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Flat-pack furniture assembly tips

young woman trying to figure out how to assemble a chair

Assembling a piece of flat-box furniture (especially from IKEA) might be a day-long process, as there’re so many details and screws, that you don’t even know where they’re supposed to go. You even start suspecting that the manufacturer decided to trick you and put spare or unnecessary details into the packaging to make you feel completely stupid and unable to understand how to build the simplest chest of drawers or table. It gets even harder when you’ve just moved into a new house (apartment) or conducted a remodeling and, consequently, purchased quite a lot of furniture. And, once all those boxes were delivered into your house, you immediately regret your decision and look at them in despair.

woman confused while assembling furnitureThe flat-box furniture is cheaper, but still of quite sufficient quality, option, especially for young people and families. Besides, it’s always quite modern and classical pieces, which have to be present in each house. It would seem that anybody can cope with an assembling task while following appropriate step-by-step instructions and using proper tools. Especially if you consider the fact that such furniture is not too fancy whatsoever, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out how to build it.

But, despite all of that, once you open the box and a bunch of unrelated details and random screws fall out of it, you panic and just give up. Then, you notice instructions and think they may be your last hope, but you quickly understand that you’ve never been so wrong before. It’s like they did everything they could to completely confuse you and drive you mad.

Unwilling to spend hours trying to assemble that stupid thing, you start thinking of hiring a professional, who could build furniture for you. And, it’s quite wise decision, may I say. You’ll save your time and nerves, but still get everything done and ready to use. Such people may not only assemble any kind of furniture no matter how complicated its structure is, but also install or hang it if required (cabinets or shelves for instance).professional furniture assembler with tools

Moreover, if you still like your old furniture, but it got outdated, worn-out or broken overtime, you may ask them to renew or fix it as well. To hire a furniture assembler, visit Hirerush.com and scroll through the ads in Construction category to find a professional, who works within your local area. If you’re willing to remodel any particular piece of furniture, you might have to look through the ads or make several calls to find out if this or that professional specifies in that area.

However, if you’re determined to conquer that boxes and turn them into real, functioning furniture on your own, I may wish you luck and concentration. And, as usual, I’ll share with you some tips, which might facilitate the assembling process. So, turn on your favorite TV show or music, make a nice drink, grab some snacks and let’s get started!

Before buying any piece of furniture to assemble

Before you head out to the store, measure the width, length and height of that part of the room, where you plan to place your furniture. This way you’ll avoid quite an unpleasant situation, when you had already bought and assembled certain piece of furniture, but then tried to put it in place and discovered that it’s one or two inches longer (wider) than it was supposed to be.

woman measuring room for furnitureBesides, make sure that you don’t buy massive things, as they may occupy half of the room, overload it and make you feel quite uncomfortable.

Learn your materials

There’re cheapest options considering the wood all RTA (ready-to-assemble) furniture is made of.  Particleboard and plywood pieces will cost the least, but they’re not too reliable and strong. So, they’re unlikely to last for too long or to withstand serious loads.  You may choose such furniture in case if you need quick solution and plan to find better options later on. But, if you’re looking for something that will serve you in the long run, then you should better pay your attention to laminate, wood veneer or solid hardwood. Although such furniture will be a little bit pricier, but it has better quality and looks much better. Moreover, it’s much more durable than the first alternative, so it’s worth paying more.

At the store

When you’ve chosen the certain piece of furniture and decided to buy it, make sure that it’s not the last exemplar at the shop. Otherwise, you might get a box with missing details or a bit shabby pieces.

Ask a salesman about the assembling difficulty to make sure that you’ll be able to build the furniture without calling a professional.

woman choosing dresser at the store

Taking pictures of the already assembled piece is a really good idea, as you’ll need a finished version of the product when trying to build it from scratch. Instructions are helpful, but confusing at the same time. That’s why it’s rather convenient to be able to see how your table or wardrobe looks in real life as you try to assemble it.

One of the most important things to do is to get acquainted with the shop’s return policy and customer’s service in case if something appears to be broken or missing in your package.

Figure the boxes out ASAP

When the boxes arrive at your house, open them immediately to ensure that you’ve got everything you’ve paid for. Then, as things get out of stock quickly, it will be easier for you to reach the company and ask for a replacement if you need it.

Most of the instructions provide the exact number of pieces a box should include, so count them to see if you’ve received all details.

furniture flat boxesOpen the package carefully not to damage furniture before you start using it. Some people even manage to scratch and slice off the laminate on their furniture while ripping the boxes up with a knife. So, don’t rush and cut the cardboard cautiously.

Prepare your working area

It’s better to assemble furniture in the room you’re planning to place it in. Otherwise, if your piece doesn’t fit the doorway, you’ll have to take it apart and build it once again in the desired room.

Work on even, flat surfaces, preferably on wooden, tiled similar floors, as carpeting will make the task even more complicated.

pieces of ready-to-assemble furniture with instructionsCover the surface with plastic cloth or even the cardboard from the packaging to protect your floors or create more firm base on the carpeting.


If you’ve opted for quite a simple piece of furniture, it should come with some basic tools to tighten the screws. But, power tools (like electric screwdriver) will save your time and effort while building more complicated things.

Besides, measuring tape, carpenter’s level, hammer and some sanding paper and some plastic organizers (to sort the screws and other small pieces) will come in handy. Each handyman has them at home, so you won’t have to spend extra money on tools.

The actual furniture assembling

Read through the instructions thoroughly and place the pieces of your table, shelve or dresser in order. Build the base and start adding other details afterwards. If you have several identical things, build them in parallel not to get confused where to start when trying to build the next piece.

Some assembling tips:

  • applying wood glue on piece of furniture Take a measuring tape and put it over the spot a nail has to go in to avoid wood splits
  • Use a comb or scissors when driving the nails in not to smash your fingers
  • Padded clams will be useful if you don’t have someone to help you out
  • Not to deal with the uneven joints, keep the hardware a little bit loose before you assemble the whole thing and tighten the screws when it’s done.
  • Add some wood glue to each of the joints to make your furniture more stable and reliable
  • Don’t attach legs to the bookshelves or other pieces if there’s such option to achieve modern look of your furniture

If the task still seems too difficult for you or if you have too many things to build, then don’t hesitate to visit HireRush.com to find a furniture assembler, who may come to your house and won’t charge too much for their services.

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