. This goes hand-in-hand with maintaining an organized space.

Don’t Take Surface Shortcuts

Certain surfaces are better suited to assembling furniture than others. For instance, if you need something to be perfectly level, building it on a shaggy carpet or outside on grass is going to make things a lot more complicated. A smooth, solid surface, like hardwood or laminate, will help you keep things even—but hammering some materials against hard surfaces can cause the pieces to crack, so keep a throw rug nearby as a softer surface option.

Set the Mood

Know what environment you work best in. Some people need total silence to concentrate—if that sounds like you, close the door and let others know not to disturb you until you give them the okay.

If you’re settling in for a long day of furniture assembling, you might want to listen to a podcast or audiobook to make the time fly a little faster. Just don’t pick anything too riveting—you want to make sure you’re not skipping any details.

Ask for a Helping Hand

Some projects require more than two hands to be built. Don’t be afraid to call a friend and ask for some assistance. Chances are good you’ll get to repay the favor at some point—and you just might have some helpful tips to throw their way.

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